Just read your blog and wonder if I could ask a question. I’m new, and started two hives this spring. Stand+one 10 frame super+plus shallow box with tray type feeder in it + lid. I went to add another super but the a number of frames were stuck to the bottom of the tray feeder in the top shallow box. I put it back. What is the best way to separate all of this and minimize disruption and/or damage to the hive? Thanks.
Great question Paul,
I have been in this situation myself a time or two. Don’t sweat it. The easiest thing to do is to head down to your local hardware store and buy some wire. Piano wire is the best but any strong thin wire will do, I've even seen folks use monofilament. You will also need a couple of dowels to use as handles. Attach the wire to the handles. When you are done you simply pull the wire slowly between the boxes that are stuck together. It works best if you start at one corner and then cut diagonally across to another corner. You will want to move slowly so any bees in the wires path have time to move out of the way. You might get a worker or two. Be careful because you could cut the queen in half. I haven't ever had this problem but it's only fair to warn you it can happen.
After the wire passes through the boxes should come right apart. Then you can clean any propolis and wax with your hive tool. Some people put light coating of boiled linseed oil on the tops of the bars before they put them in the hive. I am not sure I would do this on existing bars. I've also heard that petroleum jelly is effective. To be honest I have not tried either one. Once you get the piano wire you will find it's not a big deal.
Best of luck to you in your beekeeping endeavors, thanks for writing.