Hello. I am a relatively new bee keeper and I have a problem.
I bought a 2 deep lang hive and a package of bees in spring of 2011. They died out in March of 2012. I took out several of the black plastic frames to collect what remained of honey. ( I do not know why this hive died, the inspector had said they looked good in early summer)
I had planned on setting out some swarm traps near a known feral hive in a tree, not very far from me to replace my bees. I never got the chance, has I cut a couple of tendons in my hand, and was layed up most of the year. Rusted nut, cheap open ended wrench, sharp jagged metal, man in a hurry, accidents will happen.
Sometime in summer a swarm moved into the hive. I could not work the hive, and thought it likely they would not survive the winter being a summer swarm. Well they did survive, and look to be doing good.
The past weekend was very nice here in central Ohio, so I popped the lid and inner cover off, and boy I have a mess, because of the missing frames.
( just pried the inner cover up a bit to take a peek).
I wish to switch to top bars. Or maybe just a horizontal with frames and or top bars. After my accident, working a Lang would be problematic. And I was planning on building one anyway has I like the concept. Planned on building a Kenyan, but will have to build a Tanzanian first, or I guess since I have frames a long hive.
My problems and questions
1. I have 3 plastic frames along the sides in the upper box and comb hanging from the inner cover looks to be full of honey. I plan on building some hinged cut out frames to deal with this. Should I go with a width of 1 1/2 inches for both honey comb and possibly brood I find in the top box and likely brood comb in the lower? I can not recall if I took frames out of the lower last year, but I think I did. Should I make some cut out frames 1 3/8?
2 I am not sure how to construct the long hive to utilize these plastic frames and homemade TBs or frames. Should I fasten the plastic frames to a 1 1/2 wide board? Or should I place the plastic frames with a gap (width of?) and cover with a burlap or cloth cover? Or thin plywood? Thinking of swarm control and moving empty top bars between brood later in the spring.
Should I rabbit a rest for the frames?. What should be the space between the outer plastic frame and the inside of the hive?.
3 When should I do this? The next warm day or wait a bit. I saw a small amount of pollen being taken in last weekend, not much but some.
4 Just general advise. Have been watching lots of youtube videos of cut outs, but not much to be found on moving a neglected lang hive to a horizontal hive .