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Thread: big mess

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    California- bay area


    OK, I did something stupid, and I am a beginner so I don't have enough experience to fix the mess I got into. I removed a hive about three months ago and I put these bees in a brood box I only put in five frames in and they had foundation, and left a piece of honey comb on the bottom of the hive. I just wanted the bees to eat the honey and use the wax on the frames but the bees had a different idea. they started building comb up from the bottom of the hive. Now I have a football size area of comb the question is how do I get the bees on to some frames and when to do it. then I'll make a few candles.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Marietta, Georgia USA


    My suggestion is to do it as soon as possible, before queen started to lay eggs in there. Make sure whether permits. If you have another bottom board this is what you do. Take your hive and move it a side. Put the bottom board in place where the hive used to be. Free unwanted comb from the sides of the hive body and put the hive body with 5 frames on the new bottom board. The football size area of comb will still be on the old bottom board and now you can simply shake the bees into the new box. Add frames to feel the space and you should be done. Watch out for queen, and do not loose her.
    Good luck, let us know how it went.


  3. #3
    BILLY BOB Guest

    Big Grin


    If you don't want to loose all the brood and honey stored on the "football". Try using a removeable swarm catching frame. You can find out how to make one in the "plans-build it" link at the index page.

  4. #4
    Pollinator Guest


    If you are in very southern part of California, you might be able to change them over now, but for the rest of the state, I think you'd be wise to wait until a decent spring flow, even if they make the situation worse. Such manipulations are a lot of stress on the colony, and I've never had much luck with fall/winter transfers of this kind. Once there is a spring flow, the bees can handle the stress of the changeover much better.

    In the spring, you can set the box upside down, and the queen will not lay in the inverted comb. Set a box of good comb on top (rightside up), and she will quickly move up. As soon as you can get her in the upper box (look for eggs, and don't run her down with smoke when you first open the box), then you can put an excluder between the boxes. The lower box of brood will not be lost, as it will all hatch out normally. After all brood is hatched, then you can clean up that box at leisure, and salvage the honey, without damaging the colony by killing brood.

    If you don't have any comb (you say you are a newbie), I think it would be worth investing enough to buy comb from a fellow beekeeper, as the trick may not work with foundation. The bees might first tear down the inverted comb to the midrib and rebuilt it before they get a good start at drawing the foundation. That is also the reason for the excluder, because in time, they will rebuild the inverted comb, and the queen might move back down.


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