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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Lower Lake, California, USA
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    173

    Default Best way to swap out junk??

    Hello all, I'm a newbie and I have a bit of a dilemma.

    I've been taking classes and couple of weeks ago I purchased one nuc (installed in a new deep with 10 foundation frames) and one hive that was one deep and one super from my beemaster/instructor. He told me to added a deep with 10 frames of foundation after 10 days. I think I can deal with the nuc it only has four of the frames replaced with his gear and I did not add a deep because only a couple of the new foundation frames were drawn.

    The full one and a half hive is a different story. The short super has a couple of frames with tabs broken off and some other frames that little pieces of tin have been screwed on to replace broken tabs. So when I added the deep, between the lower deep and shallow super, I also screwed little tabs so the frames would set right (well kind of). I did not get into the lower deep other than to scrape burr comb from the tops. The outside of the lower is not the best shape and has pieces of tin stapled over a couple of holes. The bottom board is warped enough that the center of the entrance touches bottom of the lower deep.

    I hope this gives enough information to advise me on how best to swap out new gear. I've already made a new screen bottom board and I have three extra deep boxes and frames with foundation for two of them. I don't want to mess with the hives to frequently only for fear of screwing them up. At the minimum I would like to replace the bottom board and the outside of the deep box.

    The best way to slowly replace all the old frames would be my next goal. Maybe I'm just too meticulous and if so let me know!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Slidell, LA, USA
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: Best way to swap out junk??

    Good question, it appears the best way to get rid of old frames is to sell nucs.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    1,258

    Default Re: Best way to swap out junk??

    Although I am not quite clear on what you have. It seems as though the there is a complete second hive that is empty. Is that correct? If so simply toss the old damaged frames. Replace them with new ones, when you add a second hive body the bees will draw out the new frames. When they are 75 to 80 % drawn, add a queen excluder and honey super, which also can have new frames, old drawn frames in good shape, or a combination of both. Next spring when you open the hive the bees will be in the top hive body which will have the new frames. Move it to the bottom and replace the damaged frames in what was the bottom box which will now be placed on top. Place the date on the top bar of any new frame. So you can begin to cycle them out when they get to be 5 years old or so. Good luck and keep them flying!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,324

    Default Re: Best way to swap out junk??

    When we find a frame that needs switched yet is full of brood, pollen or honey we "brand" it by putting a deep scratch on the top bar (we call it the death mark) and usually move it to the outside of the box at least until it becomes brood free and then switch it for a foundation at a later date. We try to keep new frames handy to switch in if the opportunity presents itself. If there is only a little honey and starting a robbing event isn't a concern we might remove it and place it nearby to be robbed out. It's a frustrating and seemingly endless process, the better your bees are the harder it is to get old comb out.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Lower Lake, California, USA
    Posts
    173

    Default Re: Best way to swap out junk??

    Thanks all. Yes I have extra hive parts to make a new hive plus (I also have two Nuc size traps out on the edge of the woods).

    So if I have this correct, Keep the old stuff till next spring (box) and change out frames to the out side and when empty replace? I should have said that the hive & 1/2 was packed full of bee with some brood in the supper.
    Can I set the old boxes on a new bottom board?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,803

    Default Re: Best way to swap out junk??

    Quote Originally Posted by alblancher View Post
    it appears the best way to get rid of old frames is to sell nucs.

    Not if you intend to stay in the nuc selling business. Selling junk frames will come home to haunt you. You should only sell frames in a nuc that you would be proud to use yourself.

    cchoganjr

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    1,258

    Default Re: Best way to swap out junk??

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleo C. Hogan Jr View Post
    Not if you intend to stay in the nuc selling business. Selling junk frames will come home to haunt you. You should only sell frames in a nuc that you would be proud to use yourself.

    cchoganjr
    Amen to That!!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Harrisonburg Va
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: Best way to swap out junk??

    I don't see how the guy who sold me my first nuc sleeps...frames had dates on them that were 8 yrs. Old.....total crap....replaced them asap....money well spent...I sleep better

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    longton, kansas USA
    Posts
    596

    Default Re: Best way to swap out junk??

    Quote Originally Posted by alblancher View Post
    Good question, it appears the best way to get rid of old frames is to sell nucs.
    hahaha yeah my nucs this year had some nice 'antique' frames hahaha.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,264

    Default Re: Best way to swap out junk??

    I purchased 3 nucs..some of the wooden frames are so rotted out that they sag in my deep! I was amazed that nucs came with such a hodge podge of frames and foundation. Some frames were rotted wood, some black plastic, some had no foundation some had old plastic foundation. Somehow for $180 I thought it would all be neat and tidy but then I guess the state of the bees that are with the frames is what really counts.

    Seeing photos of tidy wooden box nucs on line did not align well with the cardboard box of mixed frames and bees. When the bees were transferred from the wooden nuc to the cardboard box nuc a huge cloud of bees was in the air...never made it into the cardboard box at all! They were incredibly angry...when the cardboard nuc was put in my vehicle bees from the cloud came with it...I was stung several times Is this the norm for nuc purchase and pick up?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,803

    Default Re: Best way to swap out junk??

    Quote Originally Posted by WBVC View Post
    ( Is this the norm for nuc purchase and pick up?
    It isn't for me. Of course, I am a small nuc seller, (100-125 each year) but, I close the entrance off before daylight, so the customer gets all the bees. I have been doing this for a few years now, so, the frames in this year's nucs, were new frames last year and overwintered. Remember, it is virtually impossible to get good nucs with all new frames and get them out before the honeyflow. My advice to anyone selling nucs, is, sell a nuc you would be willing to buy.

    cchoganjr

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Lower Lake, California, USA
    Posts
    173

    Default Re: Best way to swap out junk??

    Thanks everyone for your comments and let me know I wasn't alone!

    To bring everyone up to date: I moved the hive over placed a new bottom board and deep box where the hive had been setting. Cleaned Burr comb and move the 10 frames from the old brood box into the new deep (pulled one frame plastic foundation with no drawn comb and replaced it with new foundation and frame on the outside). Set the second new deep back on top of the brood, it had three frames 90% drawn on both sides with eggs and larva in every cell, none capped.

    The medium super was another story! The two center frames were fully capped brood and there were four frames that the bees did not like! One was fully drawn on one side of plastic foundation and the other side had a little piece of drawn comb (about the size of two quarters). Three frames had little pieces of drawn comb on plastic foundation. One of the three had dead wax moth cocoons on both outside frame end bars. I pulled all four frames and replaced them and the medium box, added a top feeder and new lid. They seem happy and went through three quarters of a gallon of one-to-one sugar water yesterday alone.

    The four frame nuc that was placed in my 10 frame hive is awaiting more movement to new frames before I can do anything.

    Since I started this thread we've had another bee class. And while I'm not trying to defend what I perceive to be substandard beekeeping equipment, I have now seen the inside of some of his hives. He is an older commercial beekeeper with dated equipment and everything I have seen is exactly what I got. So I did get lots of bees and equipment that he would still use!

    It's going to be interesting maintaining a relationship with my 'bee master'. Me with my three or four hives and him with his hundreds!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,927

    Default Re: Best way to swap out junk??

    You do not mention price paid for the colonies. did you pay for equipment? or did you get a price that only reflects the cost of bees.
    I am in the process of selling a few hives. only two or three. All of my equipemtn is brand new and built for me to have used in my own apiary. no cutting corners or cheap material to jsut make a box good enough for bees to be gotten home. My price reflects that. In other words my customers are paying more for the equipment than they are for the bees. Why? because quite frankly the bee population for the ones I am offering for sale are generally weak. I should say I take into consider population of the hive in my price. Even with that I have the bees priced low. and I know it. the price of the equipment is set and I will not budge. My apiary is not old enough to have bad equipment though.

    Having said that I will also say that when I sell hives. including woodenware. I select the worst I have to sell. This is becasue if I don't all I end up with is the worst. That is not sustainable. But my price would reflect the value of the equipment also. bad boxes? I then need strong colonies to justify the price. New equipment will tend to be filled with weaker colonies in order to price it competitively and still make a deal I can live with. In all it comes down to toal value. if the equipment is useless the price should reflect that.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Lower Lake, California, USA
    Posts
    173

    Default Re: Best way to swap out junk??

    Four frame nuc installed in my new gear (he kept four of my new frame/foundations)= $100
    One Deep + One Medium= $160

    Here in N. California Nucs go for $100-$130, most are $125
    three pounds/ Queen= $95-$125

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,324

    Default Re: Best way to swap out junk??

    There is nothing about an old frame that necessarily makes it unusable. We have lots of 50+ year old combs that are still doing the job just fine. We cull frames when they are no longer structurally sound or when they have large patches of drone comb, age isn't a factor other than the fact that older frames get looked at a bit more critically.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,264

    Default Re: Best way to swap out junk??

    That is was surprised me...the frame was literally falling apart..I had a hard time keeping it from sagging to the bottom board as the wood was so rotted out...but it had great brood on the frame ..better that than a new frame with spotty brood. Here I have been paying $180 for nuc frames in a cardboard box....I pick them up.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Baytown, TX., USA.
    Posts
    651

    Default Re: Best way to swap out junk??

    Do I put new frames with new foundation (unpulled out) in the nest center as I pull old worn, broken frames from the #1 & #10 slot of the hive? Being a newbie I don't have spare pulled frames.
    Julysun elevation 23 feet. 4 Hives, 2 years.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,324

    Default Re: Best way to swap out junk??

    Quote Originally Posted by julysun View Post
    Do I put new frames with new foundation (unpulled out) in the nest center as I pull old worn, broken frames from the #1 & #10 slot of the hive? Being a newbie I don't have spare pulled frames.
    Depends on how big your hive is. A large hive this time of year could easily handle a frame of foundation pretty much anywhere within the brood nest. With a smaller hive I put them one frame away from the outside figuring that by the time the hive is large enough to have the queen lay on that frame (or the bees to fill it with honey) then the foundation won't be much of a hindrance to them. I prefer not putting foundation on the outside wall as it often gets ignored.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,927

    Default Re: Best way to swap out junk??

    Quote Originally Posted by nobull56 View Post
    Four frame nuc installed in my new gear (he kept four of my new frame/foundations)= $100
    One Deep + One Medium= $160

    Here in N. California Nucs go for $100-$130, most are $125
    three pounds/ Queen= $95-$125
    I was wondering why so many of my customers are Californians picking them up when they have to come to Reno. They are getting 10 frame med hives for $150 to $160. To bad I only have a very small number I was willing to sell. the last one is supposed to be picked up tomorrow.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Lower Lake, California, USA
    Posts
    173

    Default Re: Best way to swap out junk??

    Jim I'd like to especially thank you. You have been a voice of reason and great on giving us advice! If I could go back I would change the title of this thread from 'junk' to something less inflammatory.

    The most important item I've gotten out of this discussion is: move equipment you are planning to replace to the outsides of the brood chambers and wait for any brood to hatch out, then pull and replace.

    I think a lot of us newbies envision those picture-perfect hives we see in the books! With 20-20 hindsight I got 24 frames of which I did not like four. If I was playing cards and I only got four bad cards out of 24 I'd bet the farm!
    Last edited by nobull56; 05-27-2013 at 10:35 PM. Reason: spelling

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