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Author Topic: How do I open this box?  (Read 4896 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
« Last Edit: May 29, 2012, 08:27:32 PM by sawdstmakr » Logged
David McLeod
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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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David McLeod
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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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asprince
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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,

Steve
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David McLeod
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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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iddee
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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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sawdstmakr
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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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Danpunch
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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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iddee
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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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JP
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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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David McLeod
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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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sawdstmakr
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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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sawdstmakr
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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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JackM
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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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sawdstmakr
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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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marktrl
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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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Sparky
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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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