Hi all… So today I opened up my hive to have a llok and a problem confronted me I have 2 brood boxes, both well populated. plus a flow super on top. Problem is, in the top brood box, the bees have built comb everywhere, and the frames won’t lift out without breaking! Any ideas what I should do?
Well, its not going to get better letting it go like that. You need to be able to inspect those frames so I would recommend finding the time to go thru the brood boxes and scrape away any of the excess burr comb that has been built. This will let you get the frames back in the box with the correct spacing. Try to find the frame with the least amount of burr comb. Once you get one loose the rest will be easier to remove. Hope this helps.
Thanks John. The only thing is, would I have to sacrifice the comb in the frames when they break? As I try to lift the frame out, the top just comes loose and leaves everything else behind. Obviously I’d prefer to keep all the comb as its a bit late in the year for the bees to start building up stocks again.
If the frame breaks you can always put the comb back in another frame with rubber bands. The rubber bands will hold the comb in place until the bees secure it to the new frame. Just remember to keep the comb oriented the same way in the new frame as it was in the old one.
Were the frames glued and nailed…do you know? You mean the top bar breaks away from the vertical or side bars?
in that case- perhaps you will be better to leave it as is and deal with it next spring.
One idea for dealing with a really bad box by placing it on a new box with all fresh foundation- waiting until the bees fill out the new box- and using a queen excluder to keep the queen down below. Then let all the brood in the bad box hatch put- and then harvest it when it is just honey using an escape board. The difficulty in this idea is that it will take ages- and making sure you get the queen into the new box.
@Dan2 hmm sounds liek it doesn’t it? Makes me glad I take the time to use brad nails and glue
Hi Jon, What I would do is on a warm day remove the top brood box and lay it on its end on top of the bottom brood box, smoke the box to calm the bees down and using a long sharp knife do a couple of cuts between each frame and especially between the box and the end frames. Then try to push out the end frame from the bottom rather than pulling from the top.
When you have each frame out clear it of bees and use flat head nails to hold the end timbers in place to the top bar, two nails vertically and one horizontally through the shoulder of the upright into the top bar on each end then a single nail through the bottom bar into the upright timber on each end. Trim off any bridging or bur comb.
I am assuming two things, the frames are langstroth style and that when the frames were assembled they were not glued and nailed. It is now too late to glue them.
Work your way through each frame in the box then fit it in the lower position, leave the bees a few days to settle then look at the box now in the top position.
Clean up any cut out wax to avoid wax moth and SHB or any disease. As you put frames back the shoulders should be touching on the upright timbers and a bigger gap at the sides.
It will take time to fix it but it has to be done, it can’t be ignored as it will only get worse.
Another option is remove an end frame. It it gets damaged or destroyed so be it. After one is out then work towards the open space. Not up but sideways. Once all are loose clean up doing as little damage as possible. If they do not all fit leave one out. My boxes are not dovetailed. If this happens to me I remove the screws from one side and open box up. Once a frame or 2 is removed I reassemble box.
Hi, Yes the top bar just comes away. the frames were glued and tacked, just seemingly not well enough!
Thanks for the help guys!