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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks,

I'm new to beekeeping and have an old hive wich is unfortunately on its last legs as are the frames inside. I have a new hive but what is the best way to get the bees from one hive to the other with fresh frames?

I've been told I can take off the old super and queen excluder, and put the new broodbox and super on top of that mines the floor and they will move up into the new hive in a few weeks or so...

Anyone any experience of this or suggestions?

Cheers
 

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What you've described will work but will take a bit of time.

If you are in a hurry, you could:

1) Tear down the hive as if you were doing a full inspection.
2) Replace the bottom board.
3) Place your new brood chamber with frames of foundation on the new bottom board.
4) Remove three middle frames from the new brood chamber
5) Gently shake the bees from the existing brood chamber into the new one
6) Very gently replace the 3 frames (add to outside and move other frames inward)
7) Make sure the queen goes in the new brood chamber
8) Place your queen excluder over the new brood chamber
9) Place the current brood chamber on top of the excluder
10) Feed the colony as your local conditions warrant

If you have partially filled honey supers you can keep using them until the end of the season. If the super boxes are bad you can move frames that have honey & nectar in them to a new box. I wouldn't add any additional supers at this time as the bees need to concentrate on drawing out their new brood chamber. Your priority becomes having the bees draw out their new home instead of collecting surplus honey.

This method forces the queen to lay in the new brood chamber and forces the colony to draw comb for the queen to lay in. Nurse bees will pass through the queen excluder just fine and will care for any brood in the existing brood chamber. Once all the brood is hatched in old brood chamber you can remove it.

Do you use a single deep for your brood chamber? If not you'll need to adapt the above - but you should have the basic ideas by now.

Good luck!
 

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We just did something similar, although we took the old frames to a new hive.
Search for this post: "How to get the bees out of the very old deserted hive ?"
Good Luck !
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks folks :)

Andrew, I'm in no hurry and not what you'd call an expert at handling the bees.
I'm tempted to go with the seemingly easier method of just putting the new hive on top if that will work. How long do you think it would take?
 

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Up to a season :). What condition are the frames in, and do you have protective equipment? If the frames are OK, and they often are even in tatty old boxes, you could just move all the frames into new boxes. Or find the queen (a good exercise, and maybe a mentor could help) and install her ABOVE the excluder in your new equipment with some open brood frames. That'll get them moving up.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Cool! Cheers Ben...

Well most of the frames are ok actually, I just thought it would be nice to replace them as a few have broken from the super when trying to prise them free.

I have a bee suit and some gloves and a smoker, I had an expert swing by a few weeks ago now and we marked the queen tho I thought she was pretty easy to spot anyway.

So, I'd take off the old super, open the brood and find the frame with the queen on it, put that and some new frames in the new brood box and place it on top of the old one with the queen excluder in place (she'd be effectively trapped in?) then the new super on top of that with all the old and a couple of new frames in it?

The thing is I have a whole bunch of new frames with fresh foundation, and when the bee man came by he was a bit vigerous cleaning some of the super frames and I'm thinkng any new honeycomb the bees make on fresh frames and foundation will be a lot more regular than what they've been filling in some big holes with.
 
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