Using a Deep Langstroth to Start a Mini Urban Beehive

Many have asked how to start a MUB or Mini Urban Beehive if they don’t have any mini frames with eggs. While starting a mini with mini frames with eggs, young larvae, and nurse bees is one of our favorite methods, it is not the only way to do so.

If you have a strong active Langstroth deep colony of bees, or a willing friend with such a colony, you can:

  • Take an empty frame and place seed wax or starter wax as shown in the first images below.
  • Place the empty frame in between two frames where brood (babies) are in a strong colony. This is done during a nectar flow, or time of brooding, or while feeding them sugar water. During this time they produce wax and will be willing to draw (build) the new comb.
  • Leave for 3-7 days. Let the bees build and the queen lay eggs.  These frames were placed into a hive 5pm Friday and by 9am Tuesday they were ready.
  • Once there is drawn comb with eggs, remove a portion of the comb with eggs and press it or secure it with rubber bands to the mini frames.
  • Put the mini frames into a queenless hive in the area of the hive with the most bees.
  • In 3-5 days there will be queen cells. If there are no queen cells, look for eggs or repeat the process. If there are eggs they may have a queen or it may have laying workers.

 

A standard old deep empty frame is cleaned and 100% wax foundation was inserted. The strips were bonded to the frame with drops of melted wax from a beeswax candle.

 

Beeswax candle drops are holding the wax strips on to the frames.

These frames are inserted into a deep Langstroth hive between frames of capped brood.

In less than than a week the inserted strip was modified by the bees and worker cells were formed. This comb does not yet have eggs.

The second frame inserted was built out and eggs are visible. This frame was originally placed on the hive Friday at 5pm. In about 3-4 days this comb was formed.

Eggs have a 3 day span from the period it was laid to the point larva emerges. No larva is visible so these eggs could be eggs for up to 3 more days.

A mini frame is placed in front of the larger frame showing how large the comb is compared to the frame.

A modern mini frame with many added features showing the comb in the rear.

The center section of comb was removed and broken in half and placed in both frames right side up.  The bees on these portions of comb are nurse bees, they stay with the eggs.

The new comb was pressed onto the wax strip that existed in the top groove of the frame. An elastic band could be used as well, using the round recesses in the end-bars.

An original wooden frame with the comb also set and pressed onto the wax strip in the top groove.

The two frames of eggs are inserted into a queenless colony. The nurse bees on the comb were transferred with the comb and eggs. About an hour after placing the frames of eggs into this colony the bees began returning from foraging with pollen.

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ecoadmin

Eco Bee Box Canada produces modern pine and cedar beekeeping beehive equipment in both Canada (CA) and United States (US). This signature equipment is made with patented hardware for our unique box designs. This attractive hardware prevents box breakdown and assists the beekeeper. Our modern hives include: the Mini Urban Beehive (MUB); Langstroth Horizontal Hive (SANC); Comb Box Hive (COMB); Observation Hive (LUM); Vintage Hive (VINT); and others.