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Hive salvage

Updated: Aug 7, 2019

Last week during inspections, there was colony that appeared to have resources but no queen and dwindling population. Resources from that hive were used to support other colonies. After all the frames were used elsewhere, it was discovered that bees were living under the screen in the bottom. This isn't supposed to happen, but there was a wooden bar missing which keeps them out. So this week, we tried to reclaim this hive.


Here is the situation....



You can see comb hanging from the screen where it shouldn't be. For this operation, there was some preparation and planning required. Here's the setup...



You need some empty frames, some rubber bands, and a sharp knife. I was surprised to see the rubber bands can be used to hold comb on a frame. I heard that duct tape was once used when it was all that was on hand, but was too sticky for bees.



Uh oh... this is getting serious! The guy who normally doesn't wear any gloves or veil put on a full suit. What the heck is going to happen? Do I even want to be standing nearby?



Now it's time to flip that bottom over and expose the bees and comb. Here it is flipped over...



Now it's time to remove the comb...



And put it in the empty frames...



This comb is too large...



And needs extra trimming...



Keep cutting out comb and framing it...



Here's what the bottom looks like after all the comb is removed. There is a missing board on the left that allowed bees to enter the bottom.




After framing all of the comb and putting the frames in new bodies, it's time to get the remaining bees back into the hive.



It will be interesting to see how all of this turns out next week.

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© 2019 by Sustainable Honeybee Program, Inc.

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