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Removing Langstroth frame and replace with ideal frames


Hi All,
Please see rough sketch showing the configuration on one of my hives I would appreciate help with.

As you can see, straddling the lower two boxes (which house the brood), there is a langstroth frame. Please don’t ask how it got in there. I did it, but can’t remember why - I just know I had a good reason at the time! Anyhow, this frame has brood all in it. I want to remove it of course so I can use all ideal frames during frame manipulation in spring. It has been there for a couple of months.

Does anyone please have any ideas how I might do that, whilst also allowing the brood to develop into bees for the hive, and any honey to be recovered by the bees?


Honey in the hills


It is only 1 frame. Have you considered just taking it out and accepting the fact you’ll lose whatever brood has been laid in it? (You could also eat the larvae… There were a few recipes/comments going around on this forum last year - @Dee @Gerald_Nickel )

As an alternative approach, what if you progressively cut the frame? If the bottom of third/half of the frame is largely empty of brood cut the way out and block that part of the frame off (cling wrap / glad wrap should be sufficient). Check a few days/a week later and repeat. You might lose a few bees in the process but it would likely be less than what you might lose if the frame is full of brood and you extract it in one go.


Hi Dan!
You could shift the larger frame right to the warm side of the box so it becomes the first frame. Once all the bees have emerged, the bees are likely to fill it with honey and not so much brood. You could wait till most brood is capped before shifting. Once filled with honey do a crush and strain and replace with your ideal frames.


Hi Dan, the brood doesn’t have to sit vertical. If you have sufficient room under your lid, you could place it face down under the lid. You may need to knock up a rough temporary lid with thin ends to cater for the frame lugs.

Alternatively you could use an extra ideal super above the honey super with it sitting on an angle. Just check it after a few days to make sure that they don’t build any queen cells.



Wow! All fantastic suggestions.

Sorry - I should have said, this is a young hive with borderline too much room in it - I’m concerned about giving it too much space at this stage. This is also a reason why I want it to have as many bees and honey in it as possible. My problem now is too many choices!


Honestly Dan, you could just leave it as it is for the time being. The worse thing that would happen is that you forget it’s there when lifting the super. Also the bees might build drone comb below it. It’s no big deal, I for one wouldn’t ask you how it got there.


Thanks Jeff.

I’ve already forgotten it was there once on an inspection and forgotten exactly how far in it is too to be honest. I think it is 3rd, but it might be 4th… As you can imagine it looks the same as the others as you look in the hive. I would like to deal with it now as I have found the different sized frames in my hives a total pain and need things to be as uncomplicated as possible come swarming season. I have fully converted one hive, and this one is nearly done bar that frame. The other is unfortunately a mix of langstroth brood and ideal supers.


If you use the under the roof method, prop the frame up on one side, so the nurse bees can get to it and the brood can emerge. I did it once, worked fine.


I just took it out. I found two things. Firstly I had previously removed the excluder and secondly the frame was 2nd in from the side. It had reasonable brood in it and very little if any honey. I am a bit disappointed with the amount of brood and honey in the hive actually. I think things are getting a little dearthy.

Anyhow, I tried a few arrangements but ended up doing the extra ideal super on top and the frame at (quite) an angle. Will check for queen cells on it regularly. Thanks all.



That was @JeffH recipes for cooking brood/larva I think with eggs ( don’t remember )… Jeff n Wilma even had a video of frying up mess of bee larva :smiley::+1:

Down the hatch,




You running/using triple shallows or mediums (I’d guess medium) …?? Yah ! That one could be a pain ( n remembering which n where )… That’s why I keep notes in a individual notebook :notebook: on each of mine. Heck ! Remembering just what I did n where on 6 to 8 hives ain’t happening.

Here’s yours n my setups. I use double deeps with shallow honey supers To keep weight down I’m moving over to all 8 frame wide hive bodies n several are cedar to save on weight. Since this coming Spring 2018 will be my third season all but a could shallow frames are still only frames with foundation only.

Since our 2017 season was so hot n dry (a dreath) here in the Puget Sound region S.E. of Seattle my bees :honeybee: really didn’t get much of a forage push upstairs into my shallows or Flow-Super again my second season. So to acquire several needed drawn shallow frames I pulled a could of drawn deeps with honey :honey_pot: n stored in my freezer for autumn/winter preparation. I there was just enough foraging my girls drawn out the two shallow frames with extended comb below the bottom shallow frame bar. The extension comb I’m cutting off the comb extension n rubber banding into empty shallows so my drawn resources (shallow drawn) has doubled now by this method.

When I pulled the two (now) drawn frames n repaace them with the deep honey frames I have a head start of four drawn shallow frames to encourage my colonies up into the shallow honey supers this next late Spring or Summer.

BTW… if your running mediums just where did you come up with one or more deep frames to fill those slots. (Just nosy/curious) …

I figured my shallow building process by chance. My first year ((Season 2916) I caught a nice swarm n had popped them into a wood Nuc box I built. At the time all my deep frames except four were in use in my three original starter hives. (Hadn’t beefed up my extra resiourse yet).

So i try not to get flustered :tired_face: too much but called it helpful learned events or times. As for your deep frame … Don’t panic n don’t sweat the small stuff. Your doing great n you’ll have it all worked out n on to more pressing issues soon enough. We’ve all been there n done our own share of boo boo’s n screw-ups.

Good luck n enjoy :wink:,



Hi Gerald, I started with ideals ( which are about 4 inches shallower than a langstroth deep), but then the Flow hive came along and it is only made in the deeps. There is the trouble you see…then I ended up buying more deeps and so on. Here, ideals are popular, I think, because in Tasmania, the weather is erratic and nectar sources are mostly unreliable, so filling deep boxes is perhaps doubtful much of the time.
Hopefully with your manipulations and a good bit of rain in 2018, you will get a good lot of honey in the Flow frames. What I try and do with the weight is to just lift a frame off at a time…anyhow, temptation to lift more always seems to happen.

A photo of what we call a dogwood

and a photo of the deep frame on top of the other ideal frames in the hive.



I get your drift ! Didn’t know any thing about “Ideal” setup. Our seasons can be very irratic (wet dry or a rapid combo. The local joke around here is: Puget Sound summer doesn’t begin until after the Fourth of July holiday (our Indepedance Day) …

Weather stats are crazy around Seattle n the surrounding Cascade Mtn foothills. We had one of the wettest Spring on record here in 2017 then Summer came early (over 6 weeks of hot dry leaving the last several weeks almost flowerless (dreath). Yet at year end we end with ‘over 10.5” more than our average rainfall. The dry spell hit just when our one major flower source the local Blackberry bloomed. It was a very short bloom because of drought. The honey n nectar we gleaned in our Spring … my girls started quickly moving out of the center 3 frames of my two Flow-supers n Shalliow honey supers of my other four standard 8 n 10 frame Lang’s… I was only able to harvest 1 1/2 gallons from harvesting bits of partial frames. The full m mostly full honey frames (deep) I totally left. Lost two colonies to our very aggressive yellow jackets even using anti-robber entrance ( that was a bummer ). They robbed n killed off Cedar n Willow hive over a two week period. But so goes beekeeping.

Now looking forward to our 2018 honey :honey_pot: season. See what complex set of weather n pest conditions come our way. I have three new Nucs ordered … two to replace the yellow jacket kill off n one spare to either gain an additional colony or replace any other winter loss. Crossing my fingers … yesterday warmed up weirdlty ( 52.0 dgs F) Been down in the low to mid 30’s F here. Low 50’s n sunny :sun_with_face: is quite unusual for the Pacific NW here but the girls came out n partied … even observed a few bringing in a off-yellow pollen … not a clue where or what pollen they found. Here’s a couple surprise Day bee pix’s.

I’ve got a busy day sheduled repairing furnaces for my customer so better close n buzz-out of here …



Hi Gerald, it looks like onwards and upwards in Puget Sound from here mate. The sun is getting stronger!



I’ve never checked Tasmania before. I just know it was part of Australia… Heck ! I didn’t even know it was an island. Wow ! Been reading up on your abode … That Island is beautiful but Rough !!! Yah ! Being located south of the Big Island … it’s right in the Windy/Stormy Roaring 40’s. Now I more understand your quick weather changes n quick seasons. We’re about the same lat’s: ( 40’s N n you 40’s S ) but our wx is a bit gentler !

I want to read some more on your Island habitat tonight if I get time. What part of the Rock you live on ! N,S,E, or W ??!!

Waiting for your reply,



Hi Gerald, yes we are milder during the day in winter for sure. Winter maximums are around 54 fahrenheit. Very changeable as the fronts sweep across from the west and south west all the time, sometimes coming up from the antarctic Southern Ocean. I’m in the SE and this side of the island is much drier than the west. The rainfall drops about 118 inches from the west to the east. We struggled to get 16 inches of rain for the whole year 2017, which has meant it is getting dearthy now. Usual is more like 27 inches.

Tasmania is one of the most mountainous islands on the planet yet nothing like your Mt Rainier! Most mountains here are much smaller, but plenty of them.



Maybe I’ve missed it ! Have you posted a pix or so of your area n apiary. I’ve just looked back but can’t find one. !!! I see several shrub, flower n bee pollen pix ! Here’s a couple Wx pix’s.

I couldn’t seem to find an active radar loop/pix of Hobart or Tasmania. Sorry ! Sure looks like dry wx conditions like you mention. Our local temp briefly jumped to 50.0 dgs F but sliding into the mid 40’s @ 17:00 local Pacific Standard Time.



Here is one I just took and it shows my three hives.

The one closest still has the deep brood, but the other two are now all ideals. The hive furthest away in the photo has the extra ideal on top which will go as soon as that langstroth frame all emerges. I winter with three ideals and no excluder or one deep and one ideal.
The fronts basically always move west to east and that one you posted is no exception. The green tinge down the western side is where all the leatherwood cool temperate rainforests are.



What are the flowers :hibiscus: in the foreground Bro … No species I know about up this way in our Northern Hemisphere. Very interesting n unique for me !!! Is it a good nectar flower ?!

Loving a world :earth_americas: wide forum … Lots to learn, share n enjoy :wink:,



Hi Gerald, I believe that it is a Banksia serrata or Saw Banksia. Supposed to be ok- 10kg per hive if you have hives in an area where you have lots of them. The leaves I guess look like a saw. Big flower - but to be honest, I have never seen a bee on one!