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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Mars Hill, NC
    Posts
    33

    Default Combination question - with crisscrossed comb

    I did a cut out a 3 weeks ago - took some feral black bees home to add to my 2 hive apiary. I'm pretty sure I didn't get the queen, and yesterday I took a look inside - I didn't see any brood, just workers filling the comb with nectar. But I wasn't able to get a really good look because the comb was a mess! I had rubberbanded their combs into the frames for one deep body, and a few weeks later they have taken all the rubberbands out and have built cross comb like crazy! Some combs haven't been attached at all, they've just fallen over - it's a real nightmare!

    What I decided to do in the end was combine the feral bees with my weaker hive yesterday to add some population - this hive I had split and requeened 3 weeks ago. I thought they could benefit from some extra bees (being the hive that didn't get the "drifters"). But worried that the queen might get the idea of laying in the crisscrossed comb, I put a queen excluder between them as well as the newspaper. (Perhaps that would help too in case there were queen cells I wasn't able to see). I thought I'd give them a week to get "acquainted" and then go in and shake all the bees off the crisscrossed comb and take that deep super off the top. Does this plan sound good? Will it work?

    And if so, what should I do with the crisscrossed comb once I take it off - especially if it's full of nectar? Leave it out in yard for the bees to clean up?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    707

    Default Re: Combination question - with crisscrossed comb

    Why do you think you did not get the feral queen? Were there eggs/larve in the frames you cutout?

    If it's only been three weeks, the new feral queen would be just starting to lay. With this in mind, I would not have give up on them yet. I would have waited longer before combining.

    IF there is no new queen and all the crossed comb has nectar, I would leave the excluder in place until it is all capped, and then harvest the honey via the chush and strain method.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Mars Hill, NC
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: Combination question - with crisscrossed comb

    There were some eggs/larvae, but the cut-out was difficult, and resulted in a lot of damaged comb. I don't think I got the queen because a couple days after we left the house (leaving behind a small cluster of bees at the wall behind the chimney we couldn't reach without fear that the chimney would collapse), the tenant of the house said he witnessed a swarm....

    Thanks for the advice.... I guess it's too late now, but hey, always learning!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,308

    Default Re: Combination question - with crisscrossed comb

    That's how we learn, by doing, and we generally learn more from our mistakes than our successes.

    I agree with Walliebee, let them fill and seal the cross-wise comb, then crush and strain. Have fun! Oh, and do it bare-handed, you get to lick your fingers that way.
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

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