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Purchased 2 hives from individual today with deep brood boxes and single mediums on top. Removed med to look at brood box and a bomb has gone off in there. I mean that these boxes have 5-7 frames and the rest is bur comb. Hives are strong and have good stores. I want to split these two but don't know where to start with the mess that is there. With there being a frame here then 2 -3 spaces of bur then another frame or 2 where do you start? Mediums all have the proper 10 frames. Could I install new deeps on the bottom of the deeps in hopes that they will build down and not swarm? Thanks
 

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Pictures. We want before and after pictures to help the next one who has to deal with this.


Is there any possibility of cutting out the combs and wiring or tying them into empty deep frames? It would be much like doing a cutout. If the comb does not contain brood or stores, you can probably just remove it and replace with new drawn if you have it or new foundation. How are they set for winter stores, and is your temperature such that if you had to sacrifice some stores you could feed to get them through?
 

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I would put an empty deep brood box (with frames) on top of the medium without an excluder and let them move UP. After they have moved up you can remove the old deep and do whatever is necessary.

Fuzzy
 

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Purchased 2 hives from individual today with deep brood boxes and single mediums on top. Removed med to look at brood box and a bomb has gone off in there. I mean that these boxes have 5-7 frames and the rest is bur comb. Hives are strong and have good stores. I want to split these two but don't know where to start with the mess that is there. With there being a frame here then 2 -3 spaces of bur then another frame or 2 where do you start? Mediums all have the proper 10 frames. Could I install new deeps on the bottom of the deeps in hopes that they will build down and not swarm? Thanks
I would do nothing until spring.In the spring, I would do a split.Buy 1 or 2 new queens or other. Put new deep brood boxes on the bottom with frames and starter strips and one old deep on top of each.They will build down.The natural way for them to build is down anyways. This way you can have the messed up brood box on top and slowly fase it out after they get the bottom built up or do a cut out.You can then try to shake them all out into the new box and cut and wire or do away with it.

PS.Or you can just keep it as it is and keep doing splits from it each year. I would.
 

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Wait until spring and then put a deep on top. they will move up a whole lot faster then they will move down. Let them draw four or five frames out and then look for the queen and when you see her in the top box pull it off and put it on the bottom and put a queen excluder on top of it and put one of the mediums that has all the frames on top and get rid of all the other.
 

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I would put a new brood box on top like one of the other posters said, but I would put a bee escape upside down and close off the bottom entrance. Put a top entrance so the bees go up but can't go back down to the messed up box. And like another poster said, I wouldn't do this until Spring.

Post some pictures, if you can, this would be interesting to see.
 

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As previously mentioned,the bees will naturally move UP as the season advances. I wouldn't put a bee escape between where they are and where you want them as frequently they rearrange the stores for more effective use in their nest. I've had colonies where the bottom box was completely empty. The odds are, if you work them on top, and keep adding extracting supers after they've moved into their new brood nest, not only will you get a honey crop, but by next August those messed up boxes on bottom will be empty. Then as you set them up for next winter you can do with that box as you wish. And yes, post pix!
Thanks!
Steven
 

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I have had to move bees out of boxes before. Here's how I did it...

I placed a new brood chamber with racks UNDER the old brood box. I then placed a fume board with Bee Quick on it ABOVE the old brood box. This pushed the bees out of the old and into the new. I removed the old brood box. I waited an hour or two to allow them to kind of calm down a little. I then took the good racks out of the old brood box and placed them into the new box.
It really is pretty easy to do it this way. I would recommend, though, doing this on a warm day.
 
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