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Thread: A few easy ?'s.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    watertown,wi.,USA
    Posts
    473

    Default A few easy ?'s.

    I placed an extracted comb back onto a hive about 1 week ago. I checked the hive today and noticed a few things that created a few questions.

    1. The bees did a great job of cleaning out the comb and are storing more honey. The comb though is not drawn out evenly, it is wavy as to how I cut it. Will they ever draw the comb out further and make the comb even and flat again(I am using 9 frames in a 10 medium super)?

    2. The bees are storing on all frames at a similar rate(all 9 frames) . Don't they usually work on one frame and then move to another?

    3. Some of the cells(about 5) on each frame seem to be individually capped with what I am guessing is wax. It appeared though that all the other open cells are only partially filled with honey. Why are only a few single cells are capped?

    Thanks, juzzerbee

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Moyock, NC, USA
    Posts
    207

    Default Re: A few easy ?'s.

    1. Unfortunately the bees will build a crooked comb next to another one that is crooked. You have to cycle the crooked stuff out whenever you can.

    2. The bees don't do one bar at a time but rather they work in a 3-D sphere. This cluster expands as they grow and their use of the comb will mirror this.

    3. Usually they cap honey or nectar or even syrup, when it is dry enough. The "honey" or nectar in progress shrinks as it dries out and is processed by the bees continually until it is the right water content.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: A few easy ?'s.

    1. They will build out as needed. It will probably not be perfectly flat, but you are going to be cutting it off anyway.

    2. What you are seeing is the norm.

    3. Honey is capped when it is cured. More will be capped as time goes on.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    watertown,wi.,USA
    Posts
    473

    Default Re: A few easy ?'s.

    Thanks. So should I be using an electric heated knife to get a nice smooth cut to keep a nice even comb? I used an electric fillet knife for my 1st extraction and it worked for a few frames but then it cut the comb in a wavy style. One person I know uses a cap scratcher for 27 hives and she swears by it. She just drags it down the caps and doesn't "shovel " underneath the caps. I would think that would cause the comb to be uneven also. THAT seems like a lot of work!
    When I cut the caps off(with any sort of knife), should I cut all the way down to the frame to keep the comb consistently even? If so, I don't like removing so much honey during uncapping and not leaving it for the extractor. Maybe an electric heated knife is the $100 best answer to my question. Thanks, juzzerbee

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: A few easy ?'s.

    You're fine doing what you're doing. The bees will adjust and fix according to what they want to do, honey or brood. There's no real need to cut things all nice and smooth, the bees don't care.

    If what you're doing works acceptably for you, there's no need to drop the cash for a heated knife. They're nice, but unless you have a lot to uncap, they may not be economical for you. But it is your decision.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

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