Moving a hive to boxes

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Steele, Oct 7, 2009.

  1. Steele

    Steele New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hi all.
    I live in Phoenix AZ where it is pretty warm all winter except for a couple of cold weeks in January and February. I have had this beautiful hive living and thriving on the side of my house for a few years now. They are very calm bees I would even say they are friendly if you can say that about a hive. Over the last year I have been researching keeping bees.

    So now I want to move them into a box. I have bought a “starter kit†that includes two hive bodies w/ frames, two supers w/ frames, gloves, veil, smoker, book etc.

    I would like to get the hive into the boxes before it gets cold (it is still in the mid 80s here)

    This is where my questions start… Am I right in thinking that before I get the bees into the boxes I should put in parts of their hive with brood, honey and pollen so the bees can carry on as normal? And if so what part of the boxes should that go into? The supers? Or top hive body?

    Thank you in advance for any suggestions and if there is anyone who lives on the west side of Phoenix that would be willing to supervise these maneuvers that would be great!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    First, if they are 3 years old, they are likely to succumb to mites this year. The third winter is the worst for that. If they do make it through, they may well have some natural resistance to mites and will be very desirable bees.

    Second, removals are best made in the spring, when the flowers are blooming and the days are getting longer and warmer. The bees will have a much better chance of surviving.....many times better.

    Third, remove the outer combs first, keeping the capped honey for yourself, disposing of the uncapped honey by allowing the bees to carry it back to the hive, not by installing it in the hive. Leave the two center combs for an hour or so and if you didn't get the queen because she ran into a crevice of the house, she is likely to return to these two combs.

    Install the brood comb into the frames with rubber bands or cotton string, or search for "sandwich frames" and make yourself 4 or 5. Place the frames of brood into one deep. If you fill it, "which is doubtful" ,use a second deep. Store all empty boxes, deep or supers, until needed. Another box should be added when there are 1 or 2 empty frames left in the hive, and all others are full.

    If I didn't cover it all, ask and I'll try to answer what I missed.
     

  3. SlickMick

    SlickMick New Member

    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It's a lovely colony isn't it Iddee

    Mick
     
  4. Steele

    Steele New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks Iddee that is very helpful

    A little more info... where I plan to put the boxes is only about 20 ft from where they are now. I have 2 acres of land and live next to a large alfalfa field and other farms.

    This shot was taken in the middle of the day this summer (well over 105 degrees f. in the shade) when many bees were away. In the evening you can not see any comb at all.

    Actually this will be the fourth winter.
    I noticed last winter the colony dropped in numbers to about half of what you see in the picture. And some of the comb turned very dark almost black. I thought they were done for but in spring they came back like crazy.

    Is the black comb typical or was that some problem they survived?
    What can I do to help avoid the mite problem and how do I identify it?

    Oh and thanks Slick Mick, I am proud of this colony even though I have nothing to do with their success. I think of them as pets.
     
  5. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    They do reduce numbers for the winter. The comb turns black when unattended, from dust and dirt. They clean it when it is needed again.

    Mites can be checked once they are in a hive. After 4 years, my guess is the mite count will be low. If they had no genetic resistance, they should have died by now. How much, we won't know until mite counts are done next summer.

    Yeah, Mick, it's one of the wonders of nature. Truly beautiful.
     
  6. arkiebee

    arkiebee New Member

    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    WOW! Now that is a beautiful picture! :coolphotos: Thank you for taking care and thinking of the bees! Iddee won't steer you wrong - he knows what he is talking about! That ought to be on a magazine cover!
     
  7. Steele

    Steele New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I was wondering why the dark color seemed to clear up. we have a dust storm here every time the wind blows so it can get quite dirty.
    I have read about doing mite counts. I guess you can't know it all before you start, there is no substitute for experience.
    I will post another photo from later in the day when all the girls are home, it is really something to see.

    Thanks again
    P Steele
     
  8. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

    Messages:
    1,399
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Seeing that makes you realize why people came up with top bar hives, with the triangular space. Thanks for the great photo, and looking forward to seeing the one with everyone at home!
     
  9. Murrell

    Murrell New Member

    Messages:
    382
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    That's some nice looking comb !
    How far are you from Waddel, Az. just west of Goodyear ?

    Murrell
     
  10. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper New Member

    Messages:
    1,011
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Yes indeedy that is some nice comb. I got one like that out of an apple tree a few years ago. It was their first year and probably would have died during our Michigan winter in that tree.

    105F YUK, I'll take the snow of our winters. Might want to think of a place for the girls with afternoon shade once you gat them in a hive. Paint the hives a light color and maybe do a reflective color for the top. I would give thought about useing a screen bottom board so they can fan air thru the hives.


    Also comb will get black like tar over time. Even though you tell the girls to wipe their feet when entering the hive they rarely do. So over time it gets black. We recycle frames every year. My method is to hang the frame in my solar melter (holds 30 frames.) so the wax melts out. Remove them after a couple days and scrap any remaining stuff off them and inspect them as being sound enough for new foundation. Once that step is taken care of I place them in a bleach bath (1 gallon bleach to 4 gallons of water.) for about 3 days then remove and rince them. there ready for new wax foundation then.

    Those bees teach me some thing new every year.

    :mrgreen: Al