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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Longmont, CO
    Posts
    11

    Default Brace comb on bottom of hive?

    Hi All,
    I am a new beek (just joined) and am wondering if anyone has encountered brace comb at the bottom of the hive - attaching the honey combs to the bottom. I was checking in this past weekend to see if I should harvest a comb to make space. The entire hive has been completely built out. I started at the back carefully cutting the brace comb on the sides.The first comb I pulled out was capped honey. The next comb was 1/2 honey and 1/2 brood. the 3rd comb was 1/3 capped honey and 2/3 uncapped honey. This is the one I had a problem with. I cut the sides and when I lifted it it broke at the line of the capped honey. 2/3's of the comb (uncapped) was laying in a mess on the bottom of the hive. After I picked up the comb it looked like they had attached this comb to the bottom in a couple places. I didn't examine it closely because the bees at this point were VERY angry (I had killed some bees trying to pick up the mess). Has anyone encountered brace (is this the correct word to use?) at the bottom of a comb?
    The temperature that day was around 75 so I don't think it broke off because of the heat.
    Thanks, Jane

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Falls Church, VA
    Posts
    247

    Default Re: Brace comb on bottom of hive?

    Is it possible the combination of heat and weight caused the comb to sag and then adhere to the bottom on it's own? - Mike

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Moyock, NC, USA
    Posts
    207

    Default Re: Brace comb on bottom of hive?

    unfortunately the bees will anchor the comb wherever they want, not just the top. If your hive is filling up then they are going to make use of every bit of space.
    One more row of cells at the bottom means more brood and storage for them.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Denison, Texas
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: Brace comb on bottom of hive?

    I don't recall any attachments on the bottom of the hive. Mine normally only attach the top 2 to 4 inches of the comb
    to the sidewall of the hive. Yesterday I had to cut a comb from the bottom of the hive. It had collapsed, and the bees
    attempted to repair it. They glued it to the bottom and were filling in the middle, trying to connect it back to the rest
    of the comb still on the bar.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Longmont, CO
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Brace comb on bottom of hive?

    Do you use some kind of special angled tool to cut the comb from the bottom?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Denison, Texas
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: Brace comb on bottom of hive?

    I just used a little utility knife that I use as a back-up to my bread knife.
    But I've only had attachments on the bottom when combs collapse
    and end up in the bottom of the hive.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Falls Church, VA
    Posts
    247

    Default Re: Brace comb on bottom of hive?

    I took a length of 3/8" metal rod, flattened the last three inches, sharpened the edges, then bent it 90* so it looks like an "L". Not only can it be used to seperate comb attached to the bottom, it also acts as a scrapper for removing bits of the attachment left on the wall

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Longmont, CO
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Brace comb on bottom of hive?

    Thanks! I'll try to make one!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Laramie, Wyoming
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Brace comb on bottom of hive?

    My girls are attaching comb to the bottom of my TBH. They are filling every possible space with comb and honey and they have some attached to the bottom. I am going to use a small hack saw blade if needed and will check them carefully for all future inspections before trying to lift them out to make sure they are free to lift.

    Ne

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    318

    Default Re: Brace comb on bottom of hive?

    I didn't notice our bees attaching the combs to the bottom until recently, and that was just in one hive. I hadn't worked the hive in six weeks and thought the length of time since I had last picked the combs up might have attributed to the bottom attachment. Or, maybe some bees do it, and most of them don't. I made tool from a slim piece of wood (the piece you use on a Lang frame to secure the foundation (if you use foundation, and we don't) and stapled a thin piece of metal to it bent at a 90 degree angle, similar to what mhorowit describes above. It's easy to tear a comb up if you don't realize they have it attached down there.

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