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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
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    1,933

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    Assuming you are using organic methods and have no comb contamination in your hive from chemicals. Should you be able to retire old, dark brood comb and use it in honey supers. The benifits of culling old comb in the brood chamber has been documented, but seems a waste to not use it if it is not contaminated. Or will other nasty things build up that cause poor flavor, or some other problem.

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

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    IMO it makes no differenct to flavor or color (other than the illusion that the honey is darker because the comb makes it appear that way before you extract it). Some people think it does. They can be harder to uncap because the cocoons usually protrude a bit more than the level you uncap, but I uncap them all the time. The wax moths do like cocoons better than plain wax. It is harder to sort the honey by color when you can't see the color as well.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
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    1,933

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    Thanks,

    Yet another reason to go organic.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Perkasie, PA
    Posts
    1,998

    Post

    I routinely use my former brood comb for honey supers and have noticed no difference in the quality of the honey. If you mind having pollen-clouded honey or treat woith lots of "hard chemicals", this may not be a good practice for you.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    El Dorado County, CA
    Posts
    605

    Post

    im guessing that it could also be crush and strained?
    all that is gold does not glitter

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

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    You can crush and strain it, yes. But I try to sort it out so the white wax and the brood comb wax are in seperate piles when I am done processing them. Sometimes the cocoons soak up so much wax you don't get much out of brood comb. And the brood comb will make that nice white wax a lot darker.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Perkasie, PA
    Posts
    1,998

    Post

    I forgot to mention that crush and strain is what I am currently doing. This is probably why I got so much pollen in my honey.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Post

    Yum. I love pollen. [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Post

    Except in comb honey [img]tongue.gif[/img]

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Post

    If it doesn't have brood cocoons in it, price it an extra $0.50 and label it as "comb honey with pollen". I'll eat it and some other people would love it, I'm sure.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    El Dorado County, CA
    Posts
    605

    Post

    that last post is a wonderful example of "every thing works if you let it".
    all that is gold does not glitter

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Guatemala
    Posts
    244

    Post

    Personally, I find chewing pollen in the comb so much more tasting than dried pollen. But then, I am a fan just like most in this forum. Give it a try, there could be surprises. Just have a plan B if customers start requesting more comb honey with pollen!!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    White County, Arkansas
    Posts
    874

    Post

    Okay... so how long can you safely use comb before you need to pull it and let the girls replace it?

    I'm speaking of course about AFB, antibiotics, and the like. Things that I've read about but haven't seen a time frame for non chemical or minimum chemical saturated hives.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
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    3,361

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    The unwritten rule is 5 years.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,341

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    >Okay... so how long can you safely use comb before you need to pull it and let the girls replace it?

    I've had some that was about 25 years old...

    >I'm speaking of course about AFB, antibiotics, and the like.

    I never used antibiotics and I never had AFB.

    > Things that I've read about but haven't seen a time frame for non chemical or minimum chemical saturated hives.

    If you had checkmite in the hive, I'd scrap them immeadiatley. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    Since Cumaphos and Fluvalinate both build up in the wax, I'd say you would be better off to do it more often than five years if you use these.

    Seems like, among those who change combs, they usually go every 5 years.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Mason, MI, USA
    Posts
    1,015

    Post

    I always changed comb in a hive body by dating the frame and changing 2 frames every year so that a comb was never older than 5 years. This is the way I was taught by a wise old Beekeeper to help control deases carried on the comb.
    Clint
    Clinton Bemrose<br />just South of Lansing Michigan<br />Beekeeping since 1964

  17. #17

    Post

    I just posted this in another thread:

    http://apis.ifas.ufl.edu/apis84/apjul84.htm#2

    I heard second-hand that they had some evidence for a shorter time frame recommendation, but I didn't look deeply enough to corroborate that.

    Mark
    urban top bar hives in Oakland and Berkeley, CA...

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Post

    It's not just about what we put in the hive or what diseases affect the bees within that hive. Bees also bring in toxins from pesticide laced pollen sources, polluted water sources and depending on where you live the normal air contaminates that we breath every day. We should also look at contamination with bee feces associated with long terms without cleansing flights, nosema and the occaisional case of dysentary as well as mold, wax mothe feces and other normal hive occurances. After some extensive research and starting on an aggressive culling campaign (brood combs mainly) I've come to believe clean comb contributes in many ways to a healthy hive.

    [size="1"][ December 18, 2005, 11:15 AM: Message edited by: Joel ][/size]

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    hyde park Vt.
    Posts
    70

    Post

    assuming that bees in nature make hives in trees that maybe used by many different collonies over many years.somehow these hives remain strong.How is there brood any different then man made?

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Post

    &gt;assuming that bees in nature make hives in trees that maybe used by many different collonies over many years.somehow these hives remain strong.How is there brood any different then man made?

    It's a lot smaller. [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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