Getting bees out of one hive into another.

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by babnik, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. babnik

    babnik New Member

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    After a somewhat successful first year of beekeeping, I have a little question regarding getting bees out of their current hive into new wood-ware. I inherited 3 hives which had been abandoned for 3 or 4 years, and some of the boxes are in a pretty bad state. All of the boxes have a lot of burr comb and inspections are difficult. Two of the hives have missing frames, and the bees filled up the space. I'd like to move them to new boxes and frames next spring, but not sure how to go about it. I did ask this question once, and the answers were either a cut out or let them move naturally up to an empty box. I'd like to go the natural, up to an empty box route. Any tips? When to do it, how to encourage them? How to make sure the queen has gone too?
     
  2. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    are these langstroth hives?

    first I would think timing is of prime importance. early on you will have fewer bees and likely lot of empty frames or empty comb that can be disposed of if you wish.

    as far as I know you have about two ways to make certain of the location of the queen.... 1) you see her on a particular frame or 2) place queen excluders between each box and 4+ days later any eggs will inform you she is in that box.
     

  3. Steve10

    Steve10 New Member

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    I've only done this once and it worked for me, so I'm not sure if the results are repeatable or it was just dumb luck on my part. It's a takeoff of L.L. Langstroth's description of "drumming." Take the old boxes off the hive stand and set them aside upside down off to the side. Put a new box and cover on the old stand to collect any foragers while you "drum" the old boxes.

    Next, take another new box and cover and put it on the stack of upside down old boxes, preferable with frames of drawn comb and a frame of honey in this new box. Sit there for 15-20 minutes and rhythmically beat on the boxes with your hands or some sticks. When you think your finished, remove this "new" box from the stack of old boxes and put it on top of the new box you left on the original stand. Put the old boxes on their sides, in front of the old stand and go find something to do for a while until the bees calm down. Then check your new boxes for the queen. If all works well the queen will be in the new boxes and the bees from the colony will move the old honey into the new boxes.

    After I was done, I did tear the old box apart, and cut out some of the brood comb and fastened it to empty frames and added it to the new boxes. It was much easier because there were very few bees to deal with in those old boxes.

    Hope this helps,
    Steve