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Author Topic: How do I open this box?  (Read 5315 times)
sawdstmakr
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« on: May 29, 2012, 11:52:44 AM »

JP, Schawee, Hardwood, Iddee and any one else that handles hive removals.
This past weekend I went out to pick up a Tuff box that a new home owner found under a bunch of brush shortly after moving in.
It is one of those tool boxes that go in the back of a Pickup. It is 3' long 2' wide and 2' tall with lots of bees coming and going and covering it. I thought I could just trim out the bushes and seal it up and with the help of my neighbor, Steve, put it in my truck. It was sunk 4" into the dirt and I could not move it. Dug it out and put a hole in the bottom, thinking it was full of water. It was dry. Used the shovel to wiggle it out. We slid it away from where the bees were returning to. We could barely pick it up at all. With the help from one of her neighbors we put it in a wheelbarrel and then in the truck. It weight in excess of 200 pounds. It has a very strong, friendly,  hive in it.
My concern is if it is all honey. How am I going to open the lid with all that weight and if I can open it how do you do it without destroying all of the comb/brood. I was hoping to save the box but I suspect that will not be possible.
It might turn out the box is full of tools or metal with only shallow comb but I'm suspecting it might be honey.
Looking for ideas.
Jim
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« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2012, 12:31:01 PM »

Can you cut the hinges and latch so the lid can be lifted straight up? The main attachments are usually the top and upper portions along the sides. Lifting the lid will do damage but if side attachment is minimal you could get away with it.

Do you know the layout of the interior?  If everything is firmly attached and sturdy older comb it might be possible to flip the box upside down and come in from the bottom. I would try to rotate in line with the comb not across.

Or you could always do a trapout.
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« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2012, 12:34:47 PM »

Another option might be to seal the box up and drill a hole in the top to give the bees an access. Place a deep of drawn on top of the hole and see if you can migrate them into a hive.
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« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2012, 12:52:08 PM »

Since lots of bees die during a cut out this is what I would do. I would seal it up except for one entrance and do a trap out. After the bees are all trapped out, I would open the box collect the honey and melt down the wax.


My two cents worth,

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« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2012, 01:28:12 PM »

I second the trapout option as it is the least destructive and more sure to move the bees than migrating. The cut out options would only be if there was a deadline involved.
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« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2012, 03:27:23 PM »

There are many versions of the tuff box. Post a pic and we can advise much better. Is it 0ne lid on each end, one lid all the way across, does it have a stepdown?
A pic will help tremendously.
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« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2012, 09:24:31 PM »

Iddee,
Here are pictures of both sides.
I removed the snaps on both sides and tried to open it. The key lock must be in the locked position.
This is the day after TS Beryl went through. We moved it between storms yesterday. It took 4 guys to remove it from the truck and I almost dropped it. It is that heavy.
I will probably use a pair of pump pliers to break the lock.
David and Asprince,
I tried placing a hive in a squirrel box on top of a hive box last winter. It didn't work. By the time they started moving into the box in the spring, they ended up swarming to the point there was nothing left. I caught one of the swarms but it ended up leaving again.
I have no idea what the inside is like. I cannot turn it upside down because there is a good chance there are heavy items in the box.
If there are no other ideas I will either cut the hinges and lock and lift off the top or I may do the trap out. I am leaning away from the trap out because the minute I weaken this hive, the SHB will destroy it. Also I suspect this hive has been around for a long time and I would like to keep the queen.
Another possible is to do a combination of these 2. What do you all think of doing a trap out for a week and then do the cut out while it is still strong?
I'm listening. Smiley


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« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2012, 09:36:41 PM »

I'd be for doing the cut-out. Cut the hinges & break the lock and lift the lid straight up. Once the top is out, rest it on top (by its edges) of some saw horses with 2X4's so it's supported on all four sides and then work from underneath it.
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« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2012, 09:49:57 PM »

I would drill the tumbler and use a large screwdriver to turn the lock open. It's a lock similar to the one on your toolbox. Easily opened and replaced. Then raise the lid enough to see the extent of the comb and go from there.
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« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2012, 12:08:04 AM »

Not much different than inverting a plywood floor that has bees between floor joists. It will be a messy job but you can get it done & still save the box to put your tools in.


...JP
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« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2012, 01:53:24 AM »

if it is plastic, its easy.. use a heat gun to warm up the sides of the end of the box.  then run a razor blade down the warm plastic.  it will cut like butter.  you can cut the sides or the ends whatever, a side may give you more access.
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2012, 11:41:19 AM »

Thanks for all of the replies. What I plan to do is a combination of your answers. Drill the lock, crack it open, then decide from there whether to open it, cut the hinges and put it on horses or the cut the side. I'll let you know.
Thanks again.
Jim
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« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2012, 12:35:43 PM »

Looks like a good excuse the buy a borescope inspection camera to take a peek inside. 
If I had to cut into that I just might go ahead and bee quick it first from all sides and vacuum the bees as they exit. Maybe get the numbers down inside before making the big mess. Your idea of trap then cut would do the same.
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« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2012, 12:55:35 PM »

How ever you end up doing it, take lots of pics...
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« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2012, 11:22:48 PM »

My neighbor, Jim and I were looking at the tuff bin and the hinge has a pipe that goes from one end to the other. After cutting off the end cap, I used a pair of pump pliers to turn the shaft and slowly slid it about 10 " out one side. This means that I can pull it out. I also used the pliers to remove the lock. The outside part came off but the inside part is still intact. I will have to drill the rest out. It would have to be replaced any way, the flap was rusted shut. We didn't go any further because it was getting dark. We plan to build a rack (instead of using horses) to hang the top from that is tall enough that we won't have to bend over to remove the comb.
Jim
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« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2012, 05:47:52 AM »

Just an update on opening this box.  

We have not opened it yet. We have had rainy weather here for the last 2 weeks, as much as 21" in some places. We desperately needed it. Since we placed the box on the stand the top has collapsed down to the point that it now holds water.

I ground off the rivets that hold the lock assembly. It is now disabled. I tried to lift the top but I cannot budge it. It has all of the weight and it is more than I can lift.

We will be cutting out the front side where the lock is.

I took a 10" # 1 Phillips screw driver and stuck it in the hole in the bottom that I drilled to see if there was any water. It went in about 6",  on a 45 degree angle, and felt like I hit soft wax. I pushed it I all the way and it comes out clean. I pushed it in along the bottom and there is nothing on the bottom.

My main concern now is getting it done while our flow is still on. It is sitting next to 4 strong hives and a couple of nucs. If the flow stops, I suspect the robbing will be tremendous and I will have a lot of very angry bees.
We might have some good weather this weekend. We are planning to open it Sunday.  

Jim
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« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2012, 08:01:42 AM »

Um, I know this is late, but many of those boxes have a deal to keep the lid from slamming shut or opening too far that is on the inside and it can cause you lifting issues.  Like one side will lift and not the other?Huh?  Have some bolt cutters handy
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« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2012, 12:15:35 PM »

This lid isn't moving 1/1000 of an inch. I plan on taking pictures this weekend and I will show how the lid is buckling under the weight.
Jim
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« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2012, 01:50:31 PM »

If you aren't worried about saving the box cut the bottom off and go up from there.
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« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2012, 09:44:08 PM »

GOOD LUCK hope it works well. Sounds like good part of a day to eat up.
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« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2012, 09:57:35 PM »

Sparky
Thanks, I am expecting it to take 4 to 6 hours in 84 degree plus, 80% or higher humidity, with any luck. If not it will probably be raining or threatening to rain.

Mark,
This box weighs over 200 pounds, I have it on a strong wooden stand. It would be very difficult to support it from the sides, high enough up  and harder to get to the comb from the bottom. It is 2 ' tall.
But I appreciate the input.
Jim
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« Reply #21 on: June 15, 2012, 10:35:28 PM »

  Since you are going to trash the box just get a sawsall, or a circular saw, and set the blade shallow.
  Cut a window and get a good look inside.
  Go from there for a normal cutout.
  Remember when you start cutting, the box looses strength and may collapse so have support under it.
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« Reply #22 on: June 16, 2012, 09:01:12 AM »

Man I can imagine how the bees would pour out with the vibration from a sawzall.  Don't think I would do that.  Got a plasma cutter?  If one was careful enough you could probably get a good start with one without burning the bees.
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« Reply #23 on: June 17, 2012, 05:31:45 AM »

  Since you are going to trash the box just get a sawsall, or a circular saw, and set the blade shallow.
  Cut a window and get a good look inside.
  Go from there for a normal cutout.
  Remember when you start cutting, the box looses strength and may collapse so have support under it.
Thanks, I plan to drill and screw in some I hooks and support it by rope to my work shop. I may also screw a piece of wood to the plastic just above the cut.
Jim
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« Reply #24 on: June 17, 2012, 05:52:22 AM »

Man I can imagine how the bees would pour out with the vibration from a sawzall.  Don't think I would do that.  Got a plasma cutter?  If one was careful enough you could probably get a good start with one without burning the bees.

Jack,
I have cut a brick column, expecting the bee to react, but they didn't. The last removal we did we cut a storage shed floor. They didn't react until bees got  smashed into the dirt when we tried to pull up on one side and went down into the dirt. If you watch the videos of honey bee removal here on this site, you will see a lot of cutting with little reaction. I don't plan on suiting up but I may wear a vail during the cut and initial opening.
Thanks.
Today is the day, just waiting for daylight. The weather should be perfect. 83 degrees and 65% humidity, doesn't get any better than that during the summer around here.
Jim
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« Reply #25 on: June 17, 2012, 09:14:29 AM »

That's better temps than we're predicted for today.  Best wishes on opening the box....long as you don't have to call CSI when you see what's in the box you should be ok. Wink

Have fun, take pictures, post'em here.  grin

Ed
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« Reply #26 on: June 17, 2012, 10:55:14 AM »

I will be looking forward to the pics!
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« Reply #27 on: June 17, 2012, 02:49:39 PM »

Double dittos with the photos or video....
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« Reply #28 on: June 20, 2012, 11:15:23 AM »

The suspense is killing me...
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« Reply #29 on: June 20, 2012, 12:19:28 PM »

Alright, alright already. Here they are, if I can get this to work (second try).

Here is what we found when we cut out the side panel. On the left side I dug out a bag of sevin dust, yea the bottom was lined with very old dead bees. This hive has been here a long time. The electrasol bucket had very old bird seeds. There was also Black Cow and 2 different types of fertilizer.
URL=http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/85/dsc03569ez.jpg/][/URL]

We then decided to cut the top off a little at a time. Most of the comb stayed in the box. This picture was taken after we removed all of the honey comb in this section.


We cut out the honey comb as we went and put it in buckets, about 6 gallons worth. Anyone want some Sevin Honey.  It is going to the dump. The section on the right is all brood.

Here is some of the equipment we used for this job.


Here I am at the cutting table putting the comb in the frames.


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We filled all 10 medium frames with brood.



Here we are collecting up the last of the bees. They kept coming out of the cracks, by the thousands, for hours. We started this job at 7:00 on Fathers day and didn’t quit until 4:00 PM.




Here is the other Jim, checking out a piece of comb.


Here is the comb imbedded in the trash.


Hope it was worth the wait.
Jim
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« Reply #30 on: June 20, 2012, 02:53:43 PM »

What a mess  cheesy

Looks like you did the best you could with what you had.
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« Reply #31 on: June 20, 2012, 04:42:52 PM »

I'll ask.

Did you get the queen?

or

Do you think you got eggs with the brood and they can raise a new queen with those genetics?
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« Reply #32 on: June 20, 2012, 06:56:30 PM »

Nice job, Jim.  That was a nasty cut-out.  You're probably the only beek to have literally pulled out a bag of sevin dust from a feral colony!  Those have gotta be some heavy duty survivor genes in them bees to survive living in a toxic waste dump!

Hope they serve you well, you deserve it.
Ed
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« Reply #33 on: June 20, 2012, 08:40:51 PM »

I'll ask.

Did you get the queen?

or

Do you think you got eggs with the brood and they can raise a new queen with those genetics?

I did not see the Queen though we spent a lot of time looking. I did get a half frame or so of eggs and all stages of young larva.

Thanks Ed.

Jim
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« Reply #34 on: June 21, 2012, 09:09:29 AM »

Awesome mess.  Cool.  Somehow I thought it was a metal box.
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« Reply #35 on: June 21, 2012, 11:29:19 AM »

Awesome mess.  Cool.  Somehow I thought it was a metal box.

That would have been a lot worse to get into.
Jim
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« Reply #36 on: June 21, 2012, 12:13:22 PM »

Worth the wait. Sorry ro hear of the sevin dust, though I doubt it had any effects on this colony.
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« Reply #37 on: June 21, 2012, 12:29:50 PM »

Worth the wait. Sorry to hear of the sevin dust, though I doubt it had any effects on this colony.

You cannot see it very well, but the bottom was full of very old dead bees and decayed bees from years of exposure.

I looked under the cover last night just before sunset. We gave them a medium super with undrawn foundation and a box above that to allow for extra room for the bees we poured in with a screen top above that and of course the cover. There were thousands of bees hanging from the feeder section of the top screen board. We are planning on removing the empty super tonight before the place too much wax on the feeder.
Jim
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« Reply #38 on: June 25, 2012, 12:11:30 PM »

Just an update.
I opened the hive yesterday. They started building wax in the super. As I went through the brood box, I found only capped brood. No eggs or open brood. I did find a swarm cell opened that was there when I opened the box. It was the only one that I saw while taking the hive apart, it was sealed, and wondered if it was alive. There may have been others that were mixed in with the hoses and other trash. I figured there must be a queen in this hive because it was too quiet for having lost a Q only a week ago. I learned how they respond from the Observation hive. I was on the last frame when my buddy, Jim, spots the queen on the side that was towards the box side. There were no eggs even where she was. She obviously is not mated so we closed it up and hope she works out. Keeping our fingers crossed. I won't be inspecting the hive for a couple of weeks to let her get established.
Jim
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« Reply #39 on: June 26, 2012, 03:09:33 PM »

Thanks for the update, Jim.  We'll be pulling for the lady...would be some interesting genes to have on hand!

Ed
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American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev

"Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they wont come to yours." - Yogi Berra
sawdstmakr
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« Reply #40 on: August 05, 2012, 01:58:18 PM »

Thanks Mary Lee an Ashley for calling Jax Bees to save these bees.
Jim
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"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain
Intheswamp
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« Reply #41 on: August 05, 2012, 06:36:31 PM »

A little confused by that post, Jim.  huh

But, since this thread was bumped...how'd the queen turn out?

Ed
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www.beeweather.com 
American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev

"Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they wont come to yours." - Yogi Berra
sawdstmakr
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Location: Jacksonville FL


« Reply #42 on: August 06, 2012, 12:09:51 PM »

Ashley' new home had the tool box in it and Mary Ann called it in to JAX Bees.

This is a very nice hive, New Queen is laying nicely, Gentle, Hive is growing very nicely, Medium super is almost full, Had to add a second medium.
Jim
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"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain
Intheswamp
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« Reply #43 on: August 06, 2012, 12:32:29 PM »

Sounds like they're thankful for getting out of the chemical dump they were in!  Glad the queen's doing a good job.  You oughta call her Toxie. Smiley  Thanks for the update.

Ed
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www.beeweather.com 
American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev

"Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they wont come to yours." - Yogi Berra
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