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Author Topic: comb between frames around queen cage  (Read 1778 times)
billb
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Location: Hopelessly Lost


« on: April 26, 2005, 01:34:50 PM »

I am new to beekeeping this year and just installed my two packages of bees in their hives the weekend before last. I was unable to open the hives to check on the queens on Saturday like I wanted to because we had blowing snow and very cold temperatures. So, last night, Monday, it was warm enough to open the hives. When I removed the inner covers I found a large amount of comb built between the frames where I put the queen cages. I was unable to see any eggs or the queen and was concerned weather or not to to seperate the wild comb from the frames. I'm worried about possibly hurting a queen or damaging brood. But in reading last night I found a reference to this kind of comb and it recommended removing it. The bees have sugar water and pollen stored in the top of this wild comb, some of it came out with the queen cages. I would appreciate any advice about removing it . Also does comb and pollen possibly indicate that the queens are probably ok, or is this just wishfull thinking?  huh
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JoshK
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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2005, 02:39:30 PM »

All of that comb needs to be removed.  Simply use your hive tool to slice it off; where it connects to a frame, try to cut it a bit deeper than the surrounding properly drawn comb.  Then reinstall your frames without the queen cage, together this time, and they should draw it out properly.

The wild comb can be set on the bottom board outside the hive, where the bees can quickly rob it and store the goodies elsewhere inside.  After a day or two, you've now got a nice, dry, clean piece of comb that you can keep and study while considering how much higher a grade your bees would've gotten in geometry class than you did.  They made it in pitch dark, y'know.

With a new package, you'll notice as you inspect that here and there the bees sometims build bridge comb between even correctly-spaced frames for no apparent reason.  I know it seems like a shame, but you really do need to chop this comb off whenever you see it - it can create a problem later.
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billb
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« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2005, 07:35:51 PM »

Thanks Josh. I went in to the hives yesterday afternoon and removed the wild comb. There is quite a lot of brood in it so I put it on top of the hives with the feeders. One hive seems to have abandonded it while in the other hive it is still covered with bees. I suspect that the one still covered with bees has their queen still on it and the other one does not. I'll check on it tomorrow, weather permitting, and see if I can find a queen. I was surprised how docile the bees were while I was working with them since it was overcast and threatening rain.  Cheesy
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2005, 07:58:16 PM »

If you have a piece like that with lots of brood in it, you can tie it into an empty frame.  Just put it in the fram and tie string around the frame or use rubber bands.

http://www.kohala.net/bees/capture/tying.html

Of course it's now been chilled too much for this and it's not a big deal.  The bees don't have a lot of resources in very young brood.  They have a lot more resources invested in brood that is about to be capped, or brood that is capped.
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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
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