This spring I intend to replace several frames of very old comb. When I pull this comb, I would prefer the comb to be empty - free of brood, honey etc. If this comb has honey or brood, are there any management techniques I can implement before hand that will result in empty comb? I'm not interested in resurrecting the extractor for just a few frames. Thanks.
Hi John -
If there is still brood in the comb, simply move it to the outside edge of the brood combs. You don't want to move them too far away in case it still gets too cold and the bees aren't able to keep them warm enough. Once the brood is out, it will be much easier to empty the comb of any honey. Simply place it above the inner cover in another super and let the bees come up from below and rob it out.
Thanks for the advice. I'll try it.
This advice is already a year old but it applies to a question I have. If I am starting with packages on fresh 4.9 mm foundation but I have some frames with pollen and honey from a dead hive, do you think putting it above an inner cover for the bees to rob would make the queen go up there to lay eggs instead of waiting downstairs until the bees build some new comb?
Alternative 2: How about waiting for a few days until the queen is laying below and then put the frames above the inner cover?
Alternative 3: How about putting a queen excluder between the queen and the frames with pollen and honey?
Once the bees have brood on the new comb, you should be able to put the old stuff above an excluder and have them rob it out. I wouldn't risk it before they have brood in case they find the old comb more attractive than foundation.
From my experience I agree with Barry. I wouldn't put the old stuff anywhere in the hive until they have a viable brood nest. They are prone to abandon the queen otherwise, if it's above a queen excluder or go with the queen is she has access.