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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    SCOTLAND
    Posts
    8

    Cool

    the hive as been left unattended for 20years and the bottom has rotten through any idea's?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,301

    Post

    Is there a queen excluder on it? Are the boxes solid enough to remove the excluder (if there is one)? The main trick to getting bees out of an existing hive is to get the queen out of it. Wait for the brood to hatch and then scrap it all for honey. It's getting a bit late in the year for all of that, but if you have to, you can feed the honey back to them and they will put it away pretty quickly.

    If the boxes are solid and you like the Bee-Go method, you can put a couple of good boxes on the ground and put each of the new boxes on top with a pad of chemicals to drive the bees down into the new boxes. When the box is empty set it aside and do the next one. When all the bees are in the new box, put an excluder on (to keep the queen from moving back to the old brood nest) and stack all the old boxes on top to let the brood hatch out first.

    The drumming/smoking method works better for moving them up and so it works better if the boxes are disintegrating. Just put one of two new boxes on top with frames and drawn comb (if you have it) or foundation. Leave the lids off for now. Get lots of fuel handy and put a lot in the smoker and get it well lit. Two smokers and two handlers would be nice, but not necessary. With two of you it's easier to keep the smokers lit and you have someone to smoke while you drum. Take a stick or a pocket knife or something that you can "drum" (tap) on the side of the boxes. Again the integrity of the wood is an issue. You don't want to punch a hole in the old boxes. Smoke them really heavy and don't let up while you drum on the side. Just a medium tap tap tap will do. Don't be trying to beat on it. The bees will run up from the smoke and up from the drumming. When they are literally pouring out the top of the box. When they are pouring out, set that box on a bottom board and put on another box and keep going. It might not hurt to have three brood boxes, depending on how many bees you think you have. Again the only bee you really care about is the queen. If most of the bees have moved up, she will go with them. Now you put an excluder on the old boxes and tne new boxes (with the bees and hopefully the queen) on top of that. Come back in a day and see if they settled down.

    Another trick, that depends on having the boxes being sound and having the queen in the new boxes, is to turn the old ones upside down. This doesn't kill the brood in them, but it makes them useless to the bees so they aren't so intent on moving back the old brood nest. Otherwise, sometimes they will abandon the queen in the new part to take care of the brood in the old part.

    Of course there is always the brute force method. Just tear it apart a comb at a time and brush the bees into your new equipment or vacum them off of the combs. Sort the combs into brood and honey. throw the honey in a box with a lid to harvest and the brood in another box to clean them up. If you clean up a few (scrape off the burr etc.) and put them in the box you're putting the bees in it will go easier getting them to settle in the new equipment. Some lemongrass oil in the new equipment won't hurt either, but a couple of frames of brood should do. After you have gone through all the frames, go back and debur all of the brood and put them in the new boxes along with some empty frmes so they have some room and put the lid on the new one and remove all of the old equipment from the site. After they settle down, move the hive as you would any other.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Montezuma, GA USA
    Posts
    69

    Post

    Is that Scotland Georgia, or the real Scotland just north of England? If the frames are intact then pull the frames and put them in a new box and bottom board. With 20 years of neglect you will have to be careful extricating the frames due to all the propalis that the bees will have put on them. Other methods would be to put a deep super on top and wait for the queen to move up (several months probably) then you could take her with the newer top super and add a bottom board and cover, as long as you don't leave any brood behind the rest of the bees will follow. Hope this helps

    Mark

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    SCOTLAND
    Posts
    8

    Smile

    thanks for the advice i'll let you know how i get on i think i should tell you that i'm not even a novice beekeeper but iwill be once i get this swarm.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,301

    Post

    It's a hard way to start. You have to deal with conditions that you normally don't have to in a hive. It's possible that all the frames are usable. You could pull them out one at a time and scrape off all of the burr and crosscombs and put them in the new boxes and maybe that will work fine.

    Since they are living in a hive, I'd say they aren't a swarm. You're just transfering them to a new home.

    I would do it in spurts. Be ready to put the lid on the old hive and the new one and walk away now and then to let them calm down.

    Good luck.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    SCOTLAND
    Posts
    8

    Post

    thank you for all the help and advice so far sorry I haven't replied sooner but I don't have regular access to a computer.

    After four attempts and being stung real bad i've managed to rehive the colony last week. I intend to move it this weekend.

    Could you please tell me if there is any way of knowing if i have the queen? It is a very large colony and ive transfered it to the new hive which now consists of two deep brood boxes two supers three full of brood and one super with a seperating box.

    Would it be advisable to try and split the colony as they are quite aggressive? And an old beekeeper told me it is because the queen is old and they have not swarmed this year, is this correct?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Neodesha, Ks
    Posts
    617

    Post

    Probaably the old BeeKeeper knows what he is talking about. If they stay in the hive and the activity looks normal [Bees coming and going bringing in Pollen] I think that you probably have a Queen. She may not be the best but after they settle down you can always requeen. Give them a while and don't bother them for a few days and see how they act. If Micheal Bush could reply he would have an answer. Guess we will have to get along without his wisdom for a week.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Wyoming MN
    Posts
    406

    Post

    They have just been traumatized, they will be rather touchy for awhile. Make sure everything is stapled together when you move them. After you get them moved, let them settle for a few days, and then go in with gear and smoker, and see if they are still as cranky. Could you/did you use any of the old frames? After they have settled, looking for eggs is the best way, short of finding the queen, to determine her presence. How are there stores? Are you feeding them? If you didn't move much honey from their old hive, I would start feeding them, it may also help settle them down.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,262

    Post

    "Guess we will have to get along without his wisdom for a week."

    I sure to appreciate Micheals contributions. What a swell guy.......

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,262

    Post

    "Guess we will have to get along without his wisdom for a week."

    I sure Do appreciate Micheals contributions. What a swell guy.......

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA USA
    Posts
    119

    Big Grin

    You can say that again!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Lenexa, Kansas
    Posts
    445

    Post

    If you DIDN'T get the queen, they will likely make themselves a new one, assuming some eggs or young larvae got moved.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    >"Guess we will have to get along without his wisdom for a week."
    I sure Do appreciate Micheals contributions. What a swell guy.......


    And we think you are a swell gal......

    Daisy -
    See the little icon above your message that looks like a pad of paper and a pencil?

    If you click on it you can edit your message without having to retype the whole thing and no one will know what part of your message you corrected.

    You will also have only one message instead of two.

    Next week we will be studying preferences. Sharpen your pencil.

    Bill

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,301

    Post

    If there was fresh open brood and eggs in the old hive it's most likely they had a queen and if they didn't all cluster somewhere else other than in your hive, then she's probably in the hive. If not, they will raise another. If there is no open brood I would worry about a queen.

    >what a swell guy

    Thanks for all the kind words.

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