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Author Topic: What equals drawn comb?  (Read 1738 times)
tillie
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« on: April 27, 2006, 07:10:19 PM »

I have looked in all the bee books I have and I can't find a picture to help me know if I have "drawn comb" on the foundation.  I started out with two nucs and have two hives working.  It looks to me as if they have worked on the inner 6 or 7 frames of foundation, but I don't know how to tell if they have "drawn comb" out enough to add a super yet.

For example on the 7th frame of one hive body, I can see white buildup of the base of the foundation, but have no idea how to determine if it is enough.

Thanks in advance for this wonderful forum full of helpful beekeepers!

Linda in Atlanta Smiley
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BEE C
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« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2006, 07:56:57 PM »

Linda, Take a look in the photo gallery.  There are pictures of capped brood frames in some members photos.  Open comb you can see the cells, whereas capped brood has a flat surface and you can't see the cell shapes underneath.
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tillie
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« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2006, 08:27:19 PM »

So does the comb have to have capped brood in it to count as being "drawn comb"?  

I do know what capped brood looks like since there was capped brood in my nucs, but I'll also go look at the photo gallery.

Thanks,

Linda in Atlanta
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2006, 08:28:50 PM »

Think of the capped brood comb with out the caps. That would be drawn comb.
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TwT
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« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2006, 10:23:59 PM »

you should have seen your nuc hives comb if you mean drawn out comb, or do you mean "Drone Comb" like pierco makes?
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tillie
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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2006, 10:30:58 PM »

Actually I am worried because my bees in one of my hives are congregating around the front of the hive until late into the night every night.  The hive has the top cover propped up with a stick about 1"in diameter; I use a SBB - so the ventilation should be good.  But last night at 10:45 and with a night time temp of 60 degrees, the bees were plentiful at the front entrance of the hive and crawling on the outside.

Yesterday I opened the hive to see how "drawn out" the comb was, since all the messages I read say that you should add a super when 7/10 of the frames are "drawn out"  I can see white wax on each of the next to the side frames but it isn't thick and there isn't brood there, nor can I see eggs.  

My Atlanta beekeeper friend who helped me last weekend is of the hands off approach so we only looked at the edge frames and at the amount of population but didn't lift the center frames that came with the nucs to look at them.

This weekend I want to look again at the frames to see if the comb is "drawn out" whatever that means and since I don't really know what that means, I'm trying to get an idea.

Yours in ignorance and naivete,

Linda T in Atlanta
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TwT
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« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2006, 10:39:59 PM »

tillie, look at these pic's and you will see the drawn out frames and the second frame from the bottom is partially drawn out....

http://www.beemaster.com/beebbs/viewtopic.php?t=2466
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tillie
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« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2006, 10:46:38 PM »

Thank you, Ted.  I can see what to look for.  I think when we looked last weekend there was some burr comb at the tops of the nuc frames in the center of the hive body and it was difficult to see past that to see what has been drawn out.  

Your pictures are great and really helpful.  I think despite the disturbance I will create, on Saturday I'll pull up some of the central frames to get a better look.

Maybe Atlanta bees like to sunbathe or, at this point, moonbathe!

Thanks so much,

Linda T
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2006, 07:07:08 AM »

Fully drawn comb is 1" thick.  Foundation is (counting the ins and outs) maybe 1/8" thick.  If it's less than 1" it's thick, it's not drawn.
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tillie
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« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2006, 08:21:07 AM »

Nice standard to have, Michael.  I've looked at a lot of your postings both here and on Beesource and I've visited your website.  I know mostly you don't use foundation or you use small cell.

This the regular cell size from Dadant.  When you say 1", do you mean the approximate distance through the middle - in other words, about 1/2" on each side of the plasticell center foundation?  With 10 frames in my hive, I don't see how they could draw out even 1/2" on side by side frames without bumping into the drawing out from the other side!  And maybe that's what they do -

I think the most crowded hive has grown from drift from the other rather than hatched brood.....since I know mine are not built out as much as this standard for fully drawn.

I know learning takes time, but I can see that I have miles and miles to go.  I'm going to the John Campbell Folk School on May 5 to take a hands on course in beekeeping from Virginia Webb, so maybe I'll learn to feel a little less ignorant there.

Meanwhile let's hope my hives don't swarm.  

Thanks for the help,

Linda T in Atlanta  huh
(where it is 48 degrees this morning)
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thomashton
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« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2006, 10:37:43 AM »

Wow 48 degrees in the morning. I went out to my hives this morning and there was frost on them. I'll be lucky if they're up and working by 10am the lazy buggers Cheesy

I expect come summer though, they'll be bearding like crazy in the hot Utah nights.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2006, 07:26:22 PM »

>Nice standard to have, Michael. I've looked at a lot of your postings both here and on Beesource and I've visited your website. I know mostly you don't use foundation or you use small cell.

Correct.

>This the regular cell size from Dadant.

That will only make a small difference.  

Cell Size mm--Comb width mm

5.555--22.60

5.375--22.20

5.210--21.80

5.060--21.40

4.925--21.00

4.805--20.60

4.700--20.20

ABC XYZ of Bee Culture 1945 edition Pg 126

>When you say 1", do you mean the approximate distance through the middle - in other words, about 1/2" on each side of the plasticell center foundation?

Yes.

> With 10 frames in my hive, I don't see how they could draw out even 1/2" on side by side frames without bumping into the drawing out from the other side! And maybe that's what they do -

No.  Frames are on 1 3/8" (35mm) centers.  So from the center rib of one to the center rib of the next one is 1 3/8".  That leaves a 3/8" (3mm) gap between.

>Meanwhile let's hope my hives don't swarm.

Hope has never stopped a hive from swarming.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesswarmcontrol.htm
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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