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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Sydeny, Australia
    Posts
    7

    Default Neglected Hive - how to remove to new hive

    Hi all,

    I was lucky enough to be given a bee hive full of bees, after looking inside I discovered that they have been neglected and unmaintained for a long time - to the point where the frames have all been joined with comb and wax so it is now impossible to remove any individual frames.

    My question is how do i remove and transfer the bees to a clean hive with new frames etc.

    I would like to keep these bees and eventually split the hive and start my own little apiary.

    Your expertise and guidance would be greatly appreciated.

    Chela

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Houston, TX, USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Neglected Hive - how to remove to new hive

    The Walter Kelley monthly email newsletter for the past two months included a two part article/story with lots of photos on abandoned hives, assessing the bee's condition, and getting the bees out. The July email was just sent out, I coincidentally just finished reading it before I clicked over here to browse Beesource.

    See story starting on page 10 here:
    July 2013 edition

    and see part one of "Abandoned Hives" article here:
    June 2013
    https://kelleybees.com/Newsletter/ju...newsletter.pdf
    Cheryl
    "Luck favors the prepared!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,817

    Default Re: Neglected Hive - how to remove to new hive

    It actually may not be as bad as it looks, any unmaintained hive for a period of time will have lots of burr comb and bridge comb at the tops of the frames. Tip the hive up and look at the bottoms of the frames, there shouldn't be as much connective comb down there. Smoke the bees good from the bottom so you can see between the frames, if it looks like the combs are separate from each other, the hive may be ok as is. You can clean up the wax between the frames a little at a time until the frames can be removed and inspected. If there are 10 frames in the brood chamber boxes, its going to be tight, you may want to remove one permanently and get down to 9 frames and then space them out evenly. John

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    8,973

    Default Re: Neglected Hive - how to remove to new hive

    Chela, are you not in the winter season? Typically where I am the bottom box is empty of bees and brood in the spring and you can just pull it out and clean it up no problem.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,817

    Default Re: Neglected Hive - how to remove to new hive

    I think the problem is with the box with the bees in it, not an empty box. John

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    East Peoria, IL
    Posts
    398

    Default Re: Neglected Hive - how to remove to new hive

    There was an article (part 1) in last months free Walter T Kelly newsletter continued in this months newsletter on this very topic.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    8,973

    Default Re: Neglected Hive - how to remove to new hive

    Leave it on the bottom and next year it will be empty. Of course, like you say how bad is it?

    I also think in the spring if you have drawn comb you can pile on two or three boxes and a few frames of honey in two weeks the brood nest will go right to the top leaving the bottom box empty.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    1,241

    Default Re: Neglected Hive - how to remove to new hive

    I am assuming you have little experience with bees? although acebird has given you what I feel is the best method. You probably have no additional drawn frames.
    If that is correct, I would treat it like a cut out. look the situation over well being in a hive. as long as it is a langstrop or alike you can manipulate it to look in from the bottom and try to see what you have going on. then pare at the bur comb (bridge Comb) that joins the top Until you can get a frame out from the outside edge of the hive. once you have the first frame out you can then pare, scrape and pry the next frame toward the opening created by the removed frame. remember the bees have to have "bee space between the frames so they can go about hive operations. I think you will find the frames are spaces just below the top bars. have your new home ready for the bee so you can put the frames in it. I do not know if you are working with 1,2,3, hive bodies or what exactly. but try to consolidate things to one hive body, then add a new body and frames on top the bees will as move up and you can eventually cycle the old stuff out. If you cannot fit it all in one hive body. make two and allow one to build a new queen. then your little apiary will be on it's way.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Houston, TX, USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Neglected Hive - how to remove to new hive

    Quote Originally Posted by DLMKA View Post
    There was an article (part 1) in last months free Walter T Kelly newsletter continued in this months newsletter on this very topic.
    Hmm... I posted a link to these articles in the Kelley newsletter as a response to the original post a few hours ago, but it hasn't shown up yet, is linking such as this not allowed ? Or maybe my post wasn't approved by a moderator for a different reason?
    Cheryl
    "Luck favors the prepared!"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,644

    Default Re: Neglected Hive - how to remove to new hive

    > Hmm... I posted a link to these articles in the Kelley newsletter as a response to the original post a few hours ago, but it hasn't shown up yet, is linking such as this not allowed ?

    A few Beesource forums seem to have restrictions/moderator approvals on attached photos, but I am not aware there are restrictions on links. Posts to the "Bee Forum" (this one) are not moderated in advance.

    Here is the Kelley series you mentioned. Part 1:
    https://kelleybees.com/Newsletter/ju...newsletter.pdf

    Part 2
    http://app.newpanda.com/public/share...newsletter.pdf

    Look for the article titled "Abandoned hives".
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Houston, TX, USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Neglected Hive - how to remove to new hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    Posts to the "Bee Forum" (this one) are not moderated in advance.
    Oh...? I sometimes see the message that my post is "waiting for moderator approval" when I click the button to post-quick-replay, and then it will take between 15 mins to an hour for those posts to appear on the forum?
    Cheryl
    "Luck favors the prepared!"

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Sydeny, Australia
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Neglected Hive - how to remove to new hive

    Hi all,

    - jmgi, I had a better look and its pretty messed up inside, it has 10 frames and the comb is old and many tunnels weaved between the frames, from the bottom I must say it does look a lot better.

    - Acebird, yes we are in winter however our winters here in Sydney are very light on, we don't get snow and rarely see frost where I am the bees tend to carry on.... business as usual.

    - Tenbears, you are right, my experience is limited and this is the only hive I have. The hive is a Langstrop hive as far as I have been told and I see what you mean about the bee space between the frames. There is a honey super on top with a queen excluder in between the two..I like your suggestion of separating and splitting then having 2 hives :-)

    - DLMKA, bemocked and Rader Sidetrack - thanks re: the article "abandoned Hives" - the pictures and detail really helps.


    My Sincere thanks to you all, your knowledge and advice is very much appreciated. I look forward to carefully separating the frames, then making a split - with a bit of luck and many stings later I should have as TenBears said .....my very own "little apiary" :-)

    Have a wonderfull day !!!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    8,973

    Default Re: Neglected Hive - how to remove to new hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Chela View Post
    - Acebird, yes we are in winter however our winters here in Sydney are very light on, we don't get snow and rarely see frost where I am the bees tend to carry on.... business as usual.
    There is no dearth in the winter, no expansion, or swarm season in the spring?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Sydeny, Australia
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Neglected Hive - how to remove to new hive

    Hi Acebird,

    Being new in this field all I know is that the bees work and collect nectar all year round where I am, Yes they swarm but don't seem to stop and cluster together in winter like they do in colder parts of the world.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    8,973

    Default Re: Neglected Hive - how to remove to new hive

    They may not cluster but usually there is a dearth where a nectar source dries up for a period of time. That is when the colony will shut down the queen or just slow her down from laying eggs. In preparation of a coming nectar source the colony then builds back up again.

    Not having a cold season is great. I would think that if you threw on empty boxes on top of this messed up box the colony will move right up into it leaving the bottom one empty for a short spell prior to a coming flow. Maybe that doesn't work in your area but I would think it would.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Sydeny, Australia
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Neglected Hive - how to remove to new hive

    Hi Acebird,

    My neighbor said there is a beekeeper nearby so I will pay him a visit and ask when the dearth is - I wouldn't recognise it even if i tripped over it lol.

    If I haven't missed it I will place my new supers on top and cross my fingers.

    Many thanks for the tip :-)

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