Its still me Palika with more to my previous post. I've been reading the previous q&a from ken's post and it seems he is trying to transfer to tbh and small/natural cell. So I understand a little more from that, but.......
I lost all of my traditional hives (5) last winter due to mites. I've been using this equipement and keeping bees for 4 summers and I've never used any type of treatment for mites or anything, cause I figured they would resist naturally over time on their own. But last winter I lost 4 hives to mites.Because I had not harvested my last honey supers and the hives were empty for most of the winter, by Feb they were filled with ants, mold, moths, pincher bugs and spiders - yuck!
Being overwhelmed with the mess and so many supers to clean up - 8 brood supers and 10-12 sugared and moldy honey supers - I cleaned up 2 hives this spring. Two swarms came in May and moved in, into the UNCLEANED hives and they have made them immaculate now. There is no excess honey, they ate all of the moldy sugared stuff and they have a bit of nectar started and lots of pollen.
Today another swarm came and chose an UNCLEANED hive which was 5 stories high and was closed up except for a little crack which they managed to find.
Seems like an ideal time to do something with the two semi-established hives and the new ones today. Any ideas??? I don't want to spend alot of money. Can you convert traditional frames to top bar strength?
Can i leave the brood for now on the large cell until next spring and then above a queen excluder put all empty top bars with some starter comb that i get from somewhere (where?)
Doesn't seem like I have the honey production thing going on, because they missed that, just cleaning up the horrendous mess and the new one has nothing to begin with starting today???? Is it too late to expect them to draw out lots of comb to get by overwinter. It will get cold here starting in November unless we have a weird October.
Thanks again for your wisdom, seems llike there are some real knowledgable folks here.