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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Albuquerque, New Mexico

    Default Cutouts and the Honey Comb?

    I did my first cutout last year. I tried to save the honey comb for the colony to use. It was a complete mess, honey everywhere, the colony got robbed, and I had to feed anyway.

    What do you do with the honey combs? Crush them and feed the honey back to the colony? Try to save the comb in the new hive? I am interested in the cutout expert's opinions.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Stillwell, KS

    Default Re: Cutouts and the Honey Comb?

    If I'm sure the honey is from a colony that has not been sprayed:

    I crush and strain the nice clean capped honey for myself.

    The older honey comb, uncapped honey and scraps I just set out for the bees at least 300' away from the hives, the bees will clean out the comb.

    If the bees are in a dearth I don't leave cut open honey comb in the hive, they will get robbed out.

    If there is a flow, you can leave capped honey comb in frames by moving the bees into the yard at sundown and reducing the entrance down to about an 3/8" x 1".

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Big Stone Gap, VA

    Default Re: Cutouts and the Honey Comb?

    This is what we do,

    We save the brood comb by strapping the comb into either deep or medium frames, depending on the size of the comb. This really seems to help the bees get a start. Also seems to help getting stragglers to move into your box.

    Comb with honey we crush and strain, and keep some for ourselves, and the majority we try to feed back to the bees. Like D Semple stated, open feeding honey incites major robbing/fighting. The loose comb and chunks, we put in 5 gallon buckets and cover. Crush and strain later.

    If it is not a dearth, I will put a quart feeder over top of the new colony, and then put an empty brood box around the feeder. If there is a dearth, we try to wait to do the cutout, if we can.

    Please keep in mind, I am not an expert at cutouts, but this works for us.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Richmond, VA UNITED STATES

    Default Re: Cutouts and the Honey Comb?

    I do a lot of cutouts. There is some risk with honey transferred disease, but I've not seen any disease in any of my hives (other than what Veroa helps out with). Giving them their own honey is a risk, it's true. I usually spread out the comb (per above) though 300' minimum is tough in my area. I usually end up with some robbing no matter how much I avoid it. For the cut out hive, I close them up to where only 1 bee at a time can get out, and I immediately feed them unless I can put a feeder on top, then I'll just screen them in for a few days. Another option is to tie their honeycomb and put it in a deep above a inner cover on top of their new hive. It may drip, but not all over them - it may pool on the inner cover and drown them a bit, but you'll want to screen them in for their own protection for 3 days. By that time, the queen has accepted the new box. In most cases though, I just dump the comb where the bees can get it unless it's capped, first year comb. I'll use that for cut comb if I can pull it out clean.

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