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I went to check on my hives today and they have been super active because it's been in 70's here in NorCal the last few days. The problem I am having is that all the frames in both deep brood boxes are all stuck together. The bees have connected the wax across so it is is hard to pull out any one frame... Is this normal? What should I do? The hive is doing great and this is the largest it has ever been so should I just leave alone or do I shave then down so I can manage better? The hive currently has 2 10 frame deeps full right now... I tried to move frames around to confuse bees from swarming and added a shallow too... The bees never moved into shallows last year and I am wondering is all the wax blocked access?
 

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If the colony is doing great don't mess around with it. When you do your next inspection clean the burr comb off the top/bottom of the frames. If you are going into a swarm period add supers of comb above and check the brood nest for swarm cells. If the passage ways between the top bars were open last fall they should still be open unless you had a nectar flow and gave them no comb in which to store the nectar.
 

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IT does seem tight but if you only run 9 that will soon be just as tight. Before trying to pull a frame, separate your two brood boxes and look to see if there are any empty combs down there. If so, you can put them in the center and reverse the boxes to slow down the swarming impulse. You will also be able to see if the bees have started swarm cells already.

The way I pull tight frames is as follows. Put your hive tool between the side of the box and the top bar of an outside frame and try to pry the frame inward. Do it on both ends. You should have made a little room. Now separate the outside frame from the next and gently lift it out. You may need to use the top bar of the first inside frame as a fulcrum. Do it on both ends and the frame will come out slowly and carefully. There is little danger that the queen is on that outside frame to get rolled or pinched. Take out that frame and now you have room to pry the frames away from the mass before picking it straight up for inspection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
IT does seem tight but if you only run 9 that will soon be just as tight. Before trying to pull a frame, separate your two brood boxes and look to see if there are any empty combs down there. If so, you can put them in the center and reverse the boxes to slow down the swarming impulse. You will also be able to see if the bees have started swarm cells already.

The way I pull tight frames is as follows. Put your hive tool between the side of the box and the top bar of an outside frame and try to pry the frame inward. Do it on both ends. You should have made a little room. Now separate the outside frame from the next and gently lift it out. You may need to use the top bar of the first inside frame as a fulcrum. Do it on both ends and the frame will come out slowly and carefully. There is little danger that the queen is on that outside frame to get rolled or pinched. Take out that frame and now you have room to pry the frames away from the mass before picking it straight up for inspection.
The bees just seem to get agressive when I go into the deeps and I was wondering if maybe I was squishing some because of how tight everything is....
 

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Suit up use a little smoke & slow down. Some hives just fly a lot when you open them up. Some are just mean! If you feel safe you can deal with whatever you need to do.
 

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> The problem I am having is that all the frames in both deep brood boxes are all stuck together. The bees have connected the wax across so it is is hard to pull out any one frame... Is this normal?

Things are always glued together, but the combs shouldn't be spanning from one frame to another, unless you are just talking about bits and pieces of burr comb. If the combs are all everywhich way, then the question would be what kind of foundation do you have? If it's none, you could cut the combs out and rubber band them into frames. If it's wired wax, then the question would be what went wrong? Did they buckle in the heat? Fall out? If they are plastic then did they build fins on them? A comb between the foundations? Did you have your frames tightly together in the center or spaced apart?

> What should I do? The hive is doing great and this is the largest it has ever been so should I just leave alone or do I shave then down so I can manage better?

Sooner or later it would be nice to fix things. I don't know your seasons, but it sounds like it's warm and there is a flow, so this might not be a bad time to take care of it.

As far as how to get combs out when they run every which way, if you flip the box upside down and lift the box off of the frames you can then pull each frame off the outside one at a time instead of ripping it through the middle of everything trying to pull it out.

>The hive currently has 2 10 frame deeps full right now... I tried to move frames around to confuse bees from swarming and added a shallow too... The bees never moved into shallows last year and I am wondering is all the wax blocked access?

Bees don't block their own access and they can tear up wax foundation if it is blocking their access. I wouldn't worry about that.
 

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What you are seeing is pretty common if they are all one piece plastic frames. The bees like to completely fill the gap between the frames in the two boxes with comb. I have gone to all wood foundation and that's one reason. There isn't any easy solution that I have ever found. I just try to pry the first frame at one end of the box out and then move across the box cleaning the bottom of the frames that I remove. When the bottoms are clean I remove the top box and clean the tops of the frames.

I have never had that problem with wooden frames. I don't know why.
 

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What I can gather from your info your issue is burr comb between the top bars of the frames of the top box. The bees build this comb for honey storage and it may look solid but it really is only connected at the top end. Break the connection by prying horizontally then lift a frame out. Once you get the first frame out the rest will come out easily. Clean the burr comb from between the top bars of the frames as you go through the hive before putting the frames back.

Not abnormal to see this when the bees are looking for all and any possible space for storage.
 

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If it is necessary for me to separate two deeps that haven't been separated for a while, I use a simple tool that is sold as a PVC pipe cutter. It is just a piece of thin steel cable with loops on the ends that serve as handles. It cuts the PVC by friction as you saw it back and forth (it's great for hard-to-reach pipes already in the ground). For the deeps, I separate them with the tool a bit, then slide the PVC cutting cable between the two boxes. That makes a clean cut through any burr comb and minimizes damage.
 

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Put your hive tool between the side of the box and the top bar of an outside frame and try to pry the frame inward.
If your frames are all tight together the way they should be then you are trying to move ten frames at once. This would take an enormous force. Why not pry between the two last frames so the last frame moves out toward the box side? Burr comb between the top bars is very weak. It is the propolise at the top bar ends that takes force to break apart.
 
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