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  1. #1

    Smile

    Hi All. I was just wondering what queens others were using for comb honey production. This year I had four colonies with All-American queens in them. I split them at the begining of the year and had them down to a single story brood chamber with a queen excluder on top with an entrance above that. Two of the four hives produced very well. The other two swarmed. Anyone have a preference for what type of queens they use for comb honey? Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,797

    Post

    I raise some comb honey. I never thought of myself as very precise at it. I just put some surplus foundation on and see what they do. If you want to take it serious, there is at least one book on the subject. I think the darker bees leave whiter looking cappings because they leave a little air pocket at the top. These would be Caucasians and Carniolans. I've never had customers who seemed that picky if it was clean white comb they didn't seem to think it had to be perfect.

    If you getting swarms raising comb honey you might consider a slatted rack. That's really how it was invented was to prevent swarms when raising comb honey. Also a Screened Bottom Board might help.

    An unlimited brood nest (3 deeps or 4 mediums and no excluder) and checking the brood nest to make sure it's not Honey Bound would also help with the swarming.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    Hi,

    Producing sections is one of my favorite forms of management. I will expalin how I do it. I follow methods (similar)that the Killions use in the Book, Honey In The Comb but modified for unlimited broodnest. In the spring hive is reversed (3 deep) at dandelion time or a little before. The colony is built up strong as possible into 3 deep fore going dandelion, fruit,ect. Just before major flow starts here (berries start it usually) the 3 deep colonies are cut down to singles. This means shaking most of the bees into the parent on the original stand. Set off the other two boxes behing the parent or where you want and add cell or queen. This will crowd the bees into the sections almost immediately. I add 2 RR supers per colony and add more as the season goes. Recombine later in the season keeping the new queen or pull sections early and add another hive body for increase (what ever you want). I use carniolans or caucasians for there very white cappings. I prefer to bottom super sections and bait up and manipulate outer frames to the inside. It is alot of trouble but makes some of the best well filled and capped sections.

    Clay

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    michigan
    Posts
    393

    Post

    When I use to raise comb, did about what Clayton wrote about. From a queen standpoint, the only thing I can add would be to look for something that isnt prone to build burr/brace comb if you are selling in sections. Most of what I sold was packed in 5 gallon buckets so it didnt have to be perfect.

  5. #5

    Big Grin

    Hi again. I manipulated my frames this year too. I haven't used RR yet just cutcomb frames. I think next year I might try some of the carnolians bees. Two of the hives I had on screened bottom boards. Next year I will most likely have all of them on screened bottom boards. I was wondering if any of you used queen excluders at all? Or does the queen usually just stay out of RR frames.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    I never use excluders with RR. On very, very rare occasions the queen will lay a few drone cells in a section. Take out your jack knife and cut it out and the bees will repair it and cap it over.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Pomfret, MD, USA
    Posts
    242

    Post

    Didn't I read somewhere that Carniolians are not big comb producers, compared with Italians? Isn't this what you would want for cut comb or RR's?

    Thanks,
    Kai

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    I have used both types of bees. Ususally these types of statements come from those that are biased towards one type of bee or another(queen breeder trying to sell queens for instance). They both can produce well. But the management may differ a little between the two different races a bit. I find statements like this are often repeated from one to another but not true.

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