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Author Topic: Comb problems  (Read 1397 times)
ArmucheeBee
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« on: August 29, 2008, 09:10:05 PM »

OK. I have had a nice size colony from a cut out hived for two weeks and have been feeding.  They cut the rubber bands off my frames before the combs were firmly attached to the frames and now the combs are full of honey and have fallen onto my new PF105 plastic frames were they are being attached.  I cleaned up one of them and banded back in.  I may wire it in the morning (ran out of light).  They have also made brace comb at a 90 degree angles on the PF frames going over to the leaning combs.  Only one of the PF frames have been drawn most are at 90 angles. They have also built some really thick comb due to the leaning comb being away from the top of the frame.  There are even little spaces between comb on the same frame if that makes since (one attached on top-new and one old leaning from the bottom.  What a mess.

What should I do?   There are only 2 more of the cut out frames doing this but they are full of brood and honey. 

Should I leave over the winter or clean them up now? 

Should I scrape away the brace comb on the plastic frames?  If so, can I leave it on the bottom board for them to reuse--it is beautiful and white!!

Will doing a lot of cleaning up make them swarm??  She swarmed once out of the hive the day after she was put in.

I'm going out at 8am Eastern time to do something but what?
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Stephen Stewart
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Bill W.
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« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2008, 09:16:51 PM »

They do that to me almost every time.  I now set the combs in place with rubber bands and then wire them.

I would clean up all the bad comb, set them back in place, and wire them in.
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Moonshae
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« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2008, 08:11:35 AM »

I agree. Fix now, because the problem is only going to get worse as time goes on...meaning more disruption, more brood loss, and more work. They probably won't reuse the comb you cut out, so I wouldn't leave it on the bottom. Just take it away and add it to your collection for rendering.
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TwT
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« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2008, 08:23:21 AM »

dont ever cut rubber bands, after 2-3 weeks the bee's will be dragging them out of the hive, they cut them themselves and if they dont drag them out you can get them on a inspection but the bee's will cut them. you need to fixe the problem either with rubber bands or wire, I like rubber bands because they remove them with out me having to cut wire out.
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ArmucheeBee
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« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2008, 11:16:48 AM »

TwT.   The bees cut the rubber bands not me and they cut them only 4-5 days after they were put in the hive.  My other hive never cut the bands but it was much smaller.

This morning I went out and cleaned out.  One frame was so full of new comb (honey and brood) and just a little off center that I left it alone and put it on the outside.  I wired comb in two frames.  I put my PF frames in the middle pushed up tight with the cutout on the outsides.  I know I should do an alternating pattern but the cutouts are off center which is what caused the problem.  Most of the PF's have some comb started which should help the bees start here two.

Thank you all for your advice.  In the future I will cull these problems as soon as they start and make an inspection each week.  I went to Hive #1 and did the same but not many problems there.  Thanks again.
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Stephen Stewart
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jimmyo
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« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2008, 09:05:01 PM »

 I made some frames that fold in half like a book. http://www.beesource.com/plans/swarmframe.htm
they are handy. I need to make a few more. the comb stays where you put it. you still need to rotate the comb out as soon as you can but this way the frames are still movable.
Jim
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ArmucheeBee
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« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2008, 09:13:33 PM »

jimmyo

With the comb full of brood, etc., can you or someone else give me a little direction on how to rotate it out.  I have been doing this with my first hive and only have 2 more to go there--started with 8.  Do you just move it to the outside and wait for brood to hatch and then they start filling it with honey.  And then take it out and let them rob it?  That's what I did with the other hive just today.  Thanks.
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Stephen Stewart
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Bill W.
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« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2008, 09:34:53 PM »

You don't always need to rotate it out.  Sometimes it is a good size and fit and you just let them finish the frame.

Otherwise, yes, just move it to the outside and then pull it when empty of brood.
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Understudy
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« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2008, 12:04:33 AM »

I use rubber bands. If the bees don't remove them eventually they break down to a point where they just fall off anyway.

Sincerely,
Brendhan

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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2008, 12:13:20 AM »

I use rubber bands. If the bees don't remove them eventually they break down to a point where they just fall off anyway.

Sincerely,
Brendhan

Ain't this great, Brendhan and I are sitting back to back at out computers and working the same web site. 

I recommend rubber bands as well.
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ArmucheeBee
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« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2008, 08:14:48 PM »

I'm back!!   I cleaned the bad comb Sat. and checked tonight--they attached comb to my top cover!!!  Each was over 6 inches long in only 4 days!!!!   I thought we were in a dearth and I have not fed all week.  This is all in the top deep.  Here is the arrangement  C F F F F F C.  C=cutout comb.  They have not touched the PF plastic in the middle it just has a little comb on it from the bracing.  This new comb was between the outside C and the wall and attached to the top cover and braced to the C.   I plan to go in again tomorrow afternoon.  There is about 3 inches open on each side.  What should I do?  Move the C back into the middle?   The C frame is very irregular and not pretty but filled with H and Brood.   I did not dare look in the bottom.  Those two 6 inch combs in 4 days were just incredible.  Beautiful white too.
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Stephen Stewart
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Bill W.
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« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2008, 03:54:49 AM »

Ah!  I left part of the explanation out before.  Don't move your cut combs directly to the outside - migrate them there.

First, put a new frame between the two combs until they draw it out.  Then place two new frames sandwiched between the three drawn frames.  Keep moving the unwanted frames toward the outside, until they get there.

If you move them directly there, it either splits up the bees or causes them to abandon those combs to cluster in the middle, neither of which is a good thing.

So, I would move them back to the center, but give them a new frame in the middle to work on.

If you are using plastic foundation, give it a good spray of sugar water to get them interested.

What's with the three inches of space?  Is the comb so screwed up that you need to leave out frames?  Three inches of space is going to cause problems.  You might try filling it with crumpled newspaper so they don't try to draw comb there.
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ArmucheeBee
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« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2008, 07:44:13 AM »

3 inches.   Well I only have 7 frames in the box.  This is because the comb in the C frames is so wide it touches the inside of the PF frames, thus causing them to attach brace comb.  With two of these C frames is this the right config.?

F F F C F C F F F F     That would be all ten frames in the box.   I'm thinking about making some foundationless top bars to go in here.  I just finished my TB hive and could steal some bars and cut them down to fit the box.  The girls are not concentrating in the middle frames right now.  They all went to the outside with the C frames.

Another option which I am leaning to is this:  Take at least one of these C frames and put it in my small hive.  It has only a 1/8 of the bees of this "comb problem" hive.  This would give them a nice boost in brood size.  I know it would be moving a problem, but I am worried about the small hive.  They only have 3 frames drawn, that's all.  They have a good queen but their low numbers mean they draw very slow.  I am feeding them too.  Let me know about this option, because I am really leaning this way.  Should I take some workers too?  Newspaper combine them?
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Stephen Stewart
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"You don't need a license to drive a sandwich."  SpongeBob Squarepants
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