Beekeeping is a lot like BBQ

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Whisky Fish, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. Whisky Fish

    Whisky Fish New Member

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    Once you start BBQing everyone wants to be a part of it and you end up cooking all the time. Since starting this hobby 2 months ago I've purchased two hives done a cutout, captured a swarm for a friend and now, after replacing completely disintegrated lids on two of four neglected hives, I am recieving those 4 hives that haven't been worked in more than 5 years.
    The two hives were so wide open that the bees were no longer using the bottom entrance and using thier bodies to plug the gaps between boards. So after putting on solid lids I drilled a 3/8 inch hole near the top of each for fear that the bottm entrance might have some internal blockage, to be sure that there was some airway for them and to get them use to using the bottom entrance again. The plan is to prepare a spot for them in my apiary, provide them with some food for the winter and move them come springtime. I would also like to replace the equipment from top to bottom. ie bottom board brood boxes and lids.
    Should I replace the equipment now or wait till spring?
    Should I move them in their original hives or change equipment once they've acclimated to thier new surroundings come springtime?
    There are no excluders in these hives, is there a preferred method of changing to new boxes?
    I'll post some pics here in a minute.
    I didn't open them anymore than I had to because the ones that were open, were pretty hot. I'm sure they've been having quite a battle with pests since they were so exposed and I wanted them to cool off some on the insecurity. The one fram I did pull looked great, large solid brood pattern with good honey stores surrounding.
     
  2. Whisky Fish

    Whisky Fish New Member

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  3. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    :lol: Those look like new boxes compared to the ones I worked on today. :lol:
    Another keep got ill and has been in the hospital for the last couple of weeks and doesn't look like he'll get out soon. He asked me if I would do a mite treatment on his 40 hives and I said I would. I got 22 done today. On one of them I had to give up getting the second deep off the bottom one, it just couldn't be done. I broke 3 lids just trying to get them off, and the edges of more than a few boxes are toast. I will try and get pictures tomorrow (weather permitting) and you will appreciate the good condition those hives are in. :lol:
    Given you are in California, I would think you should be OK to transfer them before winter (?) sets in there.
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    it is hard to see detail but generally if you expect any kind of cool weather during the winter time you would want to limit any cranks or air holes in the stack of boxes < you really want to think about cold and wet here since the combination can be a lethal combination... a good and simple place to start here is to simply have a good tight lid free of any defects or rot. a bit of jerry rigging with duc tape works and a small hand staple gun (in anyplace with a modest climate) should allow you however much time you need to remedy, replace, repair any defects in the existing stack of boxes.

    old boxes and old equipment represent a real head ache in that everything over time is so tightly bound together internally that taking these apart the first time is a lot of hard work and a lot of straining. often time in the melee some equipment will just come apart (even more so if the frame in the box are old) and almost without exception you should expect 'the girls' to be more than a bit distressed at your intrusion. I have seen long neglected hives that appear mean as snakes the first time I ripped them apart but once they were broken down and all defective frames and boxes replaced, the next time around you would swear they were a totally different set of bees < as you suggest in your first post this may have to do as much with how exposed the hive is to the threat of various predators including wax moth and hive beetles which will find any and all rotting wood in an old hive a nice place to call home.

    the difficult question to answer is how much extra stuff you will need once you get to the point of doing this dirty job.... you really never know how much stuff internally will simply fall apart and at least when I have done this sort of thing I tend to lean in the direction of tossing anything internally that is not fairly solid and 100% intact.

    thanks for sharing the pictures and good luck.
     
  5. Whisky Fish

    Whisky Fish New Member

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    Thanks for your response. Good to see that my instincts were heading in the right direction. Kinda flying by the seat of my pants with this stuff. Along with the hives the guy gave me four boxes full of brand new bodies, frames, bottom boards, feeders ect. In addition I've got a bunch of stuff already so I'll be sure to have it all ready to go. Didn't want to tear into these things and have them come apart with nothing to replace them with.
    It's mostly the bottom boards I'm worried about. Don't know if I'll have my apiary ready for them before spring and we do have a mild climate. So I'll plan on rehabing the boxes in place gradually, over the winter during bouts of good weather. Thanks again, I'll try and get some pics when I open them and post here.
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip.....
    Kinda flying by the seat of my pants with this stuff.

    tecumseh...
    that is one talent that beekeeping does encourage. something like 50 years later in this little adventure I lean very hard on instinct as much as knowledge or any writ in stone game plan <there is however nothing wrong with learning the basic from what ever reading source you can put your hands on...
     
  7. Whisky Fish

    Whisky Fish New Member

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    Couldn't agree more Tecumseh. And that's where this forum is invaluable. You won't find a book that spells out what to do with healthy hives that have open tops, pissed off bees that you suddenly own. Perry's response told me, it ain't that bad and yours told me to work the issues in ways that I was already thinking. What responses can you get from veteran beeks that make you feel any better? I'm a happy camper. Thanx again!