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How Large Hives Can Be Made Smaller


A short time after, I attended, on a cold day, with a sharp saw,
square, &c. I found his hives fourteen inches square inside, and
eighteen deep, holding about 3,500 inches. Of this square, a little
more than ten inches in height, would make just the right size. To work
convenient, I inverted the hive on a barrel, set on end, marked the
length, and sawed it off, without a bee leaving. It was very cold,
(mercury at 6 deg.) The bees came to the edges of the combs, but the
cold drove them back. In a short time I had taken off six; four when
done were just about full; the other two were so when I began, but they
were marked and sawed like the rest; when the combs were attached, they
were severed with a knife, and the piece of the hive thus loose, was
raised off, leaving several inches of the combs projecting out of the
hive. I now cut off the first comb, even with the bottom of the hive.
On the next comb there were a few bees; with a quill these were brushed
down into the hive; this piece was then removed, and the bees on the
other side of it were brushed down also. In this way all others were
removed, and left the hive just full. The other full hive, after it was
sawed on each side, a small wire was drawn through, parallel with the
sheets, and severed all the combs at once; each piece was taken out,
and the bees that were clustered on them brushed back; removing the
loose part of the hive, was the last thing to be done. This last method
was preferred to the other by my employer; yet it was all performed to
his satisfaction, no sting or other difficulty about it, except the
trouble of warming fingers rather frequently. Tobacco smoke would have
kept them quiet during the operation, nearly as well. If preferred, a
hive may stand right side up while sawing it.

Next: Moderate Weather Best To Remove Bees

Previous: Sizes Of Hives Important

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