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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    92

    Post

    Several frames of comb that were begun with starter strips have a gap of less than a inch at the bottom where the bees have not tied the comb to the bottom bar. Is there a way to encourage the bees to close this gap, so that I can extract the honey without fear of damaging the comb?
    Oyster<br />Concord, CA <br />San Francisco Bay Area

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Kanosh,Utah
    Posts
    166

    Post

    As I understand it, the bees leave a gap at the bottom of the frames for communication.
    May the Great Spirit watch over you as long as the grass grows and the water flows.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,419

    Post

    &gt;Several frames of comb that were begun with starter strips have a gap of less than a inch at the bottom where the bees have not tied the comb to the bottom bar. Is there a way to encourage the bees to close this gap, so that I can extract the honey without fear of damaging the comb?

    They will eventually attach it. If you want to speed things along next time, try leaving the bottom bar down 3/8" with a nail holding it (in other words nailed on but 3/8" low). Then after the comb is 3/8" from the bottom, just push the bottom bar the rest of the way into the notch. Another thing you can do is put a beveled bottom bar one. like this:

    http://www.bushfarms.com/images/DeepCutToMedium.JPG
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
    Posts
    1,914

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    Oyster,
    I just extracted some frames as you described. They weren't completely fastened to the sides either. Using care, I spun one side lightly, repeated with the other side. Flipped to the original side and went harder, and finished with the second side. So a lot of flipping for me, but my combs suffered no damage thanks to my excellent skill a being patient and catflul... I mean careful in everything I dog.. I mean do.

    Waya
    WayaCoyote

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    92

    Post

    Michael,

    &gt;They will eventually attach it. If you want to speed things along next time, try leaving the bottom bar down 3/8" with a nail holding it (in other words nailed on but 3/8" low). Then after the comb is 3/8" from the bottom, just push the bottom bar the rest of the way into the notch.&lt;

    If I did that, it would be my luck that those particular frames would have drawn comb all the way to the bottom, and then I'd have to cut the extra comb off. As it now stands, most of the frames are attached properly on the bottom. I'll just wait and see if the those particular frames with loose comb ever gets attached at the bottom.

    Waya,

    I was particularly careful extracting those frames. I only damaged one: the metal frame of the basket got imprinted on the comb as it bent outwards due to the centrifugal force. However, the comb was still attached, so damage was minimal. I was rather surprised by the toughness of the comb during extraction when not attached to the bottom bar at all, and even not completely attached to the sides as well.
    Oyster<br />Concord, CA <br />San Francisco Bay Area

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
    Posts
    1,914

    Post

    Oyster,
    Congrats. Not that you need it, but I've sturdied some comb that had gotten loose like that by pushing a nail or a bobby pin in through the endbars. The bees will even use that as a encouragement to anchor the sides. I've also done it up through the split bottom bars or drilled holes in the groved ones for that purpose.

    Waya
    WayaCoyote

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    92

    Post

    Waya,

    I'll try the nail thingy since it's such a simple and effective sounding idea that works for you.

    Thanks loads,
    (The World is Your)Oyster
    Oyster<br />Concord, CA <br />San Francisco Bay Area

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,207

    Post

    Rubber bands work to hold comb in line with the frame.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    92

    Post

    Ross,

    Your comment, I believe, is more directed to comb that was cut from another frame, or comb gotten from a feral hive. I used that technique to move comb from a plastic frame that had an ear broken off. Within two weeks when I next checked it, the comb was fully connected to the new frame. But now that you mentioned it, I could always cut off the entire comb that wasn't tied to the bottom bar (if Waya's idea of using nails doesn't work with my bees), leave it in the same frame, and rubberband it.

    Thanks for an alternate solution,
    Oyster
    Oyster<br />Concord, CA <br />San Francisco Bay Area

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