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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Swannanoa, NC, USA
    Posts
    3

    Default Help! Comb broke from top bar

    I was checking the honey stores a few days ago and one of the combs slipped from my hand and broke off. It was full of capped honey and now sits somewhat upright on the bottom of the hive. Any advice for what I should do now?? My hive has struggled all season due to multiple swarming and they don't have much honey stored up for winter - 4 combs. I could just kick myself for dropping the comb! Should I just leave the comb there?

    Any help appreciated.

    Jenni

  2. #2

    Default Re: Help! Comb broke from top bar

    you could put it in a frame.

    Big Bear

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Swannanoa, NC, USA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Help! Comb broke from top bar

    Newbie here, how would you attach it?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Help! Comb broke from top bar

    there is a video from 'outofabluesky' on youtube showing how he makes top bar frames. my method is different. here is his video:

    top bar frames

    my method is to cut a follower board then use a jig saw to cut a 3/8" edge, essentially cutting the center out of the board. then I attach the frame to a top bar and it works well.

    You can use fishing line to wrap around the comb to secure it to the frame.

    Big Bear

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Honduras
    Posts
    227

    Default Re: Help! Comb broke from top bar

    Hey swannanoabees,

    You could just leave the comb in there. Try to leave it propped up a bit so the bees can get at the back side. Maybe lean it against the very last honey comb or as near to the last comb as possible.

    Honey comb, especially if it is new, white wax, can be difficult to tie to a bar. People usually sort of sew it on by going through the comb and around the bar, but the weight of the honey may not let the string hold it. New comb is fragil. The sting or wire would probably cut into the wax.

    Others make a type of sling so the comb is supported from below. A strip of cloth can be used.

    Here are two photos of frames I made for a cutout I did.

    http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s...mentary003.jpg

    http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s...mentary006.jpg

    It was a bit of work to make them but it worked like a charm—not much dinking around with the combs while actually doing the removal. All the work was beforehand.

    Here is another method I sometimes use.

    http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s...brokencomb.jpg

    I cut a soda can into inch-wide or one-and-a-half-inch-wide strips, poke it through the comb and staple it to the top bar. The wider strip gives a better support than a string or wire. It won’t cut into the comb as easily, especially if the comb would be heavy with honey or brood.

    The last option would be to eat the honey and feed them back some sugar syrup.

    Good luck

    ---------
    Tom

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    635

    Default Re: Help! Comb broke from top bar

    At this point in the season I was just prop it up nicely and leave it for them. They'll re-attach it the best they can and then in the spring you can clean it up.

    Matt

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,654

    Default Re: Help! Comb broke from top bar

    >>Here are two photos of frames I made for a cutout I did.

    Hmmmm...a topbar guy making a frame....isn't that sacra-religious?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Swannanoa, NC, USA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Help! Comb broke from top bar

    Thanks so much for all the replies....this really helps. I went in to inspect the damage done a few days ago and the bees have started to attach the comb to the bar! They already attached it to the sides and are working there way from the fallen comb to the top bar which is about 2 or so inches.

    Also, looks like they have about 7 combs of honey with about 70% of that capped so they are not in as bad shape as I thought. We are also having many warm days still in North Carolina so hopefully they will overwinter OK.

    Thanks for all the help

    Jenni

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    635

    Default Re: Help! Comb broke from top bar

    Great to hear! Good luck!

    Matt

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