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Author Topic: Just little confused  (Read 935 times)
Royall
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« on: February 24, 2014, 01:05:08 PM »

I went into my hives back a few months to take a look at the girls.  One hive had a new box of frames on it and the other I want to add the 2nd box. Well I found the frames all full of burr comb and didn't look like anything I've seen in the videos. I did try to inspect the frames to see how well the queen was doing but made a mess of the whole thing. I got it all put back together with several dead bees and larva to show for it. Now the bees have filled the top (2nd) deep and that is what I the honey out of last week. My question is this. Do I or should I ever go back down into the bottom box for any reason? I was so worried that I had killed or injured the queen trying to navigate though the uneven comb they had pulled.

If I don't make any sense here, you won't hurt my feelings if you ask me to clarify.... Wink
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Steel Tiger
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« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2014, 06:49:07 PM »

 You would be better off in the long run by going in and fixing the comb. Go out with a knife in one hand and rubber bands in the other. Cut any comb that you can't push back into place and attach the cut pieces (if they're big enough" into empty frames. Use extra care to avoid harming the queen.
   Good Luck
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Royall
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« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2014, 08:49:32 PM »

That sounds scary.... I'm all thumbs at times.
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Joe D
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« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2014, 09:56:27 PM »

If the comb is still in a mess you should fix it like Tiger said, it's not that hard once your through.  While I was getting foundationless going, I carried a knife and a can of large rubber bands when ever I went thought them just incase.   Good luck to you and your bees.





Joe
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Steel Tiger
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« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2014, 10:04:27 PM »

That sounds scary.... I'm all thumbs at times.

 It's not as bad as it may sound. A little messy if you need to cut up honey, which I'm sure you will. Once they're straightened up, I would peek in every other day and make sure they're building in the frames and not cross combing again. It's much easier to fix if you catch it early. You just push the comb back in or cut it off.
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Royall
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« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2014, 12:03:38 AM »

I can't push then in. I'm using foundations in the frames. Will the bees do the clean up all the mess?
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T Beek
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« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2014, 05:23:55 AM »

I can't push then in. I'm using foundations in the frames. Will the bees do the clean up all the mess?

They will indeed.  As suggested, having a sharp knife available is a good practice.  If done carefully your bees will hardly notice your cutting their comb.  That said; the work must be done, if wonky comb isn't corrected it will continue, leaving you with even more of a mess.  Don't be scared, they're just honeybees  Smiley
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Leather Jim
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« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2014, 07:03:52 AM »

The long serrated decamping knives or a bread knife work great for that
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Leather Jim
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« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2014, 07:04:48 AM »

Grr, *decapping* darn auto correct
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Royall
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« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2014, 10:25:06 AM »

OK, what if there is larva too? The first time I went in and found this mess I had to cut the comb apart just to get the frames out. I found that I was cutting through larva that had been laid in the burr..
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T Beek
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« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2014, 10:40:43 AM »

Yep, you're going to have to sacrifice some larva from time to time.  Its all part of keeping bees….and some of us never get used to it……yet it must be done  Smiley 

That's why most of the advise was to proceed with caution when cutting.
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Royall
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« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2014, 11:21:09 AM »

wow... OK, then how often would you suggest going that far down into the hive to inspect? 
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T Beek
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« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2014, 03:11:04 PM »

Well, that can be a debatable topic for sure  laugh  Brood comb is usually pretty easy and the bees fill it with consistence once started.  Honey comb is another story with bulges and gaps all over in some instances.  Cutting some brood out of 'honey comb' is to be expected, especially if not using an excluder.  Cutting 'excess' brood comb isn't something that comes about to often, at least in my own experience.  Like I said, it is fairly perfect once started.

Personally, during our 4 months of summer (June, July, Sept, and October) I might be inspecting every couple weeks, but much depends on what's going on at the entrances, if they're collecting honey…inside my added supers  Wink.  If they seem good,healthy and robust I leave them alone.  If I suspect something is amiss, I go inside to look.  Activity at the entrances can only tell us so much……

……unless I suspect a problem I generally only go to the bottom twice per season….
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Royall
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« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2014, 03:15:30 PM »

TBeek, you mentioned the queen excluder. My beek friend Jim says they damage the worker bee's wings and won't use them. Is this an issue for a small time beek?
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T Beek
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« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2014, 03:24:21 PM »

Can't say for sure….….I only use them infrequently at best, when I want to locate/isolate/separate the queen. 

They can also be useful for making summer splits (on the same hive) too, by bringing up a few frames of brood above one, making sure queen stays below.  Overnight, the house/ nurse  bees will move up through the excluder to take care of the brood.  Next day you can remove the whole box, give it some honey and set up another colony…if you have a queen you can place her in or just let them make their own. 
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Royall
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« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2014, 11:30:26 AM »

How long does it take for the hive to make another queen? I'm going to go back into the hive this weekend maybe. I've waiting for a bee suit so I can work easier around the hives. I've only had a veil and some thick clothes so far, and they do get through!

I do have some bee books but find answered questions from the forum is somewhat less confusing.

Thanks to everybody for their help so far!!
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GSF
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« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2014, 08:55:12 PM »


Here's a link to Michael Bush's website. Gives you a pretty good idea.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmath.htm
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Royall
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« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2014, 09:58:32 PM »

Thanks GSF for a the link. Very interesting information!
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Newtobees
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« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2014, 09:06:24 AM »

Hey everyone!

Great conversation for a new guy.  I've learned a lot and have a few questions if y'all don't mind

Could some please define "cross comb" and "burr comb"

High-Five to T-Beek for using the word "wonky" that one I understand! grin

What I did gather is that comb can get out of control if not properly maintained.  Why do these things happen? Can they be avoided?

Thanks,
NTB
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T Beek
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« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2014, 09:38:59 AM »

I suppose "cross comb" could be defined as comb that instead of being built 'inside' a frame, the way 'we' want them too,  is to build comb 'across' several frames. 

"Burr comb" would be that comb that is 'everywhere' else besides in the frames  laugh  Some Beeks obsess over it, scraping any they find  Undecided  ….but IMO, the bees build it for 'their own reasons'…..(bridges, ladders, etc).  Unless its going to cause an obstruction or prevent frames from being pressed tightly together, I leave it for my bees to decide…. Smiley
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