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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    parker county, tx
    Posts
    7,923

    Post

    I was offered an old hive today by a business acquaintance, if I want it. The hive was left out in the back of a field behind a place of business and has not been worked or had any human intervention for the past 5 or more years. I went and looked at the hive externally (didn't have any of my equipment with me). It consists of 1 deep super (hive body) with 3 medium and 2 shallow supers on top of that. It looks like the bees no longer use the hive entrance, but rather are now using two lower corners of the top super (where the wood was either broken or rotted) for going in and out of the hive. I couldn't see the original entrance due to the position of the hive. There was lots of coming and going by the bees, and they look like slightly smaller than usual Italians, if I had to take my best guess. I did not see any defensive behavior when I got fairly close to the hive. I would bet the bottom board is fairly rotted, and the supers probably aren't in the best of shape either. My question is this: What's the best way to move the hive considering that some of the wood may be pretty weak? I didn't see a queen excluder, unless it is plastic or just wire without a wood frame. If the hive is full, there's no way I can move it due to the weight without completely breaking it down super by super. Will it be propolis and wax hell? Any suggestions? Thanks for any info.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Galloway Oh
    Posts
    44

    Post

    Yes it will be full of propolis. The one thing you have going for you is that if it hasnt been worked in 5yrs, it is pretty mite resistant. In order to move it I would use screen to cover the entrances, and wrap the hive with ratchet tie down straps.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    parker county, tx
    Posts
    7,923

    Post

    Thanks for the reply. I kind of figure that if it has been "on its own" for over 5 years it must be pretty disease free too. My main concern is that even if I use the straps you mention, which is the only idea I could come up with so far, that the bottom board may just crumble or fall apart, and the weight of the hive is prohibitive to getting it up in the back of my truck, even using a dolly. Don't know- will have to give it some more thought. Thanks for the suggestion.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,805

    Post

    If it is that bad a shape, I would first transfer the frames from the rotten supers into good ones and add a new bottom board.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Drums, PA, USA
    Posts
    331

    Post

    If it is that bad a shape, I would first transfer the frames from the rotten supers into good ones and add a new bottom board as Odfrank said, It would save alot of time, and "what ifs" if you know what I mean. I think I would rather be safe than sorry, and you can see what is going on in there and determine if it is worth the time and effort. Sometimes things appear different than they really are. Just my opinion...

    Dale

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
    Posts
    2,837

    Big Grin

    Here is something I read last night in 'The Complete Guide to Beekeeping' (p 50) by Roger A Morse.

    REMOVING BEES FROM A TREE OR BOX:

    "Drumming ia a method of moving bees from fixed comb hives that is several centuries old. If you beat rhythmically on the sides of a hive with your hands or with a hammer, the bees will soon walk upwards. You can place a super or cardbord box above the old nest and the bees will move into it."

    Sounds easy! If you try this, and IT WORKS, please give me a reply. Good Luck!!!

    ------------------


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,481

    Post

    Since you have frames, however badly glued together they may be, it would be easier, in my opinion, to tranfer the frames to good boxes with a good bottom etc. If you really want to run the bees out without taking out the frames there are several methods that can work including a wire cone, lots of smoke, drumming etc. But I would consider them a last resort.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    parker county, tx
    Posts
    7,923

    Post

    I don't really want to get rid of any frames unless they are just destroyed in transferring them to new woodenward. My biggest concern is that I will tear them up removing them from the hive they are now in. I didn't have my bee stuff with me when I looked at the hive externally, so I need to get back over there and have a look inside to see what I'm really dealing with. Will it hurt anything to divide the hive into 2-3 sections for the move? I just can't see loading a 5 ft tall hive into the back of a toyota truck and moving it 12 miles all stacked up. I thought maybe I could take a couple of extra hive tops to cap over the sections, or find a huge box and cut a couple of vent holes and cover them with screen for the move. Thanks to all for the suggestions.

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