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Thread: hive conversion

  1. #1
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    Jan 2003
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    Sioux City, IA,USA
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    My hives are 18 1/2 x 20 x 11 1/2 deep. I want to convert to 16 1/2 x 20 x 9 1/2 Dadant. The large frames are too large to fit in the Dadant boxes haow do I get the brood nest into the new smaller boxes. Any ideas please.

  2. #2
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    Apr 2002
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    Round Top, New York - Northern Catskill Mtns.
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    How quick doyouwant to change over and how much work do you want to do?
    The easy and slow way: Place a standard box with frames / foundation on top of your current hive setup. They will draw it out and move up into in time. As they move up remove the vacant boxes at the bottom. You'll have to make as transision wedge to side on the front and back of the box for the size difference.
    The quick and work intensive way: Cut the comb out of the current frames and place it in new standard frames. Secure it with wire or rubber bands.into the frame.

  3. #3
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    >My hives are 18 1/2 x 20 x 11 1/2 deep. I want to convert to 16 1/2 x 20 x 9 1/2 Dadant. The large frames are too large to fit in the Dadant boxes haow do I get the brood nest into the new smaller boxes. Any ideas please.

    This is an 11 frame Dadant Deep box. Why don't you like it? It makes a nice one box brood nest. If I were moving them out (and I probably wouldn't) I'd put them in 10 frame mediums because you'll now have to have three boxes for the brood nest where you only need one now. I's just use standard supers on it with standard sized lides and throw a 1 x 2 on the side to cover the gap. But that's just me.

    Moving bees from one “hive” to another:

    (trees, old hives or other homes of bees) People often have bees in an old rotting hive that is crumbling to pieces and is so crosscombed they can’t manipulate it. Or they have a hive in a log gum, a box hive (no frames), a skep, a piece of a tree that fell down or some oddball equipment that they want to retire (such as yours) or even that they want to move them from all deeps to all mediums etc. (in your case Dadant deeps) If you want bees to abandon some current abode that can be taken home and manipulated here are some methods that I’ve used, and some variations that I have not used, but should work.

    I have used this on box hives and log gums. You want the bees to abandon their old home, but you don’t want to sacrifice all the brood. You want to get most of the bees and the queen out of the old hive into a box that is connected to the old hive. In other words there needs to be some connection between the two. A piece of plywood that is as large as the largest dimension of either one in both directions can then had a hole cut in the middle of it that is as large as the smaller of either on in both directions. By putting this between the new hive body and the old hive you have connected the two.

    The next decision is whether you want to use Bee Go, Bee Quick (similar) or smoke and drumming or just patience.

    It helps if the new hive has some drawn comb and maybe a frame of brood.

    If you want to use the fumes (Bee Go and Bee Quick) then you put the old hive on top and the new hive body on the bottom. Have a queen excluder handy. Use a soaked rag for fumes and put it as near the top of the old hive as you can. This will drive the bees down into the box. When the box seems pretty full and the old hive seems pretty empty put the excluder between. If you can easily do it, put the old hive so that the combs are upside down from what they used to be. That way the bees will be more likely to abandon it eventually because honey runs out of the cells and the combs are the wrong way for brood.

    If you want to smoke and drum, then you put the old hive on the bottom and the new one on the top. Smoke the old hive heavily and tap on the side with a pocketknife or a stick. You don’t have to do it hard like a bass drum, just a tap tap tap. Lot’s of smoke helps. Again, when it looks like most of the bees are in the top put in the excluder. It doesn’t matter what the orientation of the combs is for driving the bees out, but it helps if it is upside down now. The queen should be in the top and they will finish the brood in the bottom and then rework it for honey or abandon it.

    If you want to use patience, just make sure the old hive is upside down and the new hive on the top and wait for the bees to abandon the upside down comb and move up. This may or may not work for some time because the queen wants to stay in the brood chamber and the bees might rework the comb in the old hive. But more than likely they will move up.

    Of course you can also cut the brood comb out and tie it in the size frames you want to do this even faster.

    Just cut the brood to fit frames and tie around the frames to hold it in. This does not work for honey because it’s too heavy, so scrap the honey. Throw it in a five gallon bucket with a lid to keep out the bees trying to clean up the spill. Try to put the brood in an empty hive box and keep brushing or shaking the bees off into it. If you see the queen, then catch her and put her in the hive box. If you get some brood and the queen in the hive box the rest of the bees will eventually follow. If you don’t see the queen, then just keep putting bees in the box and brood comb in frames in the box and honey in the bucket until the combs are all gone. Take the bucket and, if you can, leave for a few hours and let the bees figure out where the queen and the other bees are. The will all settle into the new box. At dark they should all be inside and you can close it up and take it home.

    Ore if you are more patient you can just throw the boxes you want on top with the one by two on the side and wait for them to move up. They will probably move up over winter if not sooner.

  4. #4
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    Jan 2003
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    Sioux City, IA,USA
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    Thanks
    This is an 11 frame Dadant Deep box. Why don't you like it? It makes a nice one box brood nest

    *A lot of the frames are shot. I was contemplateing going to something I could buy from Dadant. Maybe there is a place to buy the large frames. I am using a 2x4 trimmed down for a filler between new supers. They always get knocked off or something. I don't have enough of the larger supers. I could make some but I never seem to have the time.
    I am a little confused about the slow but patient route. My experience has always been that the brood nest moves down from the super I leave on for feed in the winter to the large frame box during the summer. You wrote ----Ore if you are more patient you can just throw the boxes you want on top with the one by two on the side and wait for them to move up. They will probably move up over winter if not sooner.
    Are you meaning wait for another season? I'm not that patient?

    Part of the reason I wanted to move this hive to new boxes was that one of these hives is pretty hot and I wanted to use your method of spitting them up and requeen but I didn't have enough equipment so I bought some new boxes without seeing that the depth was wrong until I tryed to move the brood nest frames to the new boxes and the new boxes were too shallow. Fun with a hot hive ha ha. only one sting, but I move fast when in trouble.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    Once the new boxes are drawn out and occupied on top, move it to the bottom with an excluder on top of it. Either find the queen and put her in the new box on the bottom, or shake all the bee out in front of the entrance. The queen will now be in the new equipment, and you can remove the old equipment as soon as the brood is all hatched. I use a lot of 11 1/4"frames. They make a great brood chamber.

  6. #6
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    But be sure to provide an upper entrance above the excluder for the drones to get out.

  7. #7
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    Usually I'm for a happy medium but I admit, in the case of a brood nest I either want frames deep enough that it's all on one level or shallow enough I can lift them. I'm experimenting with the Dadant deeps and I think I like them.

    But back to the bees. Usually at the end of winter I find them at the top of the top box. Maybe some of that is climate or the kind of bees, I don't know, but that's what usually happens to me.

    Shaking them out works, but if it's a hot hive, you probably don't want to do that. Also, if it's a hot hive you probably don't want to cut all the combs out and transfer them.

    I'd be tempted, if you have some nucs, to stack two nuc boxes on a bottom with a lid and put four frames in each nuc (spaced out a bit or put in a filler) The Dadant deeps will fit in them and you can maybe find the queen, requeen and then put them back in the big box and wait for them to calm down. Then worry about the transfer.

  8. #8
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    Sioux City, IA,USA
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    OdFrank
    Where are you getting the 11 1/4 frames or are you making them?

  9. #9
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    Aug 2002
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    I know he used to get them from Western Bee Supply and I bought some from them. But someone said they are now out. They never listed them you had to ask for them. You can buy them from http://www.swienty.com/engelsk/frames2.html But the shipping from Sweden is horrendous.

    Clay was talking about maybe making some for sale? I am contemplating this also if he doesn't.

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