Well here is my situation. Lost both hives to a neighbor's hive of robbers. In cleaning up the hives I have some drawn comb that I would like to save. My first mistake was putting 9 frames in a hive body instead of 10. [Live and learn] Had a lot of cross comb and misplaced comb.
What I have done is I have gone through and repositioned the comb in the frames and used rubber bands to hold them in place. Will the bees clean the damaged comb and repair the bad places? Can I use these frames when I take frames of brood and eggs, pollen and honey out of another hive when I start a "nuc"? As you can see I am still learning. Dale
I'm not sure why you needed to rubber band them in. Did the bees not build on the foudation at all? Parially? Anyway, I woulnd't put rubber banded comb in myself. I only do this with brood from a feral colony that I'm trying to hive so the brood won't go to waste and the bees will stay in my hive. I'd just put clean foundation in. Otherwise the rubberbanded comb will end up with lots of drone and lots of misdrawn comb.
If I had 9 frames in 10 for a brood nest, usually, aside from some crosscomb, it's just thicker in places. I'd skim the top off of the combs with an knife (maybe an uncapping knife you have one) so they aren't so thick and leave them in their frames, if they are tolorably good combs.
The details are a little thin, but I would be interested in finding out how you lost two hives to robbing. Did this just happen this spring? Last fall? Were there other factors present? Queenless or starting with two few bees? Deseases? Did you reduce entrance or notice robbing ahead of time?
A big question is did the hives die of other reasons, then were robbed of the stores that were taken once no bees were present?
Just odd that this happened in this manner. Are there signs of starvation or no brood development and what was the death "Pattern" of the bees that died?
I had been feeding one hives with a top hive feeder. I spilled some syrup by one hive which I think attracted the robbers. The other hive I was feeding the other hive with a 3 gal pail and I must not of gotten the cap on tight enough as I had used it before and had no problems. [Live and learn] Also I didn't recognize the action of the robber bees as robbing. Hadn't seen that before. One hive had about 2 doz. dead bees on the bottom board and the other hive had a small cluster on one outside frame as if they were looking for food. As cold as it has been this winter I was hesitant to open the hives up for closer inspection. Anyway I guess that I will check it up to experience of beekeeping. Dale in S.E
I'm saying this with no idea of your level of beekeeping and of course I'm the same you. But I'm guessing your problems started last summer/fall with perhaps a lack of beekeeping basics. You should of had alot more bees than you described and it leads to a lack of build up with feeding, maybe a queen shutting down in mid summer, some deseases, or a host of other combining factors.
I would seek alot of reading or a local beekeeper to work with. Hopefully there is a local club to join?
I may not have the precise answer for the outline you mentioned but it seems that there were a number of beekeeping basics that were missed along the way. (Combining weak hives in the fall, etc.)
I also discovered that I had, unintentionally, only put nine frames in my lower brood chamberast fall, but the bees have made an almost perfect sheet of comb in its place. I was able to remove it intact, and replaced it with another frame and foundation. I had hoped to use the comb in another frame, with rubber bands to hold it. Why will using this comb result in a lot of drones? I hate to waste it!
>I had hoped to use the comb in another frame, with rubber bands to hold it. Why will using this comb result in a lot of drones?
If it is indeed a full sheet there may not be any corners to fill, but if there are they will fill them with drone comb.
>I hate to waste it!
I hate to waste comb too, but the bees love drawing it and if you put a frame with foundation in instead, it will be nice and strong and won't collapse some hot summer day. You always need beeswax for something.