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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Clinton, Illinois
    Posts
    95

    Default Old comb replacement

    I recall reading somewhere about dealing with older brood comb and now I can't find it.

    Are there any general guildlines about comb replacement? What if you don't... do the bees tend to abscond or replace it themselves? I know there are additional issues with chemical buildup if treating, but wonder how the bees deal with this in a natural setting.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    1,318

    Default Re: Old comb replacement

    In the wild, the comb built by a honey bee colony will last as long as the colony does. If the colony absconds or dies wax moths destroy the comb. The next swarm to occupy the cavity will build new comb.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,359

    Default Re: Old comb replacement

    Katmike, comb replacement is a big topic of opinion with most likely a wide variety of answers to your question, I heard someone say one time that if you hold the comb up to the light and cannot see light through it then it is time to replace the comb, and this sounds logical to me. And I have heard of replacing the comb every ten years which sounds logical as well, but to avoid having to replace them all at the same time and setting your bees back in honey production it would be advisable to replace one or two per box per year. Chemicals is a fact of life whether we put it in the hive or it comes from the outside, and the comb is a magnet for it so use your own judgment in this matter. As far as the bees in a natural setting, well if their hive was contaminated for some reason then I suppose they would just die out and the bee population would continue someplace else while the wax moths cleaned out the old sight in preparation for another colony someday.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Phelps Co. Missouri USA
    Posts
    856

    Default Re: Old comb replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by AR Beekeeper View Post
    In the wild, the comb built by a honey bee colony will last as long as the colony does. If the colony absconds or dies wax moths destroy the comb. The next swarm to occupy the cavity will build new comb.
    If I might add;
    Also include with wax months, -ants, mice, squirrel, birds, bats, and many more natural cleaner-uppers.
    The new swarm will generally start anew, so they don't have any picnic ahead.

    PCM

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,191

    Default Re: Old comb replacement

    Most of the articles I've read from university people, say not to have comb over 5 years old.
    To many chemicals/poisons accumulate in the wax. Most of these are put into the hive by beekeepers.
    The chemicals affect queens, drone fertility, & overall health of the bees.
    Dan

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