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Author Topic: Replacing comb  (Read 799 times)
JD
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« on: December 14, 2008, 12:24:29 PM »

How often do you replace the comb in your hives and whats the best way? Timing and methods etc.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2008, 06:13:34 PM »

The typical recommendation is every five years.  I can't say I ever did.  But I ended up replacing a lot converting over to small and natural cell.  The easiest time to pull comb is in the spring when most of it is still empty.  If you really want some comb out that is not, move it to the outside edge of the brood nest until it's the outside frame and when it gets backfilled with honey and there is a flow going on, pull it.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
JD
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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2008, 09:41:27 PM »

So where would the best place to place the new frames? How many would you do at once? Thanks for your reply.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2008, 06:00:33 AM »

>So where would the best place to place the new frames?

You can do as many as you like as long as they aren't in the middle of the cluster/broodnest.  If the cluster is strong you can do one at a time in the cluster.  If the hive is overflowing and on the verge of swarming you can do two or three in each box in the brood nest.

> How many would you do at once?

I theory once every five years is two frames in every box.  If you mark each frame for the color for that year you can tell which ones are five years old.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
BMAC
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« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2008, 07:52:47 AM »

Micheal the method you described is the exact method I use for my comb replacement.  Another note on that.  If you are using plasticell type foundation you can scrape off all the old comb and wash it thoroughly and re-apply wax to the foundation repaint the ears and reuse the frame/foundation. 

I believe either the Nov, Dec American Bee Journal discusses in detail how to thoroughly clean and treat wood/plastic for re-use.  I believe it is to boil your bee equipment in 3% caustic soda solution (sodium hydroxide) for 30 minutes and then power wash all equipment afterwards.

For those who have never worked with sodium hydroxide before you need to read up on it.  It is extremely dangerous and special precautions need to be taken before you attempt to use it.

The article also said something about using this methodology to clean up AFB/EFB from our equipment as well.  Except using a 6% solution vice 3% solution...
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