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Author Topic: Comb in the wrong place -- what to do next?  (Read 783 times)
nursestryker
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« on: July 04, 2014, 08:10:58 PM »

I am new to Beemaster, so sorry if this has been previously posted.
I set up my first hive this spring.  On the advice of the supplier, I put a trough style top feeder in the top super, and accidently used a deep super instead of a shallow honey super.  When I went to open the hive the first time, I found a lot of natural comb built in the top super and attached to the top feeder and the frames in the next super below it. 
The hive is doing well, the bees seem happy - I just need advice on what to do with the natural comb.
Can I fix it now?
Should I wait until fall?
How should I go about fixing it?
Thank you for any and all advice/assistance. 

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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2014, 09:11:50 PM »

Nurse,
Take empty frames and put 3 rubber bands on each end of the frames. Use 1/8 inch or narrower bands so that the bees will bee able to cut them.
Cut the comb out of the super, note which way is up and maintain it, place it in the frame and slide the rubber bands to hold it in place.
Smoke your hands real well before you start. Slowly slide your hand onto the comb, the bees will move out of the way. Use a thin knife to cut the comb. Move the knife slowly and the bees will move out of the way.
The comb will bee very soft. Handle gently. If you need to wear gloves, use thin nylon gloves so that you can feel the comb.
If you wait until later it gets harder to do.
If it is attached to the top, have something available to hang the lid from while you cut the comb.
Just this week, I had to use the frame of a PVC chair to hang 12" long comb from an empty hive a swarm moved into.
If the comb is attached to the sides, slide the top a little and use a long knife to free it.
Good luck.
Jim
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"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain
nursestryker
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« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2014, 09:24:21 PM »

Awesome - thank you very much.  That plan is really cool.
Couple follow up questions:
I'm worried that the queen might be in the wild comb, and if I knock her out accidentally while I'm moving the comb, will she return to the hive?
If there are odd pieces of the comb that are small - should I still try and put them in an open frame, or should I just get rid of them?
Is it ok to change the order of the supers?  I'm thinking I should put these new frames with the wild comb on the bottom to hang out for awhile until the bees build them up.  Will that freak out the bees or will they adjust and not be bothered?

Again, thank you for your advice. 

nursestryker
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2014, 09:46:55 PM »

Nurse,
Where are you located? Please up date your profile. Locale changes a lot of tack ticks.
I recommend that you place a box on top of the existing ones and put the frames in it. The less you disturb the hive the better.
Be sure to move slowly. Bees react negatively to fast movements.
How much comb is in this area?
How many hives do you have? If only on she can find her way back. I have had queens take off and then find them back in the hive before I closed it up and that was with 6 hives next to each other.
I would not worry about small pieces of wax. You are looking for pieces large enough for the rubber bands to hold.
Jim
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"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain
nursestryker
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Location: Chicago, IL


« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2014, 10:42:00 PM »

Nurse,
Where are you located? Please up date your profile. Locale changes a lot of tack ticks.
Sorry - for some reason I had a hard time figuring out how to update the profile, but I have now.  I'm in Chicago, IL.
I recommend that you place a box on top of the existing ones and put the frames in it. The less you disturb the hive the better.
Be sure to move slowly. Bees react negatively to fast movements.
How much comb is in this area?
Probably half a small super - that was 3 weeks ago - there may be more.  I haven't gone back in to the hive because I was scared I would hurt the bees or do them harm.
How many hives do you have? If only on she can find her way back. I have had queens take off and then find them back in the hive before I closed it up and that was with 6 hives next to each other.
Just one hive.  And I just set it up this past March/April.  I'm very new to all this.
I would not worry about small pieces of wax. You are looking for pieces large enough for the rubber bands to hold.
Jim

Thanks for all the tips.  I'll let you know how things go.

nursestryker
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sawdstmakr
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Location: Jacksonville FL


« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2014, 12:10:26 AM »

Nurse,
In 1 weeks time, a good hive can fill a super full of comb and honey with a good flow. In three weeks, if you have a good flow it will be full.
I spent a year in Great Lakes in 73-74. Had a lot of snow that winter.
Jim
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"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain
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