Yeah, it was a pain in the neck. Mostly because I had to fabricate a plastic liner large enough to put over the hive and tape down to the hive stand that it sits on.
I used two pieces of 1/8" hardware cloth (galvinized screen) to plug the entrance to the hive so that the bees couldn't get out and the CO2 from the dry ice could get in. Then I taped down the bottom edge of the liner to the stand which left the hive sitting in a large plastic bag with the hive stand as the bottom of the bag. I made the liner big enough so there would be room for the dry ice to sit along side the hive inside the bag and put in 3-4 lbs of the dry ice. I vented to top cover with about 1/8" shims to keep the bees in but let the rising CO2 enter the hive through the screened entrance and fill the hive as the level rose and come out the vented top cover. I gathered the top of the bag and put a brick on it to hold it in place but made sure that it wasn't sealed so the CO2 could push out and displace the air.
After setting overnight I came back the next day and still had live bees in both stacks but one of them still gave a loud response when I rapped on the side of the boxes. After careful inpection of the sealed bottoms of the bags to the hive stands I found some leaks and chalked it up to not getting a tight enough seal. After resealing I did it all over again and this time I broke the dry ice up into small pieces so it evaporated (technically "sublimed") faster. This time I could see the bags poofing out from the offgassing dry ice. The next day there were still some live bees in both bags, how I don't know but 99+% of them were dead. I used a shop vac to vac up the live ones as I opened the bags and then worked my way down through the boxes transferring frame by frame to an empty receiver box as I vacuumed off the dead bees.
By the time I had finished all the boxes and dumped all the dead bees and sorted through everything it was a mess and all the other hives were filling the air because of all the free honey and nectar they were finding. I put all the honey and nectar frames in a stack of boxes on their own hive stand and closed them up. The next day I had to seal a crack in the top board they were getting in through and retreat my stand legs with a fresh coat of tanglfoot to secure the honey and nectar frames.
I was going to put them into my other hives today but my kids were working so I didn't do it at the time slot I had told my host that I would because of Fathers Day plans so I will have to do it tomorrow.
Any ways thats the gist of it and thats where it all sits as of now. I think I will call Harris Honey Bees soon and find out about getting some new domestic VSH queens and start working towards that.
Any body have any ideas or suggestions re where the avocado guys are getting their queens? Or if it would be a better option for me for my remaining 4 colonies?
Working on it in.......