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Author Topic: When to replace frames a foundation?  (Read 1228 times)
Hopeful
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« on: November 10, 2007, 09:46:06 PM »

Hi,
  Among the 12 hives I purchased a few weeks ago that got me into this, there are some frames that are really old, and with combs that are essentially black wax. The guy who sold them to me said that a few were "originals" that were as old as I am (44). I noticed that there was very little honey on the black combs, except for some uncapped holes with honey or nectar in them. Some of the frames have an ear or two broken off with a single nail hanging the frame in the box. My question is, should I replace these? I figure there must be a reason the guy has kept them for so long, but they look really bad. Also, my mentor does ot feel that they need to be replaced. if this is true, then why would anyone buy and install new foundation if they can use the same frame and foundation for fourty years? How does a guy know when to replace frames or foundation?
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JP
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« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2007, 09:55:34 PM »

I haven't had this problem but I know those that have had problems with shb inhabiting dark comb and I have seen shb in dark feral comb. Since winter is upon us I would change what looks really old in th spring. Frames can be repaired unless they are beyond the point of no return.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2007, 09:56:43 PM »

44 year old comb?  In the feral hive  bees will expand the hive eventually moving off the oldest comb and onto new comb.  In a wall the hive mass will move up or down between the studs.  If the bees come to a knot hole or crack in the wood they will branch out a start building in the adjacent area.  After about 5 years or so the first comb built is abandoned.  

The bees won't use that old comb unless forced to.  It serves no purpose other than taking up space.  Cut out the old comb and let the bees build new comb and you'll have a healthier, happier hive. The longer comb remains in the hive the more contaminents, etc., it can adsorb--this can be detrimental to the hive.  Since the bees hardly use it anyway why keep it in the hive?
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Hopeful
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« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2007, 11:09:10 PM »

Brian,
I think the frame is 40 ish, but I do not think he meant that the comb was. But the comb is very dark , almost black, on about 10 or 15 frames.
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tig
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« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2007, 12:05:38 AM »

i'd replace it if i were you. old comb has a build up of cocoons and other pathogens and since your bees don't like to use it...why keep it around?  repair the frame if it's still good but let them draw out new comb.  brian is right....your bees will be much happier~
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2007, 12:15:35 AM »

The cells are probably pretty small.  That's the only up side.  They still work though.  I tend to keep them.  Some people rotate them out as they get old.
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Michael Bush
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rdy-b
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« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2007, 01:00:09 AM »

I wonder what kind of  treatments the old comb has endured-might help you with the decision -most keepers would prefer to have fresh comb -but it is not always in the time line of the operation-but we cant expect it to be heathy and free of contamiants for ever (kind of like old beekeepers  Smiley)  RDY-B
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2007, 09:31:52 AM »

>I wonder what kind of  treatments the old comb has endured-might help you with the decision

That's the issue that is probably most important... so the question becomes, does the man you got them from treat and if so, with what?
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Michael Bush
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