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.
DarJones - NW Alabama, 46 years, 24 colonies, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest