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Author Topic: FOR ALL THE PLANNING... Have I killed them?  (Read 322 times)

Offline The Wayfinder

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FOR ALL THE PLANNING... Have I killed them?
« on: May 27, 2019, 11:12:29 pm »
Hello There from Pender Island, one of the Southern Gulf Islands off the coast of British Columbia, Canada:

I'm a newbee.  Took an introductory local course. Walking the dog one morning, I mentioned my new bee status to a neighbour.  She pointed out the hives that were still in her garden left a long time ago by the person who was teaching the Bee course.  Great Plans, but life had gotten in the way.  I asked & received permission to refurbish 6 mediums, a truck-load of 8" frames, and an inner cover & lid.

Purchased a new screened bottom board and scrubbed my fingers raw.  Painted them up nicely and waited for my NUC to arrive.  All this time it never occured to me.  I had made the choice to work with mediums, so no deeps.  I'm doubting that decision now, but then it seemed a great co-incidence to acquire what I needed without cost.

It rained the day we picked up the NUC.  After getting up at 5:00 am, a ferry ride at 7:30am a short drive, a return ferry - we were putting the bees in their new home before it occurred to me.  I have a truck-load of 8" frames, I have 6 mediums and now I am attempting not to piss off a bunch of bees while I contemplate 5 - 10" frames and just how will they fit in a medium suited for 8" frames.

Because it was raining & I was discovering bees can sting through wet denim. (I had a hooded jacket, gloves only) I placed an empty medium under the box with the 5 frames and used my hive tool to shave off the comb they were building on top on the frames so as to get the lid on.
 
My question is . . . Have I killed them?  I'm advised to check in a few days.  I have a top feeder with little floatie things so they don't drown when drinking, and I'll give them a few days before I go look.

I'm just wondering how this will initially affect them - with all that empty space beneath the frames, should I put some frames in the bottom?  The bees are established on 10" frames & I'd like to work with 8" frames . . .how do I transition ?

Not such an auspicious beginning I'm afraid... :embarassed:  Any experienced advice would be appreciated.
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Offline Xerox

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Re: FOR ALL THE PLANNING... Have I killed them?
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2019, 11:56:34 pm »
You should be fine. The bees will build extra comb under the frames to fill the space. They'll fill any space they can find!

Online cao

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Re: FOR ALL THE PLANNING... Have I killed them?
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2019, 12:20:21 am »
Welcome  :happy:

Offline Acebird

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Re: FOR ALL THE PLANNING... Have I killed them?
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2019, 09:06:45 am »
The bees are established on 10" frames & I'd like to work with 8" frames . . .how do I transition ?

You are doing it.  If you want to fill in the three inch space at the bottom you can but it is easier to make a 3 in shim on the bottom for doing this sort of thing.  Killing the hive means you have killed the queen.  If you haven't done that the hive should be fine.  Installing in the rain has one good side, they can't leave.
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Offline bobll

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Re: FOR ALL THE PLANNING... Have I killed them?
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2019, 09:54:17 am »
Wayfinder, I also am a newbee, but here are two ideas. 1. You have your NUC deep frames (9 5/8 tall) inside two medium boxes stacked on top of each other, which means there is empty space underneath. Yes, they will begin building comb underneath. So, Take one of your extra medium boxes and cut exactly 3 inches off the bottom. Place that 3 inch tall box under another medium and you will have a makeshift 9 5/8 high deep brood box. The NUC deep frames will fit perfectly, and you can begin stacking your other mediums on top as they grow. There are ways to switch boxes by next year so the queen will build her brood into a medium. Then you can throw away the three inch tall extender and the NUC frames. This is the easiest, less obtrusive way, and what I suggest. 2. Another idea is to take one of the NUC frames, shake off the bees (watching for the queen) and cut out the comb to fit into one of your empty medium frames. Put a few thick rubber bands around the frame, and the bees will reattach it into your medium frame. This will agitate the bees a lot, but they naturally want to stay with their brood. Find the queen's frame and save it to last. Transfer all you re-finished mediums into the new box. Gently move your queen into the new frames and new box (brushing her?), then cut out the last frame's comb and rubberband into a medium frame. This will put the colony into all mediums frames and a medium brood box, but is more difficult and intimidating. Good luck!

Offline Acebird

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Re: FOR ALL THE PLANNING... Have I killed them?
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2019, 01:07:23 pm »
So, Take one of your extra medium boxes and cut exactly 3 inches off the bottom. Place that 3 inch tall box under another medium and you will have a makeshift 9 5/8 high deep brood box.

That would be called a 3 in shim as I suggested but he doesn't need to ruin a good medium box to do it.  He could use a 2x4 without ripping and only be a 1/2 in off.  The bottom box doesn't matter that much.
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Offline bobll

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Re: FOR ALL THE PLANNING... Have I killed them?
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2019, 01:20:33 pm »
Thanks Acebird. I didn't know the Extra half inch below wouldn't matter, nor how proficient she was in measuring and nailing. I knew the medium cut off would already provide the right spacing for the frames. I am still so new with this all.

Online CoolBees

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Re: FOR ALL THE PLANNING... Have I killed them?
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2019, 01:55:59 pm »
I faced a similar problem when I decided to transition from deeps to mediums. Here's what I did ...

I placed a medium over the deep box. Once the bees had the medium mostly drawn out, I took half the frames and placed them in a 2nd medium under the deep (so medium over deep over medium config). When they had those drawn out, I swapped the the top medium and deep - so the deep was over both mediums, and added a 3rd medium under the deep (always moving a couple drawn frames up into the new medium to get them to use it). Now the deep was over 3 mediums. Once they had that full, I added a 4th medium directly under the deep. By then, the deep was only honey - and I could remove and harvest it. Then I cut the deep box down to a medium, and threw away the deep frames.

I did the same thing twice with some nasty cross comb - slowly moving it to the top box so it could be harvested and cleaned up.

In your case, I'd put those deep frames into two stacked medium boxes. In time you can move them upwards until they can be cleared. Harvest the honey, melt the wax (including the funky stuff they'll fill in the empty space with), and throw the frames out.

I did this with 4 hives. It took me a year, but I didn't have to waste any equipment - and I'm lazy.  :cool:
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Offline bobll

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Re: FOR ALL THE PLANNING... Have I killed them?
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2019, 06:19:11 pm »
Ah, Cool bees. That helps me with my foundationless long langstroth. I have a few wonky frames in the brood area. You know... A few bulgy places where they drew out honey cells, or tried to curve it. I need to move that to the other end and eventually work it out. The brood will mature out and they will fill it with honey. Thanks.

Online CoolBees

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Re: FOR ALL THE PLANNING... Have I killed them?
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2019, 01:14:59 am »
No worries Bobll. I hope it helps.
You cannot permanently help men by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves - Abraham Lincoln