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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Birmingham, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    101

    Default Should I trim frames that have excessively thick comb?

    In some of my supers, my bees have drawn very thick comb generally at the top of the frame to the point where it causes the comb on the next frame to be drawn very thin. This makes the frames fit together somewhat like puzzle pieces.

    I have come up with two potential solutions:

    1) Trim this wide comb using a serrated bread knife now so that they can even things up this summer.

    2) Wait until a possible harvest this fall when uncapping will accomplish the very same thing without disrupting what they are doing right now.

    What is the best plan here?

    Edit; I am using 10 frames per super with rite-cell foundation with a very few foundationless frames with the hope that I can make a few chunk honey jars for Christmas presents.
    Last edited by Yucca Patrol; 06-14-2012 at 07:59 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,766

    Default Re: Should I trim frames that have excessively thick comb?

    I trim empty comb when I do this but save the trimming on honey comb for harvest time...as you mentioned. For me, this typically occurs as propolis builds up between the frames, gradually forcing them apart until the spacing is all wrong. Sometimes, it get's so weird that I need to start all over but I usually harvest and then clean up the frames after the bee's have taken the last of the honey. Part of the cleanup is scraping the excess propolis and wax off so that the spacing is OK again.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Dent/Texas County, Missouri
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Should I trim frames that have excessively thick comb?

    I have had similar problems especially when trying to get them to pull new foundation. If I catch it when they have just pulled it beyond the point where I would like to see it capped, I flatten out the cells with my hive tool to the level I want. If it is bulged out 1/4" to 1/2" or more I will get a dinner plate and knife and do a snack/treat harvest by trimming it. After either method is done the bees usually cap it right away. If the opposing frame is already capped with short cells you might scratch the caps off and they might pull it out some more. If excessive space is left I have seen them start pulling cells on top of capped cells.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,124

    Default Re: Should I trim frames that have excessively thick comb?

    In the honey supers I don't worry about it. Straiten it out with the hot knife when you extract. In the brood boxes I fix them unless its an outside edge frame.
    Dan

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