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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    El Dorado County, CA
    Posts
    605

    Post

    cell size tends to be much more varied in natural comb beekeeping as compared to using foundation. is this something we should try to take account of in hive manipulations? as an example, in starting a nuc we may take a couple of brood, a pollen and a honey comb. that honey comb if taken from the back of the hive may be storage sized cells and not something we want in the middle of the future brood nest. should we try to mark it and remove it or are the bees able to deal with it?
    all that is gold does not glitter

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,458

    Post

    >cell size tends to be much more varied in natural comb beekeeping as compared to using foundation.

    Yes.

    >is this something we should try to take account of in hive manipulations?

    Probably.

    > as an example, in starting a nuc we may take a couple of brood, a pollen and a honey comb. that honey comb if taken from the back of the hive may be storage sized cells and not something we want in the middle of the future brood nest. should we try to mark it and remove it or are the bees able to deal with it?

    You can measure cell size at the core of the comb (the center both ways) and mark that on the frame.

    I start nucs all the time with this kind of comb. I just put the "storage" cells on the outsides and try to keep them there as it expands if they decide to rear a generation of brood in it, they still seem to do ok. I just don't want it in the center of the brood nest.

    But the comb seems to get more uniform as the bees get more regressed.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Casper, WY
    Posts
    526

    Post

    Hi Guys,

    Once a beekeeper understands and can visualize a natural broodnest structure, it's easy to assemble a variety of different combs and approximate it. And it can be done without a lot of measuring, etc. Just a quick visual assessment and ordering.

    So far, this has worked for me:

    I just start by leaving a comb space at the front of the hive near the entrance. I will put a poor brood comb or drone comb there later. Then I arrange the combs based on the amount of worker brood. Those with the most, go toward the front. And I make sure that the worker brood is all on the same side of the hive and adjacent to other worker brood. This is followed with mostly drone comb, then storage comb.

    Colony size, function and the climate are important factors to consider. In a normal situation, there wouldn't be much seperation between a colonies broodnest and it's food supply. But we could build one, by putting a small nuc into a large hive. The nuc could be on the front end seperated by a lot of properly oriented, but empty, brood combs, from its food at the rear. When it's warm, no problem. But when it's cold, big problem.

    Some Thoughts
    Dennis

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