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Removing bees from very old hardware, frames etc.

1611 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Nelsonhoneyfarms
I got a call from someone who has two very old hives that have not been inspected or worked in over 5 years. She’s located in SoCal (Africanized zone). I did a temperament check on both hives by opening the lids and attempting to inspect a frame. One hive is 4 deeps tall and active with hyper defensive bees. I’d rate them an 8 on defensiveness, hot bees! The second hive setup is 3 deeps tall with manageable bees, a 5 on defensiveness. Both set ups are rotted and full of termites. Everything is propolized and a mess inside. Frames will probably fall apart if I try and pull them. She wants to get back to managing them, but needs help getting started and relocating them in new hardware. This could take me hours and she’s on a budget. I want to suggest we get new hardware, bee escape and use a top entrance to force them up and out of the old boxes and into new ones. We could also use a queen excluder to keep the queen centralized in one of the new boxes for requeening on the hyper defensive colony. Any thoughts on this idea?
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Let's see.She is already into the cost of new equipment and 2 new Qs.How much is your time worth?.Are you a glutton for punishment?
Packages are cheap and provide a slow learning curve for a beginner .Soapy water or wrap the nasty buggers in black plastic.
I am all about helping folks, but when someone asks me to do a job like that, and expects me to cheapen it because they are on a budget, I usually politely tell them thanks but no thanks.

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