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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Washington County, NY
    Posts
    115

    Post

    I went to check my tbh's early this morning. It promised to be a scorcher of a day so I thought early would be better... I had to straighten out quite a bit of comb about 10 days ago and they didn't mind me doing this one bit. However, after one beautiful big comb fell off the bar they came after me today. I usually have a pretty good size reaction even with one sting, so I didn't want to push it too much without knowing I am imune enough. So I tried a few times to get this sagged off comb out, but boy were they unhappy. So after collecting enough stings, I finally had to retreat. Closed things up with one bar missing and the fallen comb still in there... IS there a somewhat elegant way of cleaning up this mess?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,729

    Post

    Wait for a cool day, smoke the comb pretty good and gently lift it out with your hands.
    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 Space Bee,

    I had quite a bit bigger mess to clean out of one of my tbhs. About 20 bars worth of mish-mash comb at the rear of the hive.

    First, let the bees clean up what they can.

    Then, plan on straighting the mess up before any big honey flow. The bees will store nectar in the fallen comb and even draw out all kinds of comb to tie the fallen comb and the broodnest together.

    Third, it's going to get messy. Have a bee brush, water on hand to kept things from getting too sticky.

    Fourth, the bees can easily evacuate the comb before any cutting or disturbance creates a sticky mess. So, use smoke and the brush to get as many bees as possible off of any comb under their own power. Work with small chunks of comb. Larger chunks, although tempting, often break and fall into the hive when handled, crushing bees and creating even a bigger, sticker mess.

    Here's a thought. It might not go over too well with an organic purist. But a small amount of Fisher's Bee Quick, put on a paper towel above the fuel in a very cool smoker, effectively chases the bees out of standard beekeeping equipment. It might work quite well in a tbh cleanup situation. I had planned to test it out, but left the bottle setting on the shelf.

    Finally, if the comb mess is extensive, some bees will be lost. But do the best you can.

    Some Thoughts
    Regards
    Dennis

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Thornton Colorado
    Posts
    2,003

    Post

    What timing.

    I inspected one of my hives yesterday and found one of the combs collapsed. I thought I would just take it out and reached down and grabbed a sticky mass that had stuck itself to the bottom.

    Plan B was to leave it and let them move the honey and grab it when they are done. Now it sounds like they won't move it.

    I'll have to go in with a putty knife to get it out. How do I give the honey back to the hive?

    I don't want to see a robbing frenzy. This is my small just getting going split.
    JohnF INTP

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,729

    Post

    Having a bucket with a lid to put the honey comb in is good. Having a bucket of water to rinse the bee brush is also nice if it's a BIG mess.

    Feed honey anyway you'd feed syrup.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Washington County, NY
    Posts
    115

    Post

    Thank you for your advice folks. Now I only need cooler weather...

    [size="1"][ August 05, 2006, 10:51 AM: Message edited by: space bee ][/size]

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Washington County, NY
    Posts
    115

    Post

    After a few unsuccessful attempts, I finally got it done today! Cleaned up the mess described above. I was amazed that the bees just let me do this without any fuss. The fallen off comb was dark brown and mostly very dry and brittle, and empty, just kind of sitting down there at the bottom of the hive. There was a bunch of fresh comb that they had built around it, which unfortunately I had to get out too. Now they are all cleaned up, and from here out it should be a lot easier.
    At the end there were tons of bees covering the front of the hive and the entrance. Hope they'll go back in...

    [size="1"][ September 10, 2006, 07:07 PM: Message edited by: space bee ][/size]

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