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Hey everyone,

I just got into beekeeping this season. After buying some equipment and failing to install a swarm the first time, I have acquired some bees. Like an eager novice I think I bit off more than I can chew:

I put up an ad on Craigslist looking for bees and a farmer contacted me, saying that a swarm moved into his shed. He had been storing his son's old beekeeping equipment, and the bees moved into some old unused supers. I asked him the usual questions to make sure they were honey bees, and then my dad and I took a trip to capture the swarm.

When we got there we found out that the supers had been stacked haphazardly, about 6 feet high. The bees had inhabited about the top 4 feet worth of supers. Also, the bees didn't just move in: they had been there for the last three years!

We split the stack in half, sealed up the bees and brought them home. Here's my dilemma:

How am I going to get the bees out of there?

The supers have been heavily propolized, and are very difficult to pull apart. Peering in, I saw that the old frames are there, but they had no foundation, so the bees have put COMB EVERYWHERE, and the whole thing is glued solid. From what I can see, sections of comb span multiple bodies.

Should I treat it like a feral hive and just go busting the thing up and try to install the comb in one of my hive bodies? Bee vac? What would you do?

:doh:

-Chris
 

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I think if it was me I'd stack a deep on top of each half of supers that you have there, and get the bees to move up. Catch the queen up there and install an excluder under her box and add a super on top of her. If that super gets towards full, add another. Keep watch on the bottom boxes, the bees will move the honey up and you can remove the empty boxes off the bottom. Oh, one of those halves won't have a queen, so there is probably brood young enough for them to make a new queen and you'll have 2 hives. Hopefully! Good luck!
 
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