Author Topic: Moving bees for repairs  (Read 3135 times)

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Offline Wandering Man

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Moving bees for repairs
« on: October 20, 2019, 04:58:43 pm »
3Reds still loves her horizontal Langstroths.  Unfortunately, one of them was not well made and is now in need of repair.

The box was too thin, and one of the sides has warped. 

I'm going to move the bees into a standard vertical langstroth tomorrow and bring the horizontal box home for repairs.

Of course, I have no idea how long it will take me to do the repairs, but in the event that the repair/rebuild is done quickly, should I move the bees back in right away?  Should I wait until Spring?

We usually have a mild winter, with only a couple of day below freezing, so I'm not too concerned about the weather.  But I am concerned about how much I'll be disturbing the bees.  I'll put a queen excluder between the entrance and the bottom box, so absconding won't be a problem.




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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Moving bees for repairs
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2019, 06:14:05 pm »
Try not to break up the brood frames.  Keep them together.  You may need to lay a branch or something at the entrance so it will slow them down when they leave and allow them to orientate to the new housing. I would feed them 2:1 sugar syrup as well if they need some food stored.  I would use as little smoke as possible so that they know they haven't lost the queen's pheromones.

Do you wait or return them to the horizontal hive as soon as possible?  I have never worked with a horizontal hive, so I am just thinking out loud.  With a Langstroth, in the spring, we reverse the hive bodies so the brood will be at the bottom.  With a horizontal, do you move frames around to fit the seasons?   You might want to wait until that time.

Maybe it's time for me to learn more about horizontal hives?  Those boxes get heavier every year.  ;D
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Offline Wandering Man

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Re: Moving bees for repairs
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2019, 08:11:37 pm »
Try not to break up the brood frames.  Keep them together.  You may need to lay a branch or something at the entrance so it will slow them down when they leave and allow them to orientate to the new housing. I would feed them 2:1 sugar syrup as well if they need some food stored.  I would use as little smoke as possible so that they know they haven't lost the queen's pheromones.

Do you wait or return them to the horizontal hive as soon as possible?  I have never worked with a horizontal hive, so I am just thinking out loud.  With a Langstroth, in the spring, we reverse the hive bodies so the brood will be at the bottom.  With a horizontal, do you move frames around to fit the seasons?   You might want to wait until that time.

Maybe it's time for me to learn more about horizontal hives?  Those boxes get heavier every year.  ;D

I’ll put the new box where the old one is. Think I still need to put up an obstruction?

We just leave them alone, not moving them around. The bees keep the brood nest pretty close to the entrance. Although this hive starts its brood nest about 7 or 8 frames in.

3Reds doesn’t want to wait. She wants to get the bees back into the long Lang as soon as possible.

B13, you should have 1 built just for the experience. Just make sure you get someone who doesn’t skimp on the materials.
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Offline iddee

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Re: Moving bees for repairs
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2019, 05:26:34 am »
My suggestion would be to build another long lang and only move them once. Then keep the old one for a swarm catch box or temp. emergency hive.
“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Moving bees for repairs
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2019, 05:42:27 am »


I’ll put the new box where the old one is. Think I still need to put up an obstruction?

We just leave them alone, not moving them around. The bees keep the brood nest pretty close to the entrance. Although this hive starts its brood nest about 7 or 8 frames in.


What can it hurt to put a little something at the entrance?  They are going to know they were moved.  You will be making sure they know where home is now.

When you move those frames to the Langstroth, I would keep the frames, that contain the brood, in the same configuration.  I would also put those frames of brood at the center of the bottom brood box.  You never know, something may happen to delay the repair and they have to spend the winter in the Langstroth.  Keeping them in the same configuration will make it easier for the bees to keep the brood warm on chilly nights.  Adjacent to those brood frames you will want to place frames with pollen and stored honey, so they can feed the larvae.  The outside frames should contain stored honey.  On top of the brood frames, in the second box, place frames of honey.  Again, if you are unable to repair the old box quickly, they can spend the winter and have plenty of food that is easy to access.

I see iddee has posted an excellent suggestion, but if I understand correctly, you have extra Langstroth boxes around.  Good luck!  It's no fun fixing someone else's inferior work.
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Offline Wandering Man

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Re: Moving bees for repairs
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2019, 10:32:26 am »
My suggestion would be to build another long lang and only move them once. Then keep the old one for a swarm catch box or temp. emergency hive.

 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

I told 3Reds this bit of advice, and she told me that this is what she'd been hinting at all along!

Bakers, why don't women just tell you what they want?  Why even try to give hints to an obviously oblivious man?
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Offline iddee

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Re: Moving bees for repairs
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2019, 11:24:01 am »
Smart lady.   :P
“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Moving bees for repairs
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2019, 05:40:27 am »


I told 3Reds this bit of advice, and she told me that this is what she'd been hinting at all along!

Bakers, why don't women just tell you what they want?  Why even try to give hints to an obviously oblivious man?

Say What?!!  And miss out on all the fun!   :laugh:

"obviously oblivious man"   :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:


Offline Wandering Man

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Re: Moving bees for repairs
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2019, 08:24:04 am »
Maybe I should change my name, Obviously Oblivious Man .... OOM.

Everybody would think I’m meditating when I’m actually just sleeping.
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Offline iddee

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Re: Moving bees for repairs
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2019, 08:43:02 am »
Maybe you better start sawing and nailing before 3reds quits cooking.   :o :o ;D
“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
― Shel Silverstein
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