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Thread: cross-combing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Oklahoma City, OK, USA
    Posts
    7

    Default cross-combing

    So I'm still brand new at this and having a little trouble with cross-combing. I've got two colonies in two top bar hives and while they're both building most of their comb straight along the triangular guides, some of the comb in both hives stretches across more than one bar--slightly diagonal. Is there any way to correct this or at least keep them from following this pattern anymore? I've broken a few pieces trying to pull out the bars, and I've really like to not ruin all their work with my clumsiness!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Findlay, Ohio
    Posts
    524

    Default Re: cross-combing

    I have been cutting part of the comb and bending it back to make it closer to being straight. Be careful not to cut too much at one time or the comb will break off.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Fallsburg, KY
    Posts
    302

    Default Re: cross-combing

    Do you guys use a follower board and move it back as you add new bars?
    Mike , Proverbs 24:13-14 Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Greensburg, Ky.
    Posts
    1,148

    Default Re: cross-combing

    I find it alot easier using a following board, specially at the beginning until they start drawing the comb correctly or when they have 2/3 of the TBH filled up. Alot of others will say differently and thats fine to but what i do is use the following board and give them 10-12 bars to start out. I also use spacers in between each top bar. so far i have had nice straight comb!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Quad Cities, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: cross-combing

    I had a bit of cross combing also. I actually cut off the offending parts of the comb. Yes, I cut through brood, and honey cells. I placed the comb cut bars in between bars that were straight. 2 weeks later, not only was the comb re-established, but it also straight.

    When I add more bars of space, I have been placing the empty bars in between full straight bars. As my hive fills, I plan to start moving some of the less that straight comb towards the end of the brood nest in hopes that I can eventually harvest those combs for honey.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Marysville, WA
    Posts
    473

    Default Re: cross-combing

    I had a little cross comb in the begining in one of my hives. Gereral concensus is to get it straight early and you won't have a real mess later. Thats what I did. Got it straight and now they are building the comb perfectly.
    By the way I let it go for 3 bars and it was only getting worse and I could see how it was going to snowball if I didn't correct it.

    Mike

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,335

    Default Re: cross-combing

    One bad comb leads to another. One good comb leads to another. The important thing is to have a good comb at the end where they are building... if the last one in the row is crooked, the next one will be crooked. If the last one is straight, the next one will be pretty straight at a minimum.
    Last edited by Michael Bush; 06-18-2010 at 08:02 PM. Reason: Went to the wrong thread...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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