Help with second year attempt. -Modified hive- frames with comb.
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    23

    Default Help with second year attempt. -Modified hive- frames with comb.

    This will be my second year with my warre hive and I need a little guidance starting our since this is year # and am not starting with an empty hive. Long story short the hive did well but I lost my bees over the winter. I think it was all from my own missteps. Anyway, being frustrated with not being able to check the hive with out constant damage to the comb (they would attach to the top bars in lower box) etc, I modified all the top bars and built frames. I as able to keep the comb/honey attached to the top bars while doing this. So I have two boxes with frames. Some frames are full of honey and others are a combo of wax and capped pollen. I also have a comb that was completely broken off so I put it in a bag and put it in the freezer. Given all of that, I'm not sure how to start out when I get a new package of bees. Do I organize all frames with honey into the top box and comb in the bottom box. Should I place some empty frames so they have space? What should I do with the broken comb with honey in it that I put in the freezer? Can i feed it to them inside the hive?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Labette Kansas USA
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: Help with second year attempt. -Modified hive- frames with comb.

    Hey Flap. If you know the combs aren't contaminated or diseased, then I would install the new package right into the two boxes with combs. I would eat the honey in the freezer. Some may attempt to feed it, but personally I wouldn't bother. I wouldn't change the way the combs were arranged from the last bees that were in the box. If you've jumbled them all up while putting frames on then put the brood combs in the lower box and the honey combs in the upper box like you mentioned. I would be ready to add another box quickly as it has been my experience the bees will progress rapidly when put on a box of comb.

    Another thought would be to make a swarm trap with an old brood comb and some lemongrass oil while keeping the rest of the combs for your new package.

    I would also make some attempt to find the reason your bees died. Good luck this year.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Help with second year attempt. -Modified hive- frames with comb.

    Thanks for the input. Hadn't thought of the the combs possibly being diseased. I think the bees died due to some missteps on my part. I didn't treat for mites but I think the biggest thing might have been the fact that I covered the hive in late fall with a plastic cover. I allowed space around the hive but I'm pretty sure this trapped too much moister. I thought I was doing them a favor by keeping the hive dry but it never occurred to me that the internal moister might get too high. there was mold inside the hive.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    1,127

    Default Re: Help with second year attempt. -Modified hive- frames with comb.

    Converting a hive with plastic is a way to kill it fast. Bees give off a lot of CO2 and it needs to escape.

    Also over a winter bees will respirate as much as five gallons of water. That also must be able to escape. That is the purpose of a Warre quilt box.
    Zone 6B

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Help with second year attempt. -Modified hive- frames with comb.

    Quote Originally Posted by JConnolly View Post
    Converting a hive with plastic is a way to kill it fast. Bees give off a lot of CO2 and it needs to escape.

    Also over a winter bees will respirate as much as five gallons of water. That also must be able to escape. That is the purpose of a Warre quilt box.
    Yeah, a pretty dumb move on my part. Thought I was protecting them and instead I was doing the opposite. Lesson learned.

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