I was contacted by the owner of the wild-living bees to say the dilapidated hive had finally succumbed to gravity and tipped over. The bees didn’t seem hugely bothered by the new orientation but if I’d left the hive in situ it would have rotted further and been impossible to rectify, so something needed to be done.
I have a full account over on my Patreon, but we basically took the top two boxes and sat them on top of the new National brood box that was already on site. Because the dimensions are different, I used bits of the old hive to shore up the gaps.
I will gradually replace the top boxes with National supers but for now we have to hope they regroup and make it through the winter! These rescues can be hugely challenging for the bees and they don’t necessarily appreciate a nice new hive, especially when they have been creating a unique biome for themselves, but at least this gives them a chance to stay dry and protected through the winter and we can take stock in the spring.