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Hey all again:

I have some of my hives that are still in good shape, but have some repairs needed and I'd like to take them apart, clean them, and repaint them. They have active strong colonies in them at this time.

What is the best way to do this ? I have some extra hives and supers and they are ready to go. Now, the important thing is; what is the best, most efficient and safe way to swap my girls to a new home, confiscate their present home, and do this ?

Also what time of year would be best for this ? Right now, here in S.W. Louisiana, we stay in a red alert heat stress warning with high heat indexes every day.

Thanks again everyone. I really depend on you guys/gals, it's so good to have a place to go to for bee advice and help.

Thanks and all the best,

casper_zip
 

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I bought 100 supers that are in fair to poor condition and after spending a great deal of time to get them in good condition, can only say that unless you have nothing better to do, I would build or buy NEW. (still have half of them to go for next winter)
My frugal conservative nature has caught me more than once. LOL

I have developed a system that works well if you are also frugal or lack the funds needed to build or buy new:

If the top 5/8 bee space for the frames is damaged or decayed I first skim off that portion with a 7 1/4 cheap carbide blade (safety glasses/cuts nails at times) on the table saw with the fence moved up to keep these cuts parallel with the other face. I then glue and nail a new strip(s) (narrow and wide, but slightly less than 5/8 inch high) to the top of the fresh cut. (air nailer very handy)
Dry overnight, then run it thru a table router to restore the 5/8 frame rest so that it will have the proper bee space. (only the 5/8 depth is now incorrect)

When done on that side I flip them over to remove the other face or bottom.
I try to remove some amount that will get rid of the decay and be easy to fix.
That is usually 1/4 or 3/8 of an inch but may be more depending on the condition. I usually make it a tad big so that I have a fresh cut on the bottom, restoring the overall height to 6 5/8 with just a light rip, or sometimes adding a glued and nailed strip.
With the glue, and paint one can hardly see they have been repaired.
Good for another 10-20 years?
As to replacement, get a complete hive ready and swap out the frames,
then repair that one etc.
Never hurts to have one extra hive around, you can use that extra as a bait hive later.

BM
 

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I would wait until after the honey flow, then take some new boxes and bottom board, a cover, and just go slide the old hive aside and put the new bottom board where the old one was and a box on it. Then open the hive and move frame by frame into the new boxes. Now you have the old equipment empty, do as you will with it at your liesure.
 

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Switching boxes isn't hard. Just move the whole hive three feet away. Place your new bottom board right where the old one was. Put your box on the bottom board (new box) and reach in the old box and move all the frames into the new box. Shake any bees that are left on the inside of the box. Repeat until all your old equipment is empty. Take the old equipment and repair as needed.

Hopefully you arn't planning on ripping apart the joints, right? If attached properly in the first place, those things should be difficult, if not impossible to dismantle without destroying it.

I can usually just clean the boxes out while the bees are in it though. Just be careful. Some repaint with bees inside. I prefer to switch out for that though.
 

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Yeah, I agree just moving the hive to the side and building up new in it's place and swapping frame is all it takes.

You mentioned the heat though. Bee's have an airflow setup inside there and this kind of a swap will get them all messed up. If the heat is extreme this can be hard on them. Waiting at least until the sun get's lower in the sky seems prudent. I would do it at least an hour before sunset to be sure they have time to figure it out and get back inside before dark.

Also, if you are giving them any new frames that you want to get drawn out, then I have to disagree with jal_ut. If you want frames drawn yet this season, you need to get them in there no later than the START of your fall flow. If all you are doing is transferring their drawn frames to a new box, then it doesn't matter too much when you do it.
 

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casper what i do is build a few boxes i get the cull pine from home depot or lowes then just transfer the girls to the new boxes. then i take the damaged ones to my table saw and cut out the rotted parts and glue pieces of scrap ripped to near the correct size after the glue sets i rip the repair on the table saw to the correct size i usually cut all 4 sides so it all matches paint it all and its good as new i always glue and clamp all repairs
 

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Too much sweaty work during this season. Wait until spring. Less bees, some dead outs (maybe), requeening, splits, etc. Much easier to do then and not as warm at all. Unless you want to repair the supers during the winter... OMTCW
 
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