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Trouble separating super from the brood box

I need advice on how to separate the super from the brood box when stuck firm.

All I can suggest is to remove one frame from the super at a time. Every frame you remove will make it a little bit easier. Use plenty of smoke & keep your smoker going because that kind of thing can really upset the bees.

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Thanks, I will remove one by one and see how that goes.

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Sometimes having two hive tools, some sort of wedge, or a small piece of lumber helps you hold one side open while you work your way around the edge separating and getting down frames that are stuck.

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Hi everyone, I recently had something very similar, the super box and the queen excluder were stuck down and it took a bit of work to loosen and eventually remove them both. The bee became extremely active to the point that I lifted one frame from the brood box before deciding to give it away for the day. Basically packed up, but the bee did not settle for a couple of days afterward and attacked anyone within their sights. Is this normal, nice day in Perth on Monday with a slight breeze.

I agree with @JeffH’s advice above - taking the frames out makes the box lighter. However, if you need to separate the boxes (for example to take the super off for winter, or to inspect the brood), then you still have a problem.

What I do is pick a hive tool with the sharpest flat blade possible. I smoke the hive plentifully, then firmly work the flat blade into the seam between the 2 boxes. This is often easier at a corner. Once it is in a couple of centimeters, you can lever it up to separate the boxes. If you have a helper, it is easier if they do the same at an adjacent corner and lever at the same time as you. You may dent the boxes a little, but that can’t be helped. The bees will fill any small gaps with propolis when you put the boxes back on the hive. :wink:

I should have explained myself better. I wasn’t thinking of the weight factor. Not only is the super glued down to the brood box, (or QE to be precise, in most cases) every frame is glued down to the QE & supported by the super, therefore making the combination of super & frames as one, difficult to split apart. By removing individual frames, (which is a task in itself because you wonder if the plastic can stand the pressure of the hive tool trying to shift it) each frame you remove makes the combination less to separate. I find that once you remove 3 or 4 frames, the task of splitting the rest is much easier & not a problem.

I’ve done this several times because the only flow supers I remove are OP’s & haven’t been removed for a long time. Generally the coreflute is stuck fast as well.

Having said that, the weight factor does come into play as well.

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Wilma here.
Last week I went to help our daughter inspect her brood boxes.

She smoked the hive we were looking at, and tried to seperate the super from the brood box, but it was stuck fast. I explained to her that it was probably stuck to the queen excluder, and that she would have to further smoke the bees and remove frames, before she could seperate the boxes. The frames were stuck fast to the queen excluder.

We separated and took 4 or 5 out with quite a bit of effort. Then used the hive tool to break the seal between the boxes, they then came apart with relative ease.

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Thanks Dawn. I had some help from a strong kind young man and it was so much easier for him. Men are just so much more stronger. I think I would be still be there trying to separate them but he had the super frames out and checked and back in again, in next to no time. Had to pry the Queen excluder off. Then the brood frames checked. All great. Those little bees really can stick things together.

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Thanks Jeff. You described my problem exactly. Yes it’s not the weight, just the fact that everything is so stuck together.
The answer does lie in taking out each frame but yes that in itself is quite a process, especially as I try not to disturb the girls to often.
My Corflute was so stuck it was a real job to get it out, even when we had the hive completely apart. And this is something that I do check very regularly but still it got to the stage where I couldn’t get it out.
I must say thanks to the young man who helped me. Otherwise I would still be trying to pry them apart.


Hi & well done Maree. Maybe the coreflute needs checking once a week, or something like that. It IS difficult to remove frames without disturbing or even killing bees at the best of times.


Had some help :pray: but finally got everything apart and hive inspection done. All good. Thankfully my bees remained very friendly during the whole process. Did not really worry about us at all. And it was a hot day here in Queensland.

Exactly JeffH. I think it happened in a rainy spell and I was away for a couple of weeks. Usually it would have been ok.

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