Retiring a brood box, How to?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Miami & Linn county Kansas
    Posts
    7

    Default Retiring a brood box, How to?

    I'll try to make this story short. Last July, in my 3rd month of being in this hobby, I acquired an established hive from a gal who bought a property and wanted nothing to do with them. Obviously neglected for quite some time. Successful move about 8 miles. This setup consisted of one deep bottom box, then a medium, then a deep super on top. I immediately took the 37lbs of honey off the top and added an empty medium. In september, I took the medium box off, extracted 32 lbs, and added another medum.

    Here's my question: I haven't been into the brood chambers at all and am sure they are very much a mess. I want to retire both the bottom deep and second box (not at the same time). What is the best way to go about this? Can I put a new deep on the bottom this spring and they will eventually move down into it? Then pull the medium after they vacate it? Then maybe do the same thing spring of '17? I just started in April, and am not familiar with changing out frames in brood boxes yet. Looking forward to any and all ideas.

    thanks!!

    steve barker
    paola, kansas

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Fort Gay, WV, USA
    Posts
    2,064

    Default Re: Retiring a brood box, How to?

    Simple and easy. Go through the hive after they have built up in spring. Find the queen at that time, then add your new box and frames at the bottom of the hive. Put said queen into that box, then put a queen excluder over it. You may want to dump some bees off the old frames into the bottom while you're at it. Then add the other boxes on top of the new one. You will need to go through the hive again in about 8 days to ensure NO queen cells have been built above the excluder. Once the brood has all emerged from them old frames, just remove them.
    You will want to do this during the flow or feed them while doing this to give the hive carbs to draw wax with. Since there is no where for the queen to lay in the lower box, the bees will group up and draw new frames.

    There are other methods to doing this. This is the quick and dirty method I would use though. lol
    Thomas Bartram

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    3,388

    Default Re: Retiring a brood box, How to?

    I wouldn't get too excited about changing out the boxes until I'd taken a look inside.

    However, if you don't want to do what drlonzo suggests, put another deep on top of the deep and medium this fall, feed them up, and in the spring they will very likely be in the top boxes. Remove the bottom box before they brood up and you will be fine.

    Otherwise, putting the queen in a new box can be done on top, too -- make sure she's upstairs, put a queen excluder on top of the bottom box, wait three weeks to make sure all the brood that might be in the bottom box is out, and remove it. You can extract any honey. Spring is a bad time to use this method, summer dearth might be better.

    Peter

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Ridgeville, SC, USA
    Posts
    556

    Default Re: Retiring a brood box, How to?

    I would also wait till spring then take a look in the brood box. Have your replacement box ready with frames and foundation. Try to use as many of the old frames of drawn comb as you can in new box. You will probably have to clean alot of burr and bridge comb off old frames. Fill in rest of box with founation if necessary. Shake bees from unusable frames into new box . Reassemble hive and place old box on the ground in front of hive for a day or so, if some of the bees refuse to leave. Make sure you dont leave any old unusable frames by or in the old box.When all the bees have vacated the old box you can scrap it. I wouldn't want to put a laying queen in a new box with no drawn comb to lay in.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Miami & Linn county Kansas
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Retiring a brood box, How to?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bkwoodsbees View Post
    I would also wait till spring then take a look in the brood box. Have your replacement box ready with frames and foundation. Try to use as many of the old frames of drawn comb as you can in new box. You will probably have to clean alot of burr and bridge comb off old frames. Fill in rest of box with founation if necessary. Shake bees from unusable frames into new box . Reassemble hive and place old box on the ground in front of hive for a day or so, if some of the bees refuse to leave. Make sure you dont leave any old unusable frames by or in the old box.When all the bees have vacated the old box you can scrap it. I wouldn't want to put a laying queen in a new box with no drawn comb to lay in.
    thanks for the reply. It's mainly the plastic frames and ancient comb I'm wanting to 86. Not the box itself. <G>


    steve

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Red Bud, IL, USA
    Posts
    1,802

    Default Re: Retiring a brood box, How to?

    Save the box and at least some of the old frames for a bait hive, it smells like home.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Lee\'s Summit, MO
    Posts
    2,514

    Default Re: Retiring a brood box, How to?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eikel View Post
    Save the box and at least some of the old frames for a bait hive, it smells like home.
    Yep, I all with Eikel on this one. A deep and a couple dirty drawn frames surrounded by 8 undrawn frames will make for a GREAT swarm trap! I'll be using retired dry rod damaged deeps with permanent bottoms with this frame layout as swarm traps. I can get a few more years out of those deeps as traps. Stinky comb is a great draw as well. Once a swarm moves in move and the queen starts laying in them, move the old frames to the outer edges of your new set up. The queen will stop laying in them. Once the brood has emerged, you can replace them with undrawn frames and start the trap all over again.

    Great lemonade out of those lemons!
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Wheatland, WY, USA
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Retiring a brood box, How to?

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveBarker View Post
    Looking forward to any and all ideas.

    thanks!!

    steve barker
    paola, kansas

    spring shook swarm, feed.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVbjkgranmQ

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    4,130

    Default Re: Retiring a brood box, How to?

    if they are all plastic frames and the comb is old and nasty, just scrape them down to the plastic and re-insert they will quickly build them back up with fresh wax

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