This hive is in it's 2nd year after coming in out of the wild to my yard. They took up in an empty stack 4 high. they started in the top 2 which are deeps, two mediums on the bottom. They entered the top deep via a knot hole in the rear. It just so happens I had left a frame out of the 2nd deep down. You know what happened there. They started using the front bottom entrance about two months ago, but most still use the rear. When I get ready to work it I will staple regular screen wire over that rear entrance. Here is what I plan to do. Get 4 more bottom and tops ready. go in and smoke heavy. raise the top box and block it up about an inch or two on the side where the frame is missing on the 2 box. take my Big knife and cut the extended comb from that top frame and just let it fall into the 2 box. Lucky it was on the side. I plan on pre assembling a one inch mesh chicken wire frame for that comb when I come to it. Then I am going to move each box to it's own bottom board with top, down to the last box. Moving it too. Then I will put an empty deep with bottom board and top in the original spot. Now my work is done for that day.
Have a box for each of the four with frames and foundation one or two empty supers, queen excluders. fume board and bee go.
This is how I find queens. She will be,-- well you know. Then I will re join the boxes to make 2 colonies, or if there is enough eggs/brood the right age,maybe 4,,and let each one make a new queen from her. I know, It is a crap as to whether I will get reduction in in hostility or not. This swarm built into a good colony last year and wintered good and built up bigger this year and didn't swarm on me this year. If I can get them gentled down that is the two reasons I would like to keep there genes around.
I have not been in them but twice this year. the first time they seemed gentle enough. the second time I went in a little deeper and that is when they got upset. If I could only remember what the weather was like that day. That may have played a factor in how they acted. Didn't mean for this to be this long but wanted any opinions on my plan to slap it to this colony.
Anyone want to help suit up and come along, I'll let you know when. lol! ;) :) d2