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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been given access to a deep hive box that has not been worked in at least two years.

When I looked in the box, there weren't very many bees at all The bees were very calm and docile and that is with no smoke at all. Here's the problem.

The bees have waxed and propolised the entire box. The frames will not even come out of the box. They are all stuck together even to the point of coming apart when I try to lift them out.

It looks like the comb has warped badly and that the frames no longer run up and down smoothly, if that makes any sense. The comb is warped inoto other frames, etc., etc.

What can I do?
 

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Four years ago when I got into beekeeping I had a hive just like that given to me. Bite the bullet so to speak. I had to dig the outside frame (on one side) out with a crowbar! I destroyed two out side frames by the time I got enough room to work the frames loose. I was then able to move and separate the frames. Just have a full set of frames and foundation ready to replace what you have to destroy and replace all the frames and foundation as soon as possible.
 

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I have been given access to a deep hive box that has not been worked in at least two years.
Don't know exactly what all that implys but my solution would be to add another super, preferrably one with drawn comb and see if the q will move on up on her own over time. A frame of brood might help pull her up there. Eventually they should rise up out of the lower super.
Then again they got everything right where they want it and may like it that way! :D
 

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yeah - id put a deep with drawn comb above your box and ride the year out like that - just add supers as nessasary

then go in to winter with a deep box on top - by about Jan of next year the bees will have moved up to the upper box and you can ditch the bottom hive body

but on the other hand you could keep the box the way it is and let it stay wild - since they have survived several year on there own --- and just catch swarms as they produce them - since they have good genetics

thats my food for thought today
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everyone. All good ideas. I'll see how this plays out. I think there is a small cluster of bees in this hive because the bees are only really present between two frames, not more than that.

The original beek did tell me he had originally populated that hive with Russians. If so, that would explain the small cluster that over wintered. Perhaps these bees could be combined with another hive if I could coax them out of that one single deep they live in now. There has to be a queen in there, just has to be right?

The wax in the frames is black, black, black all the way to the top and on the sides.
 

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could you pop a side of the box off and work it in from the left or right, basically doing a cutout as you go. after you get the comb and all out, you can just trash the frames as you move in....
 

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My inclination would be to do as has been suggested, put a deep brood box on top, let them move up, and super as needed... In fact, by next spring, they may have moved honey and everything out of those boxes... Then you can tear it apart, and melt the wax down in a solar wax melter... Who knows what you'll find there. Good luck!
 

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Get a long knife the length of an uncapping knife and cut one or two of the outside most frames free.

Replace them with new frames drawn or undrawn and if there are still stores in that old comb put them in a box on top of ALL other supers with enough frames to fill the box and the bees will move the honey out of those old frames.

Every couple of weeks you can cut out another frame or two and move it up to the top box, even if there's brood in it....they will cover the brood, let it hatch and then largely abandon it since it way far away from the brood box.

By mid summer you should be able to replace ALL of the old frames in the brood box.....that will also give them time to arrange their brood box any way they want in time for Winter.
 

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I had a few like this during spring - old neglected hives.

I put a few hours into them over several weekends. The top bars were just pulling out of the rotted frames as I tried to inspect. I treated a few of them like a cutout and placed the brood into new frames with elastic bands and gave them their own dark honey and a lot of foundation. The 2 hives I did like this, took more time initally, but once done, was cruising. the other 2 just seemed to go on and on and on etc.
 
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