Ok folks, newbee here looking for advice/suggestions/thoughts/opinions.
Caught a swarm out of a tree on my property last April, and, so far, it looks like they are going to make the winter.
When hiving the swarm last April, I talked to a local beekeeping friend and after a bit of research came to the conclusion that I wanted to try foundationless frames.
The bees did not build the combs correctly to the frames, and in fear of losing my only hive, I opted to let them carry on instead of scraping the comb out and making them start over. Obviously, this was a short-sighted rookie decision and I now have a hive full of wonky combs running nearly perpendicular to the direction of the frames. Hive consists of two ten-frame deep boxes almost full of this type of comb.
I am hoping to remedy this situation early this spring and trying to figure out the best way to do it with minimal harm to the colony. I could try and just do a cutout, but with the comb being so crazy my fear is that I may lose or kill the queen in the process. Any ideas on a way to get the colony to move into new boxes and vacate the old crazy comb? Maybe try and set up a trap out into the new boxes somehow? The idea is to try and get the bees to move first, then go in and cut out the old comb and affix what is left into new frames with the correct orientation.
To complicate matters more, I am converting from my current ten-frame deep boxes to all eight-frame mediums.
Any input is greatly appreciated!