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I have a stack of medium supers some with frames w/o foundation just outside the electric fence of my apiary. A swarm (not from my hives) has taken up residence in the boxes and has begun building comb at odd angles. I need to move them about 10 feet so they are inside the fence. I plan to set up a deep on a bottom board where I want them and put a frame of brood from another hive in the deep and just move the medium box on top of it. I will try to save some of the comb and wire it into the medium. I plan to keep them confined until the following morning and hope they re-orient. I have no experience in doing that so we will see. I would appreciate any advice on the plan. Thanks.
 

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A swarm that has only been in the hive 2 days or less can be moved & the bees will re orient straight away. Older than 2 days they start behaving more like a hive, with bees returning to the original location.

However if you only want to move them 10 feet, just move them. Returning bees will circle in the place where the hive had been, but will eventually find the hive it is close enough. Your plan to give them a comb of brood is good, however just having one only comb of brood in an otherwise empty box may be a problem, it will take the bees a lot of resources to cover it, and guard it.

Here's my suggestion. - Move the hive exactly as it is, to the new position. Give them 2 days to settle in their new place, then remove some frames to make room and put the frame of brood in. The frames you removed can be rearranged with combs positioned correctly, then put back in the hive say, following day, and more frames removed for fixing, continue over a few days or weeks till the combs are how you want them. Once you have a few properly built combs you just have to put an empty frame between 2 good ones and the bees will build the comb in the right place.
 

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Thanks for the well thought out advice Oldtimer. I understand what you are saying about the brood and if I am understanding you correctly I would be better off leaving them in the medium box they are in and forget about the deep for the time being.
 

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Your plan sounds fine for you. I use all mediums so I would just fix the comb with rubber bands, move the supers, and set a leafy branch in front of the entrance so the bees will reorient when they leave the hive. Ordinarily, I would wait a few days if the swarm had just moved in in case the swarm had a virgin queen who needed to mate. But it sounds like they have been there long enough already. (You might look for eggs when you fix the comb.) I would wait until after dark to actually move the hive if it was convenient to do so. I hope it goes well for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks. That sounds like good advice also. Although at my age I need as much daylight as I can get. Probably dusk is as late as I can manage.
 

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if I am understanding you correctly I would be better off leaving them in the medium box they are in and forget about the deep for the time being.
Not necessarily. If you put an empty super under the hive you can then hang any depth of frame you want in the hive among the other combs, it will just protrude below the others somewhat. This will only be temporary till you have the other combs the way you want them & can then rearrange boxes etc how you want them.
 
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