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Author Topic: Yellow comb  (Read 1925 times)
Sundog
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« on: October 07, 2011, 01:24:12 PM »

Checked my TBH this AM and the color of the comb had somehow become yellow as egg yolk.  I did feed them some 1:1 to help them adjust to their new box last week, so the comb is full of sugar water, but I still find the color (while attractive) unusual.

The normally very gentle bees, also seemed grouchy and I took a couple of hits.  Hurt my feelings.

Still having fun!

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luvin honey
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« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2011, 01:27:19 PM »

I sometimes see pollen clearly rubbed off on the cell edges, but I think most of the yellowing is just a process of time and age, sort of like with newspaper.
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2011, 02:46:35 PM »

Comb color goes from white to yellow to orange to brown to black as it ages.  Most of this color change is due to pollen color mixing into the wax.  It is a gauge of how old the comb is.... but it's better to just write the start date on the frame so you know when to get rid of the old comb.
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hardwood
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« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2011, 05:53:57 PM »

The comb is yellow when they are working brazillian pepper.

Scott
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"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

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Stone
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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2011, 02:17:52 PM »

I don't know the reason for this but I've observed that newly drawn spring and summer comb is white while newly drawn late summer and fall comb is that yellow "eggg yolk" color.  Any ideas why?
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2011, 09:36:05 PM »

In early summer they are making the comb and immediately filling it with lots of light colored nectar up high so there is less pollen staining, and it stays white.  Later on they seem to draw it out slower, and if they are drawing it is probably closer to the brood and therefore pollen and higher traffic.  Plus the fall flowers seem to yield yellower nectar.  At least that is my observation.

I agree that the wax in the picture is probably from the type of nectar and flower.
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rober
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« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2011, 12:26:38 AM »

Comb color goes from white to yellow to orange to brown to black as it ages.  Most of this color change is due to pollen color mixing into the wax.  It is a gauge of how old the comb is.... but it's better to just write the start date on the frame so you know when to get rid of the old comb.

just curious, why would you need to discard old comb? is there any way to clean it up?
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BlueBee
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« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2011, 02:46:32 AM »

There are a few reasons you don’t want really old comb hanging around.  They accumulate pesticides over time and that can be bad for the bees.  A more practical problem though may be that wax moths love old black combs.  If you don’t rotate it out, the wax moths may do it for you.
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rober
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« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2011, 08:29:30 AM »

good to know.   it might have been on another forum but i think i read a thread somewhere where the person left dark comb out in the open & the wax moths cleaned the wax up.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2011, 10:44:12 PM »

I wouldn't call what the wax moths "cleaning the wax up".  It's more like destroying it and making a mess of it...
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rober
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« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2011, 01:30:09 AM »

i have no experience for comparison & will take your word for it. i thought it sounded odd when i read it. 3 of my hives were new this past spring. there is some darker comb in the 3 used hives that i bought in august. the difference in the smell of the older hives is quite noticeable. not as sweet as the new hives.
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Grieth
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« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2011, 09:11:45 AM »

I am going with the nectar/pollen theory.

I hived a very small swarm on my roof a month ago.  Their first wax comb was as white as snow.  Moved them to the country, and on last inspection the combs (new drawn comb in the nuc) were yellow, not as dark as sundog's, but closer to his than white.
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T Beek
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« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2011, 12:46:20 PM »

There was a time when beeks protected and cherished the darkest 'old' comb, darker the better, was considered good as gold by most. 

Then came the pesticides, changing the bees and the beeks lives forever.

thomas
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luvin honey
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« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2011, 10:03:02 PM »

There was a time when beeks protected and cherished the darkest 'old' comb, darker the better, was considered good as gold by most. 

Then came the pesticides, changing the bees and the beeks lives forever.

thomas
Do you know what it was treasured for, T?
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The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson
T Beek
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« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2011, 07:08:34 AM »

The old timers loved using the comb until it became too impractical or too thick, or too black.. it was (and still is by some) believed that the old comb provided the best methods for attracting and keeping keeping bees.  It eliminated the need to 'purchase' foundation, It could be used over and over in as many hives as one had.  Think about how easy it must have been to 'see' eggs sitting in black comb.

Unless diseased it was NEVER thrown away.  Evidence implies that as pesticides increased, so did bee problems w/ bee health, so the process of removing/replacing old comb took a while (a generation or two) to embrace among old beeks. 

Removing/replacing old comb is relatively new to beekeeping.

thomas
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sterling
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« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2011, 12:02:31 PM »

Did the oldtimers use the old comb just for brood or did they extract honey from it also?
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T Beek
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« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2011, 12:35:18 PM »

Sorry, don't really know for sure, I'm not 'that' old grin 

But I wouldn't think so, although 'my bees' often use 'older' drone comb as honeycomb, but I've never had comb older than five years old in my hives. 

Not sure about extracting either, but again I wouldn't think so (kinda dirty), We harvest our honey in chunk form from the 'newest' comb, leaving the older comb for the bees.

thomas
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yockey5
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« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2011, 12:41:02 PM »

I have used old comb as well as new comb for extracting. The old comb is not so fragile and needs less care when handling it in the extractor.
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hardwood
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« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2011, 12:59:01 PM »

Most commercial beekeepers have at least some very old comb, both brood comb any honey comb. They try to keep them separate as the old dark brood comb can darken the honey and lower the grade but will use brood comb for honey if it's needed.

Scott
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"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907
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