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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Randolph County, NC
    Posts
    26

    Default Just bought a hive of local survivor bees.. but..

    I just bought a hive from a local beekeeper, with some bees that swarmed out of one of his hives a just a few days ago. It is a local "survivor" bee that he has had untreated for the last 5 years. He started with one hive, and had 5 now, before selling me this one.

    Anyhow.. there are a few caveats.

    I have all medium boxes, and this is a deep brood box. I'd like to keep everything the same, but that part isn't that big of a deal.

    The main problem with this deep box is.. it has 9 frame spacer inserts screwed into it. The hive has 2 frames of drawn comb, and the rest are just foundation (except what they have drawn in the last few days)

    The bees have only been in the hive for 3 days, and I just moved the hive this evening. I don't want to mess with it too much too soon because I fear they will abscond.

    Should I
    1. Move the frames to a new deep box, so that they will be spaced properly for brood?
    2. Move the frames to a 2 stack of medium boxes with the undrawn frames replaced with medium frames so that I can later remove the deep frames?
    3. Do nothing
    4. Do something else I haven't thought of.

    What would you do, and how long should I wait before doing anything at all?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Litchfield, CT, USA
    Posts
    414

    Default Re: Just bought a hive of local survivor bees.. but..

    I would move to a new deep box with the frames they have drawn out? Do you have drawn med frames? They will use what you put in there. If they draw comb below the med you could cut that back later and reattach to empty frames later. This way you can slowly migrate them to the med.
    "Someday we will look back and realize someone was right...and conveniently forget we were the ones that were wrong."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Randolph County, NC
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Just bought a hive of local survivor bees.. but..

    No, I don't have any drawn medium frames. Just getting started this year.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    fauquier, va, usa
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Just bought a hive of local survivor bees.. but..

    if its only 2 frames of drawn comb, perhaps you could transfer just those two frames (and ALL the bees) to the top box of a double medium with all (other) medium frames and foundation (except the two directly below where you place the deep frames, which you would have to leave empty, temporarily)
    they will probably make a mess below those two frames, but you could let them get a little more established before you chop and crop the deeps into medium frames.
    i have no experience with this and i'm sure there are lots of reasons not to do it, but its the first idea that came to mind...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    735

    Default Re: Just bought a hive of local survivor bees.. but..

    What about a new deep box, just one box, put in the 2 deep frames in the middle then medium frames for the rest. I have deeps that have medium frames, maybe not 8 to 2 but a couple per box at the most. On some they draw comb on the bottom of the frame, nice straight comb that I can cut off if I want and reframe. Then as they build out, move the two deep frames to the outside until they are empty of brood, and eventually move the 8 medium frame to medium box and add 2 empty frames.
    Maybe more experienced will know if this is not a good idea, or a better idea.
    "Rule Three of beekeeping...Never cease to feel wonder" Laurie R. King--
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,064

    Default Re: Just bought a hive of local survivor bees.. but..

    I'd just throw a medium box on top and next spring remove the deep all together when the brood is in the medium.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,643

    Default Re: Just bought a hive of local survivor bees.. but..

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Beeman View Post
    I'd just throw a medium box on top and next spring remove the deep all together when the brood is in the medium.
    I like this idea or, move only the frames the the queen has layed brood in into into the edge of two medium boxes, and remove them after the brood moves off to the center of the hive of medium frames. The worst thing that will happen is that you will get some wild comb hanging into the empty space below them that you will have to cut off when you remove them.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Randolph County, NC
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Just bought a hive of local survivor bees.. but..

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Beeman View Post
    I'd just throw a medium box on top and next spring remove the deep all together when the brood is in the medium.
    You wouldn't worry about the 9 frame spacer in the brood box?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,064

    Default Re: Just bought a hive of local survivor bees.. but..

    Believe me, the bees will cope and barely think about it. I've had a few cutouts under my belt. You'd be surprised how bees cope with adversity and bee space.

    Lex 012.jpg

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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,861

    Default Re: Just bought a hive of local survivor bees.. but..

    I would leave them alone. If they are a newly caught swarm you might change their minds about staying around if you manipulate their current box in any way.

    If I may ask? What is the going price for a swarm?
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,070

    Default Re: Just bought a hive of local survivor bees.. but..

    Quote Originally Posted by taftech View Post
    You wouldn't worry about the 9 frame spacer in the brood box?
    I run 9 frames in all of my deeps all the time. Makes it so much easier to inspect and the bees don't seem to care at all.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Portland, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    222

    Default Re: Just bought a hive of local survivor bees.. but..

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Beeman View Post
    I'd just throw a medium box on top and next spring remove the deep all together when the brood is in the medium.
    Sounds like an excellent idea Mr Beeman. As for the spacers, I would remove them if possible. All 10 frames should yield you more brood. If you can't remove them, let it go.
    Beeman
    All things may be lawful; but not all things are advantagous.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Randolph County, NC
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Just bought a hive of local survivor bees.. but..

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrass View Post
    If I may ask? What is the going price for a swarm?
    The full hive plus the 5+ lbs of bees in it was $175. You can certainly find hives for less, but this is a locally well known "strain" of bees that is known to be very disease and mite resistant, and is fairly hard to come by.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Randolph County, NC
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Just bought a hive of local survivor bees.. but..

    Quote Originally Posted by Keth Comollo View Post
    I run 9 frames in all of my deeps all the time. Makes it so much easier to inspect and the bees don't seem to care at all.
    Good to know, I thought the spacers were mainly just for use in honey supers, with fully drawn frames.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Randolph County, NC
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Just bought a hive of local survivor bees.. but..

    Quote Originally Posted by beeman2009 View Post
    Sounds like an excellent idea Mr Beeman. As for the spacers, I would remove them if possible. All 10 frames should yield you more brood. If you can't remove them, let it go.

    The spacers are screwed in, so I would need to move all the frames into a different deep box in order to remove them. I'm fine with doing this, I just don't know if it is a good idea as far as disturbing them too much.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: Just bought a hive of local survivor bees.. but..

    Sound like good bees. I would just let them build up for now. They should draw out the foundation pretty quick. Then you can add a second box and make a split to form a new hive of mediums a bit later on.
    NM desert/mountain beekeeper - Black Mesa Honeybees.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Randolph County, NC
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Just bought a hive of local survivor bees.. but..

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul McCarty View Post
    Sound like good bees. I would just let them build up for now.
    That is kind of what I am leaning towards.

    Just thinking out-loud here.. but what if I add mediums (as it grows) to the bottom, will they keep the brood down low, and I'd eventually be able to replace it that way?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Harrisonburg Va
    Posts
    174

    Default Re: Just bought a hive of local survivor bees.. but..

    Lots of good answers...too bad you can,t try them all ! ...I go with paul mccartny....and after you make a split into mediums sell what you bought next year if you don't care for deeps...you will have good bees for little investment and another beek can get good stock

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Randolph County, NC
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Just bought a hive of local survivor bees.. but..

    Quote Originally Posted by honeybeebee View Post
    Lots of good answers...too bad you can,t try them all !
    Yeah. that is the problem with a newb like me getting advice from other beekeepers. They all have different opinions of what the best thing to do is!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Southern half, UK
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Just bought a hive of local survivor bees.. but..

    Just to make you more confused, I'll throw in another idea.

    If the bees are only using two frames why not put follower boards either side of them, and put one of your medium boxes directly above. They will have to move upwards.

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