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My son-in-law came across a lady who said she had a bee hive in her hay field. She told him it had been on her property since she moved in, 6 years ago. She told him that I could have it, if I wanted to come get it. Went by to see what it looked liked first. Well, I knew I was going to have to transfer bees to new hive. The bottom board was rotten, the brood box not much better and neither was the lid. I felt sorry for the poor bees living like that. Plus, I had to cross three fences to get into the brush pile they were in the middle of. Honey super full of honey and so was the brood box. No brood, larva or eggs. I hear about a hive being honey bound, I guess that's what I've got. I don't know if there is a queen and she's just not laying cause there's no room? Or, maybe just no queen. The brood box was a complete mess, only 5 frames inside if that tells you anything. I can only say "nightmare". I don't even know how to begin to clean that up. I would post pictures, but not sure how to do that.
 

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What about transferring the hive, frame-by-frame into new boxes? Treat any wild comb as you would a cut-out, and cut it out and rubber band into new frames. Let the "new" hive then sit for a day in the "old" hive's position to settle in, and then show up in the evening with a few strong-backed helpers and seal it up and carry it to your truck. Not that any of that would be easy . . .
 

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Transfer these frames into a 5 frame nuc box and carry it home.
Not that hard to do.
 

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I think I would steal all the honey and set up a swarm trap.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
shinebone- I did transfer to new hive, frame by frame. Did not cut them out and rubber them into new frames though. The problem being is that there was only 5 frames in a 10 frame box. So, those 5 frames are drawn out into a 10 frame mess. If I cut the width down to the right frame width, it's going to be exposed honey on all those frames.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
beepro, It certainly would be hard to do, only because those 5 frames barely fit in a 10 frame box, let a lone trying to get them into a 5 frame nuc. But, it was probably my explanation of the whole mess that made it confusing.
 

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Don't bother to cut and tie honey into frames, just crush and strain it or feed it back to them to get new frames drawn. Brood is the only thing I would cut and tie. I would probably just set the 'mess' on top of an inner cover on top of the new hive and let them rob it out.
 

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Honey super full of honey and so was the brood box. No brood, larva or eggs. I hear about a hive being honey bound, I guess that's what I've got. I don't know if there is a queen and she's just not laying cause there's no room? Or, maybe just no queen. The brood box was a complete mess, only 5 frames inside if that tells you anything. I can only say "nightmare". I don't even know how to begin to clean that up. I would post pictures, but not sure how to do that.
I did a cut out last month of a 4 year old hive that was mostly honey and the brood chamber was about the size of a cantaloupe. There has to be a brood chamber or they would not have existed this long. My bet is it's somewhere in the middle of those 5 frames. It's a tough call, if you leave them they probably will perish, if you cut them out same thing. Good luck, let us know how it goes.
Colino
 

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I retrieved a wood duck nest box this spring that was full of wacky comb. Pulled the bottom off and set it on top of two 8-frame mediums, then stacked empty boxes around the duck box and put a lid on. They moved down and in two weeks, the queen had laid two solid frames of drones and a couple frames of worker. :thumbsup:
I did a cutout on the duck box two weeks ago. They never missed a beat!
 

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I would pull off 75% of the honey,and give them some drawn out frames,and see if you can get the queen to start laying. At least you can find out if you have a queen,and you probably do if they have been unattended for six years. That queen,and her drones, are you teasure with this hive. And by pulling the honey it will lighten your load. It would hurt to simulate the queen by feed them after you pull the honey.
 

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I had a similar experience one time ages ago. The hive I was given was in a corn field and it was surrounded by sticker bushes, kinda like in the Sleeping Beauty Story? It was an adventure getting to it and then taking it apart and putting what I could into new supers. It was messy and fun and I got stung a lot, by bees and by brambles. lol Turns out they were German blacks. Leastwise they seemed slightly smaller, dark in color and somewhat aggressive. But I was tearing their home apart, so who could blame them. What comb was cross combed or not in frames got rendered. The honey wasn't worth saving to eat, so I left it out for bees to reclaim. Have fun.
 

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Wow, what survivors. Ought to be nice stock for the TF crowd to work in. Messy to retrieve, but should be worth it.
 

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I wish someone would give me an old forgotten hive!
I once got a call from someone who had bought a new place (I had advertised in the paper for swarms) that they had a beehive in the yard - and I could come get it if I wanted it. I asked questions to verify it was actually a beehive - and they verified it was painted white. I got directions from them and then they added "I can't mow around it, the bees are mean." I asked "You mean there are bees in it?" "Yeah." So somebody wants to give me a hive with bees for free? "Yeah, I'll be right there."

It turns out that Amish people lived in the house before, and in the Fall they ended up moving to Ohio. Don't know if they had plans to come back and get the hive or just left it, but this was in the Spring so they must have figured it wasn't worth coming back for - if they ever even thought of it.

So, I got the full hive, lid, bottom board, 2 supers, plus some extra frames that was in the shed all for free.

queenbee3074 - as for your dilemma with a rotten hive problem, I would take a new bottom board and a hive with drawn out frames to the site. Move the hive on top of the drawn out comb, and I'm sure the queen would quickly move down in a day or two. Take along an inner cover with bee escape and put it between their old brood hive and super.
Come back in a few days and move the inner cover with bee escape between the new hive you just put in, and their old hive.
Come back in a week or two and the old hive and super should be empty of bees - you can take them home and do what you need to and you can get your new bees when you get a chance.
You might want to see about getting a hand dolly so you can bring your equipment in and back out without having to carry it the whole way.
Good luck!
 
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