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Thread: Burr comb

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Mineral, Virginia
    Posts
    188

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    In one of my hives, it looks like the bees have attached two frames together in several places. I am assuming this is Burr Comb? How much damage am I going to do by removing the frames and/or trying to scrape this off? I am using pure wax foundation with wire supports, but I doubt it is going to stand up to me trying to remove this. Not to mention how peeved the comb owners are going to be.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,113

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    If you were to cut them gently apart, I think you'll be surprised how uneventful it is to the bees. But there may be a better way.

    How much damage depends on what they have done. True burr comb is just little bits and pieces that attach to two frames or the lid or the wall or bottom board. If that's what it is, you probably could just pull it out and not damge much. Since you think it's more than that, then maybe it's a misplaced comb? Did they build one between two frames? Perhaps it runs from one frame to the other? When people are using plastic and this happens, they blame the plastic.

    I have a top bar hive and they have done it and I blame the spacing. I was lazy and used 1 1/2" spacing so I could just cut the bars from a two by.

    As far as damage, if there is a lot of brood in the comb, I'd try to pull the two frames out together and move them to the outside of the brood nest. That way after the brood hatches they will probably fill it with honey and you can just harvest it and put in some frames with foundation and you won't waste the brood. If it's just full of honey, I'd just pull it out and scrap it.

    Speaking of spacing how do you have the frames spaced? I see a lot of new comers trying to space the frames evenly. In a brood chamber, it's better to just push them together in the middle and split the excess space on the outsides. For supers it's better to space 9 of them evenly (use a spacer frame rest or a "comb" to do this easily) but only after you have drawn comb. If you have bare foundation, I'd do it just like the brood chamber and push them together in the middle.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Mineral, Virginia
    Posts
    188

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    Well, this is the hive that they built comb around the queen cage before I got it out 4 days later. They just continued on and built out the rest of the comb across to the next frame.

    Regarding frame spacing, there are 10 frames in each body, spaced evenly. Most fascinating thing for me is when I open the top, there is just enough room between the frames to see two lines of bee heads, each line running down the frame. It would appear from your advice that possibly I should not have placed all the frames in there from the beginning, but this is the way I understood it to be done from the directions I had.

    My broods seem to be "off center" if you will; it may be because of the way I loaded the boxes. The bees, in both of my boxes, are congregated to 3 frames near the sides of the boxes. I had just assumed that the brood would gradually shift to the other side as the queen/work moved.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,113

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    >Well, this is the hive that they built comb around the queen cage before I got it out 4 days later. They just continued on and built out the rest of the comb across to the next frame.

    So it's really "cross combed" or a misplaced comb.

    >Regarding frame spacing, there are 10 frames in each body, spaced evenly. Most fascinating thing for me is when I open the top, there is just enough room between the frames to see two lines of bee heads, each line running down the frame.

    And it doesn't look like enough room does it?

    >It would appear from your advice that possibly I should not have placed all the frames in there from the beginning, but this is the way I understood it to be done from the directions I had.

    Yes, I would have put all ten frames in. If I didn't have a shim (I make one from 1 by 1 the size of a hive) then I'd push the frames to the sides to make enough room for a cage in the middle between two frames. I would check to see that the queen was out in a couple of days and if not I'd let her go and take out the cage and push the frames back together. (this is for a package that was shipped with the queen). If you really can't get the queen cage between two frames then go with nine, but still I'd try to get the cage out within at least four days if not sooner. I prefer the shim and put the cage on TOP of the bars with the screen facing down between the two center frames. Again, you need to pull the shim off within at least four days if not sooner so they don't burr the top bars to the inner cover.

    >My broods seem to be "off center" if you will; it may be because of the way I loaded the boxes. The bees, in both of my boxes, are congregated to 3 frames near the sides of the boxes.

    What do you mean "because of the way I loaded the boxes"? Did you have the qeen to one side?

    >I had just assumed that the brood would gradually shift to the other side as the queen/work moved.

    It probably will shift as the brood nest grows but it may take a while. I wouldn't worry about it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    mn, wi, tx
    Posts
    174

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    The brood will usually first start closest to the warmth generated by the sun. When small the brood area will be on the south side of the box, and expand outward from there. Don't add boxes until they fill 3/4 of the first brood box with bees/brood/and or honey-pollen.

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