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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    dora, al
    Posts
    8

    Default Overwintered swarm from last year

    I have an old hive that I had a swarm move into last spring. The hive has 5 frames is such rough shape I can't remove them to inspect without tearing them up. The hive body and bottom board also needs replaced. I placed another deep on top of them last fall with the hopes they would move up and start drawing the comb out on the new foundation but so far that hasn't happened. My question is... Should I put the 5 frames that I can get out of the old bottom hive into the upper deep and try to get the queen with them. Then put an excluder in between the new top and old bottom until all brood has hatched in the old bottom? Then once all brood has hatched in bottom remove the old bottom hive and bottom board and place the newer upper hive on a new good bottom board. Will doing all of this swapping around screw up the hive?? If this sounds appropirate should I put on a new medium super around this same time?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,718

    Default Re: Overwintered swarm from last year

    This is very easy to do. I did this every time and it works out great. I rebuilt hive
    boxes when needed. Then just put all 5 frames into a new box. Transfer all the bees and all the frames.
    Be sure to look for the queen and transfer her as well. Be very careful to not crush/roll the queen too.
    Then get rid of the old hive box. They wouldn't mind having a new home at all. This is the best way
    with the least interruption to them. But I did this either just before the sunset or in mid night with a
    red LED miner's light. This is so that they don't fly around and bee confused too much.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,956

    Default Re: Overwintered swarm from last year

    Working bees at dusk with a miners light is not on my top ten list! Bees tend to get cranky as hell then and crawl into your every orofice. I would do it on a mild windless day when a honeyflow is on and a lot of the aggressive bees are out working in the field instead of crawling all over you in the dark. The bees will need to expand into the new equipment and that will take a good honeyflow and build up. If you have time and can catch the queen laying in the new equipment, the excluder is a good plan. Otherwise search threads on cut outs.

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