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Nigel2 

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This is my first post so be gentle with me!!

I Have rescued an abandoned hive (the bk died three years ago) from the bucket of a 25ton excavator that was clearing the overgrown garden which it was in. The hive is completely rotten the landing board has gone and there is damage / rot to the walls and floor
So do I put a new BB on top with a feeder to encourage them to move home now OR wait?
The weather here is warming up with daytime temperatures this week of 16 to 18°c that can still change as we have had snow here as late as March.
For info I live in the Correze (South West France) at an altitude of 1500 feet So spring is about 2-3 weeks ahead of the UK. the bees are already out in force and are retuning with pollen the hive is very heavy,it took two of us to lift and we were both struggling to carry in across the garden to the van!!
 

drstitson 

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if you have a suitable new home ready of correct size then assuming the temperatures stay ok i would personally swap the frames into new hive quickly.

however - i presume you retrieved the hive during day whilst active foraging was going on???? it might have been a good idea to leave hive back in its original position til evening then shift.

any foragers will now be wondering where home has gone.
 

hedgerow pete 

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working on the idea that the hive has been moved to its new home??

i take it , it has been in its new home for a week or so, try these ideas, i am sure others will help with better ideas tonight.

so its completly rotton, do we have the new hive complete , ready to be used?

yes we can put a new brood box on the top with some nice new foundation and frames and then say every week we could remove a single brood frame from below the new box, making the ladies go upstairs over a 9 week period, when everyone is up stairs, get the new floor, dismantle the old hive change the floors and then site the new brood box ontop and start as normal.

we could just completely change the floor and brood box now and use the old frames inside the new box, and then every week add one new frame and foundation to the centre of the brood chamber to replace the outer frame and so on untill we have changed the frames and wax.

we could always do a shook swarm , in which we set the new hive up in the old position and then reove the bees from the old hive into the new hive leaving all the old frames and wax behind
 

Moggs 

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Welcome Nigel. You should be careful about moving hives as the bees will naturally return to the old site and not be able to find the 'new' location, unless you have transported them >3 miles, such is their navigation system. Less than 3 feet further than 3 miles is the accepted move criteria for a successful location change - you can return them to the original site after a few weeks, when they will have 'lost their bearings'.

Some more information would be useful. What are the frames like (if any!) can they be moved easily? Could you migrate the original frames to a new box on the same spot? Maybe just do away with the rotten wood and rehouse the colony on existing frames?
 
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MuswellMetro 

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the method you use is up to you, forget the forager bees on the old site, unless you moved the hive this morning they will have died overnight in the cold but cover all entrances ( including any un official ones if it is rotting with a handful of grass, just so they reorientate

if it was me and the weather is two or three weeks advances of UK then i would shake them into a new box of foundation with the queen if you can find her on her frame in about four weeks time ( say 10 th March ish)

feeding them !:! sugar syrup with hivemakers thymol mixture in it until the lower brood box is 7/10 drawn out

Varoaa if you can get Canadian APivar ( amitraz) it has high kill rate and i assume you can in France so place two strips in the brood box NOW , they will be lousy with mites

i would destroy all old brood and wax, but if you wish to hatch it place it in another brood box above a QE after the shake in and remove after three weeks, depends on what you find whether it is worth it, but as i said i would not hatch , it just a varroa source

and Welcome
 

Nigel2 

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Hi

Just to clarify the hive was moved a month ago and have had a look inside yesterday,the frames look a little fragile, they are however full of comb difficult to see much else. The hive it's self is home built but with standard Dadant frames.
I do have a new hive with fresh foundation standing by just hesitant about timing the migration.

Nigel
 

drstitson 

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if the hive is fine as it is i'd leave it until proper beekeeping weather when you can do a proper inspection whilst transferring frames over or whatever you chose to do.
 

Rosti 

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They've survived 3 years, they'll last until your season is about to start. Wait!

I'd do this in 3 stages:

First wait until the start of your season, place the new BB above and above that put a feeder and probably a pollen patty to draw them up

As soon as you can see some drawn comb up there block the original entrance and create one between the old and new BBs.

When there are 3 or 4 drawn frames, some brood and you can see the queen on one of the frames place a QE below the new BB and move it on to a proper OMF (remove the QE after). Replace on exactly the same site as the original. Now demaree the original BB above the new BB, keeping the QE in place and adding at least one empty super (above the QE) between them. Crown board and some insulation above the old BB (+ roof of course!)

3 weeks later all remaining brood will have hatched, you can shake down the hose bees and chuck the old BB away (and melt down the wax).

Good luck (sorry I mean bon courage), R
 

oliver90owner 

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9 week period

A bit cautious there HP!

I would do the same, but as soon as she starts laying upstairs, trap here there with a Q/E and discard the bottom box after three weeks. Then sort out any varroa problem.

Regards, RAB
 

peterbees 

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Well, that website link didn't work. Here's the method:

Prepare a new brood box for each colony with new frames and foundation, and a gallon of feed for each hive.

Remove supers, place to one side.

Place a new brood box on the bottom box (normally the old brood box)

Shake bees from supers into new brood box.

Check super frames for brood. Place any super frames with brood into one super. Place this super on top of the new brood box.

Feed the bees.

Remove old supers and frames for burning.

7 to 10 days later

Check if bees have drawn out foundation in new brood box. Check for eggs. Check for queen. If no brood, continue to feed and leave for another week.

If brood, remove hive to one side.

Fit new floor. Place new brood box on the new floor.

Fit queen excluder.

Place old brood box, and old super onto queen excluder.

Drill a 12mm dia hole in side of old brood box if any drones are found in the colony, so they can leave the upper boxes.

Continue to feed bees.

2 weeks later

Check that the old brood box and super is clear of brood.

Check new brood box for queen cells.

Remove old brood box, and super, fit new super.

Shake bees from old brood box and super, into new boxes

Remove feeder

Remove old brood box and super for burning

Job Done
 

Easy Beesy 

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so good to hear of a 'rescue colony' after the dirty lowdown £%$%$% destruction by the ignorant £*&@?s who ruined things for buffalow.
 

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