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Author Topic: A Newbee question about cross comb  (Read 1450 times)
Drmaz
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« on: December 03, 2013, 08:49:05 PM »

So I added my first supers to two of my 3 hives about 2 weeks ago. With all the rain we've had around here (southeast qld) in the last 2 or 3 weeks I didn't expect much activity in the hive.

The 2 hives that I added the supers to are almost the same except 1 has a queen excluder and the other doesn't. After doing a little I decided to go for foundation less frames in my supers.

I had a quick peek in the hives last week and all seemed well. So I thought I would open up the hives today and have a good look. The first hive the 1 with the excluder was looking good the have started to build comb. Then when I looked in the second hive ( without excluder) I saw cross comb ( please see pic below) I have remove the cross comb. My question is what's the best way to prevent cross comb when using foundationless frames. Also should I add an excluder the the second hive? Thanks in advance

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Vance G
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« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2013, 09:38:43 PM »

I would really be surprised if the excluder had anything at all to do with the cross comb.  In a foundationless box, one really needs a frame of drawn comb or some foundation to try to give the bees a direction or at least make it easy to go in your chosen direction.  If you can put a foundationless frame between two drawn combs, especially capped brood comb, the bees tend to draw it very much to your purpose.  I seldom use excluders except when producing comb honey or for splitting  a colony.  If you don't have some drawn comb above the excluder, they can act as a barrier that your bees may not cross.
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Oak
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« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2013, 10:01:19 PM »

Hi Drmaz,

I used foundationless frames in my super and have not had any crosscomb. I opened up the broodnest (as on Michael Bush's site) weekly which filled my super with drawn frames in about a month.

I did this as swarm prevention, but it seems to sidestep the problems I have read about with foundationless frames and supers. Of course you will have to wait until the brood emerges before they start filling the frames with honey. Also your broodbox and your super need to be the same size.

I don't know whether the queen excluder is having an effect, I haven't used mine.

« Last Edit: December 03, 2013, 11:38:34 PM by Oak » Logged
Drmaz
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« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2013, 06:57:24 AM »

Hi guys thanks for the hints I really appreciate it I'll give them a try this weekend and let you
Know how it works out in a week or 2. 
Cheers
Stan
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OldMech
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« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2013, 12:28:55 AM »

If you dont have any drawn comb or small cell frames to help guide them, you can take that piece of cross comb and "wax" it to the top of an empty frame with a bit of melted wax from the microwave. Even if you mess it up a bit, they will usually fix what you squished and continue drawing it the right direction. its really soft at that stage, but it gets quick and easy to do after you do it a couple times.. Once you start to get the frames filled it gets easier and easier.. as already stated, rotating in empty frames helps get you more drawn out straight faster..

   I cant quite figure how that piece got drawn out that way with no other frames etc in the way?? 
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Moots
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« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2013, 02:01:36 PM »


   I cant quite figure how that piece got drawn out that way with no other frames etc in the way?? 


+1....Drmaz, Are we missing something?  Seems like there should have been frames there preventing that comb from being drawn to that extent.

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"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
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capt44
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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2013, 09:29:18 AM »

I usually use a starter strip of bees wax foundation attached to the top bar of the frame.
But usually put the foundationless frame between 2 drawn out frames and it should build out straight.
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Richard Vardaman (capt44)
Drmaz
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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2014, 09:27:53 PM »

Thanks to everyone for their suggestion. It's been about a month since I made the changes to the hive ( I added starter stripes to the new frames and put the new frames between frames that had already been drawn out ) and all is well the girls have been very busy making new comb, so looks like everything is back on track smiley
Thanks again
Stan


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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2014, 08:16:22 PM »

All frames need a comb guide either as something that establishes an edge on the center of the top bar or as a wall of brood comb properly spaced on each side of the empty frame.  With no guide they may go any which way.

http://bushfarms.com/beesfoundationless.htm
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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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