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I inherited a hive from my father. From bottom to top: deep, shallow, medium.

The deep and shallow both have top-bars--the problem is that they are so propolized, and the combs in the shallow are attached to the top bars of the deep. This sucker is not going to come apart.

The medium has frames and comb, but few stores and no brood.

What I would like to do is preserve the bees and queen, and get rid of the top bar stuff, in an orderly manner.

I was thinking that I might try and force the hive down. By placing the medium on the bottom and hoping the queen will eventually move down there. Then placing another traditional langstroth below that medium as well. Then removing the top-bar supers as they "depopulate".

Any sense on whether that would work?
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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I take it you mean "top bar only" when you say top bars? Like no frame and bottom bar? I would make a garrot (two sticks and a guitar string) and pry them just enough to run that through. Do it on a hot day, it will be easier. Then flip the boxes up side down and cut around the insde edge and pull the box off. Now you have all the frames (or combs) upside down and stuck together. Pry or cut each of them loose as needed. "Rinse and repeat..."
 
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