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Author Topic: Drawing Comb  (Read 544 times)
Bryn
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Location: Columbia, TN


« on: January 15, 2011, 08:20:23 PM »

I have been thinking about the answers to these questions for a while, and thought I would ask for peoples opinion with the hope that it will help me, as well as some other new bee keepers who might be getting packages this spring, or some 2nd 3rd year keepers who might be expanding. It might also help some old timers.

I believe the #1 most important commodity to a bee keeper is drawn comb. I have a bunch of packages coming in Mid March, and don't really have any drawn comb for them. Ideally I would like five drawn frames per package, with 2-3 frames full of a 2:1 sugar:water syrup, and two empty drawn frames for the queen to start laying in. I know pollen would be nice, but we have to work with what we got, so don't worry about pollen yet.

So the question(s) are as follows.

1. For a 2# or 3# package how many drawn frames would you like in a 8 frame medium? If you use deeps, or 10 frames brood boxes please add this information to your answer.

2. How many drawn frames would have syrup?

3. What sugar:water 2:1 1:1 or 1:2?

4. How many drawn frames would be empty.

5. Would you use a 5 frame Nuc for packages, then transfer later. Please explain why.


Lets see how far this goes, and I will add some more questions later about getting drawn comb for spring 2012. I know we have only got into 2011, but we need to be thinking of next year, and what we need to do this year to get ready for 2012.

Thanks

Bryn
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AllenF
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« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2011, 08:34:02 PM »

Drawn comb is a good thing.   It takes 8 pounds of honey to make one pound of wax.   (remember than during crush and strain).  I start out bees on as much drawn frames as I can give them.   I have started packages out on 10 full frames before.  If some have honey, the better or packages.
On feeding 1 to 1 for spring time growth.  I have always started packages out in full boxes, not nucs, but you could, just they would full it up too soon.
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AllenF
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« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2011, 08:44:26 PM »

But, if you do not have any drawn comb, you can start bees on new frames all day long.   Don't let that stop you.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2011, 10:09:19 PM »

>1. For a 2# or 3# package how many drawn frames would you like in a 8 frame medium?

All of them of course... but none of them will do.

>2. How many drawn frames would have syrup?

If I had capped honey to give them I'd give it to them.  I wouldn't give them any syrup.  Again, empty frames with comb guides will do.  Empty frames with foundation will do.

>3. What sugar:water 2:1 1:1 or 1:2?

I use nothing but 2:1 or 5:3.  I never do 1:1 as it doesn't keep well and I have to haul more syrup around.

>4. How many drawn frames would be empty.

One, maybe if I could help it... they will burn through stores in a hurry.  All of them empty will do fine.

>5. Would you use a 5 frame Nuc for packages, then transfer later. Please explain why.

I would put a package on bare foundation or foundationless frames in a five frame medium nuc.  This is too small with drawn comb.  Then you will need an eight frame medium or larger.  Why?  To preserver heat.  They can draw comb much more quickly in my cold springs in a five frame nuc than a larger box.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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