Our friends who put a hive on their roof purely for the benefit of the bees are now moving to Houston, and thus need to decommission the hive.
We do this in two steps. First note that this hive has a two-deep brood chamber with an (empty) honey super on it. We are using ten-frame equipment, so there are 20 frames of bees in the brood chamber to move.
We divide these frames into sets of five, and put them in five-frame nuc boxes, these cardboard ones we purchase at Brushy Mountain. That's a total of four boxes. If the brood and honey/pollen frames are evenly distributed (3 frames of brood in each of the four boxes, plus honey frames) one could simply make four nucs to sell out of this one hive after requeening the three queenless boxes.
In this case, because it is late in the season and thus there was not a huge amount of brood in this hive, we will reconstitute this hive elsewhere as a single entity, and nurse it with syrup and pollen patties to confirm it has enough bees to go into winter. We also will requeen with one of our excellent queens from Long Lane Honeybee Farms.
We transfer the four boxes of frames away from the hive (to my dining room) and will come back the next day to retrieve the equipment. Hopefully at that point the stragglers will have left and I won't have to carry bee-covered equipment through the home of our friends.
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