I have seen patches on really old combs where the cell walls have become so thick the bees no longer use those cells for anything.
This causes me to wonder if contaminated combs might weigh into the drive to swarm or absconding.
If combs are sensed by the bees to be unusable maybe a new home is in order in order to get fresh uncontaminated combs.
If that is the case comb harvesting should become a regular thing.
I cut out the old comb and drop the frames back in so they can rebuild them at 3 to 5 years.. I live in the heart of neonic country so its important to do this.. but I also do not use pesticides in my hive to kill mites, so that gives me a little more leeway than most have when it comes to build up of toxic chemicals in the wax.
As I have read it; It is the combination of chemicals that are absorbed by the wax that becomes the most problamatic to the bees.. If they are bringing back neonics, fungicides, pesticides from peoples gardens and flower beds AND your using mite strips, gels etc to control Varroa mites... ALL of those things combine in a toxic soup that can be many times more deadly than any of the single chemicals in and of themselves..
Replacing the drawn comb every 3 plus years DOES make them use resources I would prefer they were storing for MY use, but it also insures that they do not have to fight the combination of chems that slowly build up.
An added advantage; In the spring, when I cut out those old combs and checkerboard them back into the hive.. it puts them to work and makes them think about something other than swarming..