Not sure how to manage these hives, photos included
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    South Australia
    Posts
    15

    Default Not sure how to manage these hives, photos included

    I inspected my beehives yesterday. It's two weeks from spring here in Australia, but gauging by the warm weather I think it's basically already here. I wasn't sure what to do with the hives so I took some photos:

    https://imgur.com/a/RYHWEGa

    I didn't lift any frames because since they're all attached with comb , it would have caused a good amount of disruption and damage, but maybe this was a mistake?

    The bottom of the frames are having comb joining them to the top of the frames in the super below, because the frames that are in these hives have no bottom bar. Should I be aiming to replace these crappy frames with frames that have bottoms in the future?

    Do I need to pull off frames in the brood chamber, even though it'll seriously annoy the bees, to check if the queen has laying space?

    I feel rather unsure about these basic fundamentals of managing a beehive. I just opened up these hives yesterday and wasn't sure what I should be doing with them.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Lassen, California, USA
    Posts
    656

    Default Re: Not sure how to manage these hives, photos included

    What a mess. I'd scrape off all that wax and honey, that is sitting on the top of those frames. No bottom bar, that seems strange, but I still consider myself a newbee, so maybe it's just something I haven't heard of. Yes, definitely replace the frames that do not have bottom bars. Yes, check the frames in the brood boxes, take a look and see what's going on. How many brood boxes are there on this hive? If you can, get a brand spanking new brood box, and frames, and set it on top of this brood box, after you've scraped off that mess. Hopefully they'll, eventually, move up into the new box, and then you can pull the old one, clean it up. I've got to run, but that's all I can think of right now
    Some days it's not even worth chewing through the restraints.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
    Posts
    1,490

    Default Re: Not sure how to manage these hives, photos included

    The easiest/safest but most time consuming is like hogback says, set Lang spec boxes and frames on top of the hive boxes. Wait till the queen has moved up into them, then get the brood comb out of the old boxes and rubber band it into Lang frames eventually rotating them out. Itíll take at least one season maybe two to do it.
    Rod

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    South Australia
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Not sure how to manage these hives, photos included

    There's no queen excluder on there, not sure how far the queen above is laying. I could put a new empty super above their bottom super. Can one of you explain to me what the benefit of doing this would be? Is it to provide the hive with a super that has frames with bottoms on it?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
    Posts
    1,490

    Default Re: Not sure how to manage these hives, photos included

    In the spring the queen should still be in the upper box, perfect time to get them to move into new equipment.
    Right now your have a unmanageable situation, non inspectable, period.
    From what I can see the set up is top bar frames have been put into Lang boxes type hybrid thingy. IMO, the best you can do with those colonies in the present condition is leave em be and catch swarms off them, and hope they stay healthy.
    Rod

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,144

    Default Re: Not sure how to manage these hives, photos included

    Did you start these hives, or did you "inherit" them? It looks bad, bit certainly not hopeless. It will take some time and work fully suited to straighten them out. They look healthy from what can be seen without pulling a frame. So, I think to get the best advice, tell us what you know about the hives/configuration. J

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