Downsized one hive, what to do with extra frames.
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  1. #1
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    Default Downsized one hive, what to do with extra frames.

    Well,
    I downsized one of my hives today that was suffering from deformed wing and was being treated with apivar. I moved it from deep and 2 medium 8 frame to same frames but nuc size. They had too much space to defend. I am feeding them as well. My question is the extra frames. I kept the best frames with stores and brood in the hive. A few of them still have a good bit of pollen. The bees cleaned the honey and nectar from these frames. Can I just freeze and reuse them next year? And if so, will the pollen be viable for later use or should I just cut out the comb and start over with these frames? I would hate to lose this comb even if it is mostly brood comb.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Knox, Pa. USA
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    Default Re: Downsized one hive, what to do with extra frames.

    yea you can freeze and use next year. any pollen that is sub standard will be discarded by the bees.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Lamar Co. Alabama, USA
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    Default Re: Downsized one hive, what to do with extra frames.

    Ditto what tenbears said. I did the same thing with one of my hives a day or two ago. Went queen less, new queen, queen less, new queen but population down too much to patrol a deep and two mediums. Good luck with your hive.
    "Sometimes the best action, with bees, is no action at all."

  5. #4
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    Apr 2015
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    Loganville, GA
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    Default Re: Downsized one hive, what to do with extra frames.

    Thanks for the replies. I had some robbing going on later the same day after I condensed the hive. I placed screening over all three hives. I am feeding them with buckets inside spare supers. with top entrances closed off. It's been raining and chilly the past couple of days so I haven't been able to get into this hive to have a look at whether they are still being robbed. There was little outside activity the few times I was able to go have a look at them today. The nuc did have some dead bees on the front porch. Not sure if these are leftovers from the robbing the other day. As to freezing the frames, the "boss" said a big no to using freezer. So I need another way to store. Local keeper says he just hangs them under an eave outside and the moths don't touch them. He says they don't care for the sunlight. That's good for the moths but with pollen on the frames the beetles would have a field day. What are other options for these frames? I do not have a lot of space, as I plan on staying small. I see on other threads that BT is usable. Would this be my best option?

  6. #5
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    Sep 2014
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    Benton county, Arkansas
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    838

    Default Re: Downsized one hive, what to do with extra frames.

    Get a new "boss".

  7. #6
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    Apr 2014
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    Powhatan, Virginia, USA
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    Default Re: Downsized one hive, what to do with extra frames.

    They don't have to stay frozen give them 4-7 days then put them in a plastic bag. Maybe the boss will give you a break. If you use BT on them let them dry before closing them up so they don't mold. Even if they do the bees will clean them up in the spring.

  8. #7
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    Apr 2006
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    Pepperell, MA.
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    Default Re: Downsized one hive, what to do with extra frames.

    I use BT. Mix, spray, dry and store. It's very effective. The problem I've had with freezing is that it kills the wax moth larvae that's on the frames but if you pull them out and store them, they're still exposed to any moths that are still out and about. As mentioned, you can freeze and bag but I would double up on the bags and tie / tape them tight. I've had mice in the barn munch through bags. For me, BT works good. I also second lots of light.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  9. #8
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    Apr 2015
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    Loganville, GA
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    Default Re: Downsized one hive, what to do with extra frames.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenseye View Post
    I use BT. Mix, spray, dry and store. It's very effective. The problem I've had with freezing is that it kills the wax moth larvae that's on the frames but if you pull them out and store them, they're still exposed to any moths that are still out and about. As mentioned, you can freeze and bag but I would double up on the bags and tie / tape them tight. I've had mice in the barn munch through bags. For me, BT works good. I also second lots of light.
    Any good source of BT that could be local for me?

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Pepperell, MA.
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    Default Re: Downsized one hive, what to do with extra frames.

    I bought mine through Amazon but I use it for more than frames so the amount I bought was worth it. Maybe others will have a source that can get you reasonable small quantities at a modest price. I believe there are a few good sources.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
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    Loganville, GA
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    Default Re: Downsized one hive, what to do with extra frames.

    is thuricide a decent one? Want to make sure I get the one for wax moths

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Downsized one hive, what to do with extra frames.

    I can't say for sure about the Thuricide. I actually question if it's correct. I use Xentari BT. I would probably not use anything else without strong evidence that it's the right one.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  13. #12
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Gainesboro, Tennessee
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    1,407

    Default Re: Downsized one hive, what to do with extra frames.

    Quote Originally Posted by BradC View Post
    Well,
    I downsized one of my hives today that was suffering from deformed wing and was being treated with apivar. I moved it from deep and 2 medium 8 frame to same frames but nuc size. They had too much space to defend. I am feeding them as well. My question is the extra frames. I kept the best frames with stores and brood in the hive. A few of them still have a good bit of pollen. The bees cleaned the honey and nectar from these frames. Can I just freeze and reuse them next year? And if so, will the pollen be viable for later use or should I just cut out the comb and start over with these frames? I would hate to lose this comb even if it is mostly brood comb.
    We freeze ours with beebread all the time. If you think about it, the frames freeze inside the hive if they are outside the cluster.
    Splitting a first year hive successfully https://youtu.be/ZfRTreQ-S9c

  14. #13
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    Apr 2015
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    Loganville, GA
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    Default Re: Downsized one hive, what to do with extra frames.

    Well, checked in on my hives today. They all seem to have stores, but I am still feeding them until it gets colder and they stop taking it. The hive I downsized is doing pretty good too. It is taking syrup now (about 2 qts every two days). The queen is also still laying. I saw eggs! Shouldn't she be slowing or stopping? I wish we could have a some dryer weather so they can dry and cap the syrup. All of my hives have a lot of uncapped syrup. They are capping but slowly. I am feeding 2-1. I guess they know better than I when it comes to hives.

  15. #14
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    Default Re: Downsized one hive, what to do with extra frames.

    Quote Originally Posted by BradC View Post
    Local keeper says he just hangs them under an eave outside and the moths don't touch them. He says they don't care for the sunlight.
    I haven't done exactly that, but my experience has been that if they are out in an unheated open shed exposed to the light and air they usually do alright over winter, but wax moths WILL infest comb that is in the light under some circumstances. BT will work too.
    Since '09-75H-T-Z6b

  16. #15
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    Powhatan, Virginia, USA
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    Default Re: Downsized one hive, what to do with extra frames.

    Sounds like they are responding well. In GA it may be that the queens will continue to keep some small amounts of brood for a while yet. Not really that cold. Good for you as far as having young bees to add to the cluster. The down side is that they are consuming some stores to raise the brood. Keep an eye on them on warm days and be prepared if you need to add some solid food if they get light. The answer to your previous question about BT is that it will work. The xentari is specific for wax moth but they are in the same family as the caterpillars and loopers that are treated with the garden variety. Pun intended. It's available as a liquid or powder to mix with water and also as a dust. It is harmless to the bees.
    Last edited by John Davis; 11-03-2015 at 02:29 PM. Reason: spelling

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Downsized one hive, what to do with extra frames.

    What happens if you are removing frames and they contain eggs/capped brood etc?

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Downsized one hive, what to do with extra frames.

    Well, I pulled frames with no eggs and brood. But if you were to do so, I would guess they would die without being attended by nurse bees.

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Downsized one hive, what to do with extra frames.

    I guess what I'm asking is, if you were in a situation where you need to downsize and all of the frames have a mix of different things, do you simply pull out the ones with least brood/eggs?
    I'd be a bit sad to have to pull them out knowing they will die. But if you did, would you store them any differently with the eggs/brood still in the cells?

  20. #19
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    Apr 2015
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    Loganville, GA
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    Default Re: Downsized one hive, what to do with extra frames.

    SOrry for the delayed response. It would depend on how much brood and eggs. If there was a lot of it, I would probably shake the bees off and place in a stronger hive. This is of course if it is healthy. In my case, I did pull some brood. But when I opened them the brood was dead. It was due to chill (had a couple days in 40s) and small population that could not keep all frames warm. This queen likes to lay eggs. At one point, I had 17 out of 24 frames of brood (1 deep and 2 medium 8-frame boxes). I am still a first year so I treated for mites too late. Hence the reason for downsizing. Next year treatment begins in august and not end of September.

  21. #20
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    Apr 2015
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    Loganville, GA
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    Default Re: Downsized one hive, what to do with extra frames.

    OK, I know it has been seasonably warm everywhere! I inspected my hives today. My strongest hive is still busting with bees as far as i can tell. I only went into the top box and it looks like I still have 5 of 8 frames with food and some pollen. I did't go deeper as they were a bit aggravated with me. But all signs point to healthy. My next hive which was a split from strong hive, 3 mediums 8 frames, still has a lot of uncapped in top box but center box looks mostly capped. Now, the hive that I downsized into a 1 deep-2 med nuc seems to not know it is winter time. They are still light on stores so I am still feeding them 2-1 syrup. The top box has roughly 2.5 frames syrup and some pollen. I went into the second box and 3 frames of capped brood and larva!! I closed up once I saw this and didn't go into the bottom box. Should I be concerned that this queen is still laying. And would it require early mite treatment before main flow. Say in february when I start feeding for build up?

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