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guys, I'm new to the forum and beekeeping and this may have been covered before, sorry. I built a warre hive, I now have been given a swarm in a possum box (I live in Australia)with comb in it. The possum box is a smaller surface than the warre but much taller. My initial thought was to make a "lid" for the warre with a decent hole in it, remove the bottom of the possum box and secure it on that lid. That way, I do not disturb the exisiting combs, and hopefully , in time , they will start building onto the warre frames underneath. Is that a good idea ??
I have looked at videos with transferring combs using rubber bands , but I don't have frames, just bars.
First beekeeping experience for me , excited, but not overly confident :)
 

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Well the way Emile Warre said his hive design should be run is by adding more boxes underneath, so your plan may work.

According to his ideas, you add new warre boxes underneath and remove the top ones as they fill with honey. So in time you could remove the possum box, scrape out the combs and drain the honey, and return the possum box to it's owner maybe with a jar of honey :).

Oh, I'm a kiwi so you know how we feel about your possums ;).
 

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Some of us don't even know what a possum is ... :) So, I had to look up "possum box" and it seems that they're typically 400mm or more in depth (?).

Although the overall principle you describe is ok - with that depth of comb I'd be a little concerned that they may not consider the cavity below a relatively small hole to be part of their 'nest'. So - what I'd suggest is to make a square 'adapter plate', such that the hole then has the same dimensions (or near enough) as that of the possum box internal footprint. Essentially then, we're talking about a square adapter frame between the two boxes.

I'd then recommend you secure the two boxes together somehow, with the adapter frame sandwiched between them - so that you'll then be able to tilt-back this assembly from time to time and so check if the bees have started to draw comb within the Warre box.

Having given them a few days to settle, it would also be a good move to block off the possum box entrance (say, at night) so that the bees would then be forced to find their way out of the single Warre box via it's entrance, and so start using that instead. My guess is that by passing through the Warre box, they'll just begin to extend their combs downwards, and with luck you'll be home and dry. :)

An alternative approach would be to make frames to fit your Warre box (that's my current approach), but personally I'd be inclined to test the above approach first. Even if it should fail and you decide to then do a cut-out, the longer those combs are in use, the tougher they'll become, and the easier they'll be to handle.

Best of luck with this ...
LJ
 

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I had to look up possum box too. I think the chances of them moving on their own is low. Ultimately you’re probably going to have to do a cut out. Do as LJ suggested to get then using the Warre to come and go. Make yourself 8 Hoffman style frames for a second Warre box. By the time you have the frames made they’ll be oriented to using the warre entrance. Place 3 rubber bands around the Warre frames. Cut brood comb from the possum box and slip it inside the rubber bands. The bees will hook it up to the frame. Put the brood into the second Warre box and put it on top of the first. Remove the possum box.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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So my first thought was why do you blokes provide a nesting box for possums? Then I looked it up and saw that the Bushy Tailed possum is much cuter than the 'possums we have here in the States that just look like a big ugly rat.

Did you ever get the bees moved in? If so, what method did you ultimately end up using?
 

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LOL, that exemplifies a dilema around conservation, that is a vexing problem.

The general public support saving certain species because they are cute, or have some other charismatic appeal. Species that unfortunately look ugly to human eyes, are a lot harder to get support to save.

Over here for example, there are well supported efforts to save some of our endangered native birds, ones that are colorful, or have endearing personalities. On the other hand, the native bittern, which is secretive, drab colored, and no especially endearing behaviors, has only about 500 individuals left, and few people are much bothered about wether they stay or they go.
 

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I have transferred cut out brood onto Warre topbars using these hangers made from 1/2" hardware mesh.


 

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Very nice Odfrank. Looks solid enough to hold the comb, plus easy to remove afterwards (y).
 
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