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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need help "encouraging" a colony to move up into a hive body. I relocated a large birdhouse which was heavily colonized (1'x1'base, 2' tall) to my bee yard. I did not have enough spare deep boxes to put around the tall birdhouse so I made a modified bottom board/adapter thingie by cutting a piece of plywood to match my 10-frame deep and cut a hole in it to match the birdhouse top (I removed the top of the birdhouse). I put a 3/8" rim on 3 sides of the board to give bee space below the frames and create a bottom-board style entrance/exit. Then I coverd the bird hole up.
It has been about 3 weeks now and the bees have not moved into the frames at all yet. I was hoping they would move up and I could eventually find the queen up top and use a queen excluder to phase out the birdhouse. They seem to be perfectly happy where they are in the birdhouse but of course they aren't very useful to me in there. Am I jumping the gun and need to give them more time? Should I try Bee-Quick or similar product to drive them up? Should I knuckle up and cut them out? I'm trying to avoid a cut out but if that's what it takes then so be it. This is my first experience with feral bees and I have never done a cut-out before.
Thanks for any advise you can give!
 

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Try this,
Drumming = Tapping or thumping on the sides of a hive to make the bees ascend into another hive placed over it or to drive them out of a tree or house. This will not get all of them out, but will move a significant number.
once they are up in your box slide a queen excluder between.
 

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Agree...start the cut out. Couldn't have a better place to do it...right there in the yard (no crawling under the house or climbing roofs). It's a good experience to try. And I have found the bees are pretty good at repairing my mistakes. Pull up a chair, methodically cut out and attach to the frames. Also you have the advantage that the bees are already home there, you don't have to worry about getting all the foragers back at some other location.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the advise everyone! I need to build some more boxes and bottom boards so when I finish that project next week if there is still no movement I'll put on my big-boy pants and cut them out. In the mean time I put in some extra old brood comb (don't have any active brood to spare now) and a couple drops of lemongrass oil just for kicks. They have 1 week and them I'm going in!
 
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