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Thread: Comb spacing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    West Harrison, NY, USA
    Posts
    261

    Question

    Hi all,

    Here is a problem that is puzzling me:

    Is it common that during cell size regression, the bees will, not only build comb of irregular cell size, but also of irregular cell depth?

    I find that on several of the frames my bees are building (bees from fresh packages this spring building on 4.9mm foundation) the comb is being built soo deep that it extends into the next frame's "territory" (in depth that is), which makes it a pain for removal. Also, it makes adjacent frames have very shallow cells. This has happened only around the top edges, where honey is normally stored, and not in brood areas of the frame. Also, it has happened mostly in hives where cell size has been irregular as well, while in the one hive that has drawn comb most regularly (and also the smallest diameter), the problem is very minimal.

    Finaly, and related to this problem: how late is it safe to cull frames such as those? I noticed in one hive that, while a deep supper was almost 100% drawn during the last 2 weeks, 2 frames that I had removed from the second brood box and replaced with foundation haven't been touched at all, which makes me wonder if the cells will draw and fill them at all before the winter.

    Jorge

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Post

    >Is it common that during cell size regression, the bees will, not only build comb of irregular cell size, but also of irregular cell depth?

    I see this with any cell size. The bees always build the honey comb deeper if there is room to do so. Do you have 9 frame spacing in the brood nest? This will accentuate this tendancy.

    >Finaly, and related to this problem: how late is it safe to cull frames such as those? I noticed in one hive that, while a deep supper was almost 100% drawn during the last 2 weeks, 2 frames that I had removed from the second brood box and replaced with foundation haven't been touched at all, which makes me wonder if the cells will draw and fill them at all before the winter.

    If the frame is good 4.9 cells except that you don't like the honey protruding, just take a cold uncapping knive and cut off the protrudunce. Flip the frame upside down and cut toward the outside so you don't drip honey all over the brood. Then just put it back in. The bees will clean up the drips and recap it. They may draw it out again, or they may not, but if you put in blank foundation they will do the same anyway.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    West Harrison, NY, USA
    Posts
    261

    Post

    Thanks Michael,
    No, I use 10 frames, so I thought this should not be a problem. I guess the bees decide.
    I will do what you say. I guess that if I leave all of it (wax and honey debris) in the hive the bees will take care of it.

    Jorge


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Post

    I suppose I should say, you want to shake or brush the bees off of the frame first so you don't drown a bunch of bees. Also use a very sharp knife and cut gently an don't do it on a 100 degree day. A cool morning would be best so the wax is stiff enough to not fall apart.

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