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Moving hive from tree to brood box

I live in Perth, Western Australia. I have a new flow hive. there is a hive that have made a home 15 m up a date palm in amongst the old boots of the palm fronds. I was planning on relocating the hive with as much of the honey comb into the bottom box of my flow hive and leave it suspended at the same height as the current hive whilst they accommodate to the new hive and then gradually lower it down to ground level. I am new to bee keeping but have some friends who keep bees. My question is should i wait until spring to do this so there is more pollen for the bees to make their wax combs. When i do move it should i try to cut up the comb into vertical strips to put into the langstroth frames.

The weather is fairly mild here but starts to cool down in June. There are still quite a few flowering plants around at the moment.

Thanks for any tips


So I don’t get my first bees for another week myself, so I’m no expert, but what you describe seems like a varsity move and to be avoided by a new beekeeper.

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Hiya Justin welcome to the forum.
15m is quite a way up! How do you plan to get up there? Unless you can do it safely as Lialos says its possibly not a great idea.
That said, although it’s currently mild I’d be surprised if we’ve seen the last of the warm weather and the queen still laying so I would not wait until spring.
Is the comb in the open?

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I would do it straight away, if the bees have comb in the open, they will struggle to keep the brood warm during the winter.

Thanks for the replies. I’m using a crane and man cage to get up the tree so the height isn’t a problem. I get one to come once a year . I’m not sure if the queen is in the open as I can’t get up there yet. i have to get rid of the hive from the tree or pruning it will be a real hassle and i need a hive so sort of made sense to combine the two (but yes it sounds a bit crazy).
Q. Do I try to cut up the comb into vertical strips to put in langstroth frames.

PS the hive is fairly open as the boots around the hive can be easilly removed so I’m hoping i can get the queen as nowhere really to hide but i haven’t a clue how hard that is.

Hiya Justin, once you cut it away from the tree you will have bees everywhere trying to shoo you away so suit up and tuck in. :wink:
I’d imagine, on a fine day, cutting it all off the tree then putting it into a big box or rubbish bin and transferring to the ground before cutting the comb to fit the frames try to keep the same orientation although apparently it’s not critical. Not sure what you mean by vertical. Once cut, band them in an unwired frame and place into the hive one by one would be the way to go. It will take a while. It will be messy. You will kill a lot of bees, hopefully not the queen. More than likely you will be stung. :slight_smile:
It’s always good to leave the new hive at the old site however this may not be an option…
Good luck and let us know how you go.

Hi Skeggley,

It all went well. I cut all the hive away and placed in the brood box. I didn’t see the queen. Most of the bees were in my hive the next day. With about 5% on the tree trunk but they were gone the next day, hopefully into the hive. There were lots of bees coming and going from the brood box for a few days. Not as many in the last two days but might be because of the rain. I’m going to have a peak in a couple of days as I am a bit worried about the numbers. I haven’t put all the comb into frames yet as I left the hive suspended from a rope on a pallet up the tree near the old hive and didn’t have enough time with the crane to do all that. I’ve been advised to leave the hive alone for a week or two then try to fit all the comb into frames. I put some frames with wax sheets in the hive and placed most of the honeycomb vertically slotted between these sheets. I will let you know how it looks when i open the hive to sort out the frames.


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Well i looked in the hive today and all bees gone. Must not have got the queen. Back to the drawing board and likely have to wait until Spring.

Bugger. Are they back up in the tree?
Having a second colony to be able to pinch a frame of brood from would have helped keep them in the box. Fitting the comb into frames on the day could also have helped. Was there much brood in the comb you cut out?
It’s all a good learning experience not just for you but all us newbees following. Thanks for sharing.

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No they’re not back in the tree, I can’t see where they’ve gone. Lots of bees raiding the honeycomb but I don’t know if they are from the original hive. There was lots of brood in the hive but I figure I must have somehow lost the Queen.Some of the comb I put in the hive had been attached to the frames by the bees.