Change from natural hive
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  1. #1

    Default Change from natural hive

    I'm new around here and I want to start with the topic of beekeeping for self-consumption. I'll tell you my doubt:
    I was wearing a beehive with two langstroth hives without pictures in a small house outdoors and two years ago I entered a swarm. I suppose they put the honeycombs on the lid directly. The thing is that I have seen that they have quite a lot of varroa and the number of bees is falling very fast. A friend of mine told me that he could try to lift the lid and cut the honeycombs to the size of langstroth squares and then fasten them with ropes so that he could transfer the beehive into squares.
    I don't know how the honeycombs will be if they occupy the two tops or only one as I have never lifted the lid yet. And here are the questions:
    1 - If the honeycombs occupy more than one painting, how do I distribute each comb? Do I cut them in the middle of a painting and what I put on top of it in another painting as I can even if it doesn't occupy the whole painting?
    2 - If I take out more than 10 paintings, do I put the leftovers in the top?
    3 - Could I do the operation of transferring the beehive to paintings next week or as winter is approaching it is bad time to do it and should I wait until next year in spring? If so, about what day and month more or less you recommend me to do it.
    4 - One of the reasons to move the beehive to pictures is to treat it against the varroa with Apivar, because I have the impression that maybe if I don't treat it, the way it goes, it won't survive the winter.

    First of all, thank you very much in advance for reading my message.



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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Aylett, Virginia

    Default Re: Change from natural hive

    Welcome to Beesource. Please post your location to help us answer your questions. For most of us, it is late to be doing a cutout. My opinion is you should treat the hive where it is as best as you can and move the comb to frames (pictures in your post) in the spring.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA

    Default Re: Change from natural hive

    Some of your terminology is confusing. Assuming that "pictures" are "frames", let's talk about a cut out (which is the term for the process of cutting natural combs to fit into frames and transferring them to a hive with frames). So, I would do the cutout. When is the first question. If it is coming into winter there (assuming you are in the Northern hemisphere and a northern climate) then I would wait for spring. When you do it, I would NOT try to save ANY of the honey, just the brood and probably not ALL of the brood because you want to make sure you have enough bees to cover all the brood so they don't get attacked by small hive beetles (assuming you live where there are small hive beetles) or other pests like wax moths or ants. This method has been the common way of getting bees from one hive type to another including moving them from skeps to Langstronths or box hives to Langstroths etc.
    Michael Bush "Everything works if you let it." 42y 40h 39yTF


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