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Author Topic: Comb pandemonium  (Read 1984 times)

Offline Brian Sisson

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Comb pandemonium
« on: May 22, 2006, 12:40:26 PM »
I messed up.  How big I messed up is for you all to tell me.

I've got 2 hives going and growing right now.  They both started from 2 3# packages this last April.  
When I was getting the hives together, I saw that Dadant had hive frame spacers that would allow 9 frames in a 10 frame hive.  That sounded like a good idea to me as I'd heard that the more space in the hive bees have to fill, the harder it is on them.  So I installed the spacers in both hives.
I've been checking them weekly and noted that they were making all sorts of burr comb and that they were putting layers on one side of frames and stuff like that.  I attempted to correct their errors, but when they started to have brood, I didn't want to tear that comb off.

Well, I opened them up yesterday and both hives are ready for a 2nd hive body, but the original bodies on both of them are so jacked-up that I couldn't remove any of the frames without killing my girls.
I now know that the 2nd body on each hive needs to be 10 frames tightly fitted, but is there anything I can do about the original body?
Should I put the new one under the original one and try to get them to move down?  

Any tips, tricks, or advice?

Offline Jerrymac

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Comb pandemonium
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2006, 03:29:07 PM »
I would put the new one under the old. They will probably move down and soon the top will be full of honey. You can then cut out the comb squeeze out the honey and start over with those frames.
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Offline Brian Sisson

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Comb pandemonium
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2006, 04:06:14 PM »
Bless you, my son.

Offline Doorman

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Comb pandemonium
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2006, 07:03:52 PM »
If thats the dumbest thing you ever do, your way ahead of me.
Some call me a bee farmer, I prefer rancher. What
with millions of tiny livestock foraging the open range, spring and fall round ups. Boy howdy branding their little butts sure is tedious.

Offline TwT

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Comb pandemonium
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2006, 07:21:06 PM »
the 9 frames spacer are use primarily in honey supers not brood chambers, its always best to have 10 frames in the brood chambers, the nine frames spacers are use to space the honey super frames farther apart so the bee's will draw them out past the frames so it is easier to uncap during extractions... yes you can put it under the 9 frame or above but you might want to cut the comb back when they start drawing out the 10 frame hive bodies frames, other word correcting the frames so you could fit 10 frames in that hive bodie... just something you would have to work out.... just my opinion!!!!

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Offline Michael Bush

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Comb pandemonium
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2006, 08:10:21 AM »
Whenever you add foundation it's always best to fill the box and crowd the frames to the middle to avoid the problems you're having.  I shave the end bars and put 11 in a 10 frame box (or 9 in an eight frame box) for brood.  After they are DRQWN in the SUPERS you can put eight or nine in a ten frame box.  But before they are drawn, I would not recommend it.

Now to fix the problem.  The first frame may make a real mess no matter what you do, but once you have it out you can work better.  If you have "between" combs (free combs between foundations) and if they are full of brood, I'd cut them out and tie them into frames.  If you have little combs of honey here and there, I'd harves them and feed them back later.  Burr (not a whole comb, just little bits) can just be cut out.  The sooner you fix it, probably the better off you'll be.
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Offline Brian D. Bray

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Comb pandemonium
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2006, 06:07:49 PM »
I think we ought to make a new list: Things not to do:
Such as less than 10 frames in a brood box--unless you use 8 frame boxes like I do.
Use of lesser quanities of frames should be left to the harvesting section of the hive.  But remember that uniformity solves a lot of lilttle problems.
Don't feed when it's not necessary: feed to get them started, to cap off honey stores after or during bad weqther in the fall, or feed to get a better start in the spring.  Started means drawing half the frames of foundation in the hive.

and so forth.
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