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Author Topic: Removing empty comb during winter  (Read 1508 times)

Offline mtbe

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Removing empty comb during winter
« on: October 08, 2009, 05:30:50 PM »
I have two hives that are weak for the winter.  I will have to feed, when I was hoping I wouldn't have to.

These are TBHs.

Toward the back of the hives, there are 3 - 4 bars of comb, one or two which are large (but do not 'fill' the whole space), and one or two have very small comb (maybe dollar bill size).  All of this comb is empty.  No brood, no honey, no stores.

Should I remove these in order to place the follower board closer to the front to reduce their space in winter?  They don't appear to be using them.  Or do they need these to help overwinter, even though empty?

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Removing empty comb during winter
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2009, 11:58:36 AM »
Get a spray bottle.  Make 2:1 syrup (or 5:3).  Spray the syrup into the empty combs.  Put the empty combs back.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline luvin honey

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Re: Removing empty comb during winter
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2009, 06:55:52 PM »
Nuts. I wish I had read this a week ago! I pulled a whole bunch of combs from my 2 hives that I believe swarmed and were probably robbed, leaving a lot of empty space... Should I risk the bees getting frosty by opening the hive to put them back in?
The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Removing empty comb during winter
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2009, 08:09:57 AM »
Why not wait for a warm day?
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline mtbe

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Re: Removing empty comb during winter
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2009, 12:29:22 PM »
That was going to be my next question.

It's already cold up here in Northern Ill.  I think the highs this week will be upper 40s at most.  What temperature is it safe to open them up?

Offline luvin honey

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Re: Removing empty comb during winter
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2009, 12:52:06 PM »
Same here. Actually was snow flurrying this morning. Plus, would it be a bad idea to keep cracking open all their hard work on propolis?
The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Removing empty comb during winter
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2009, 05:19:46 PM »
If you don't mess with the brood nest, you can open a hive with no problems any day the bees are flying and spray some syrup (warm will go in easier) into the empty combs, or spray it into some empty combs and then open it up and put them in.  Depending on what you have to work with.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline luvin honey

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Re: Removing empty comb during winter
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2009, 12:03:29 AM »
Thanks. Man, I LOVE this forum!
The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson

 

anything