Swarm moved into empty hive with founationless frames! What should I do now?
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  1. #1

    Default Swarm moved into empty hive with founationless frames! What should I do now?

    I went on vacation for two weeks, came home, and a swarm moved into an unoccupied Langstroth hive, which contained 10 frames without foundation. I opened the hive and the bees are doing great, they are drawing comb like crazy, but everything is interconnected with cross comb. It appears that all ten frames are about 50% drawn and I am not sure what I should do. I tried to remove two outer frames, but everything is connected with cross comb and when I removed the frames it destroyed the comb, which was filled with nectar and honey. I am not sure what to do! How do I transfer these bees to a hive with foundation?

    Since this colony is only two weeks old, my gut tells me to wait until all of the frames are fully drawn and the colony has capped brood. My plan is to then add a second deep containing frames with foundation and see if I can get the queen to move up into the upper deep. If I can find her in the upper deep, I can then put a queen excluded between the deeps and wait three weeks for all of the brood in the original, bottom foundationless deep to emerge. Once the brood emerges, I can remove the original deep, add a deep containing frames with foundation, and remove the queen excluder. Only problem....there are a lot of if's in this plan!

    My question...does this make sense or is there a better way to deal with this GOOD problem?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    4,646

    Default Re: Swarm moved into empty hive with founationless frames! What should I do now?

    Welcome to Bee Source!!!
    where are you from?

    The longer you wait the worse it will get. Save as much of the brood as you can (use string,wire or rubber bands to attach brood comb to frames), remove any honey or nectar that can not easily be bent or twisted into the frames. give them drawn comb if you have any, put the foundationless frames one at a time between two draw frames and they will draw it better. Feed any nectar or honey back to them, you should also feed them so they can get to sized for winter.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    3,928

    Default Re: Swarm moved into empty hive with founationless frames! What should I do now?

    Just do a honest cut-out and be done.
    Good practice.
    I wish some "swarm moved into empty hive with foundation-less frames" for me.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,942

    Default Re: Swarm moved into empty hive with founationless frames! What should I do now?

    Flip the box upside down. Lift the box off of the frames. Now that you have access without ripping all the comb apart, do a cutout.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

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