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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to be moving an old hive in about a week (approx.4-6 miles).I'm new to bee keeping and have been reading up on everything preparing for next spring, but I found out about this hive that I can get for free( the guy is moving out of state)I went and looked at it(3 deeps tall) but the bottom and entrance is home made it only has a small hole that the bees can hardly fit into.The bottom hive body is very old,but I think it will hold up for the move.The bees are mostly entering the top because the cover is rotted on the front and rear.I do have a buddy to help with moving them,but he is new to bees to. Here in Ohio it has been very hot lately. Should I buy a new top(maybe screened) to install before we move them. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I will be using 8 frame hives next spring(I have a bad back)so I would like to switch them to a new 8 frame set up or should I just replace the bottom and top and leave them go for now. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Should I try to move them as is then change top and bottom after I get them home.( the top is in pretty bad shape)
 

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If you're sure the equipment (esp the bottom board) will survive the move, go ahead and move it before transferring to your new equipment. A screened top is a good idea.

Fasten the hive together with a couple of ratchet straps. You'll want to move the hive either early in the morning before the bees start flying for the day, or early evening when all the field bees have returned home.

Make sure your buddy has whatever gear he needs to feel comfortable helping you out. You absolutely don't want to be abandoned half way through the move. Three deeps is a lot to lift. See if you can borrow a hive carrier from someone - that will make it a bit easier. If the bottom board will stand it I'd put a few hive staples into it and the deep above just to make sure the bottom board stays attached during the move. If you don't have access to hive staples you can use wood scraps and nails to fasten them together.

If you have any doubts about the old equipment holding together for the move - then transfer the hive into new equipment first. I'd wait a week or so to let the bees settle into their new home before moving it, but if the move has to be done immediately, it is not that big a deal.

It would be prudent too to have someone with experience check the hive for disease prior to moving it. You don't want to be bringing AFB home.

Good luck!
 

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If it were me, I'd get together some used equipment I was certain of the condition of, or all new equipment (bottom, supers, cover), that will hold the frames from the existing hive. Then, as the old hive is examined to be certain of its disease free status, move the frames from the existing gear, into your gear. Then, as has been mentioned before, move them, either first light, or after dark.
 

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If you have never seen a hive broken open in the dark, and want to..... then go ahead and move it as is.

Myself, I have been stung many many times by bees that get loose at night. It is VERY VERY unpleasant.

I would take the time to stabilize the equipment in place before attempting the move. It may be unpleasant to have to go over there a coupe times to get them ready to move, but nowhere near as unpleasant as a broken open box of angry bees at night.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the replies. I think the hive can with stand the move.The top cover is the worst and needs replaced.My concern with the bottom board is that the owner built it out of 2x4s and it only has an opening big enough for one bee at a time to enter.I'm concerned about not having enough air. We don't have anyone in my area any more to inspect the hive so I'm on my own. If I can get it home how long should I wait to change the bottom board and the bottom hive body, and should I wait till next spring to convert to 8 frame. Thank you
 

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I'd give them a day or two to recover from their move and then transfer them to your 8 frame equipment. Or as soon as you get your new equipment together.
 

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Hive staples will get the bees in a uproar just putting them in . Put 2 screws in each corner but not directely on top of each other.(offsect them) then take ty wraps(plastic ties)to tie the bottom board to the hive.If you want to remove them they can be cut.
 
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