I recently built a birdhouse, and hung it about 15 feet up a palm tree. Next thing I know, I’ve got a swarm moved in and establishing a new hive. There isn’t much room in there for them, so I built a Langstroth deep super with ten frames, a bottom and a lid. My question is how can I relocate the hive from the birdhouse to my new hive? Any help is appreciated.
Hi Jimmy, you’ll need to bring the bird box down to the ground before opening it up. Then fit the chunks of brood to empty frames using elastic bands. Put those frames in your brood box, making sure no brood remains in the bird box. Then gently shake the bees out of the bird box into the brood box. Put the lid on the brood box. You may need to place some bits of thin wood between the lid & brood box so as to avoid squashing bees.Then sit the empty bird box on top of the lid until all of the bees move into the brood box. The higher you situate the brood box, the better because the flying bees will be up where the bird box used to be. They will come down eventually.
If the colony has just moved into the bird box & they don’t have any brood yet, you’ll need to acquire a frame of open brood from somewhere. That will do the job.
A good idea, if it hasn’t already been done, is to screw bird boxes together, as opposed to nails. Screws will make a bird box easier to pull apart if bees ever decide to move in.