Re: Brood Comb Transition To Small Cell
The statement that combs in the wild are periodically renewed because of die-outs and wax worms is not necessarily true. I cut a bee tree about 33 years ago that had comb easily 50 years old. It was so hard that I had to either cut it with a saw or chop it out with a hatchet. The comb was fully used with either honey or brood. The brood cells tended to be soft with a very hard midrib and the honey cells tended to be brittle and very thick. The combs would break almost like tough glass. I suspect but could not prove the colony had died out one or more times in the past but had been readily re-occupied by swarms. My point being that the combs had not been destroyed in a very long time. I've worked with combs that were 30 years old in my colonies. The combs in this bee tree were definitely older, thicker, and harder.
NW Alabama, 47 years, 22 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest