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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Acworth, GA
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    Default How to fix comb?

    I just started my two foundationless langstroth hives two weeks ago and one of them is building comb that is perpendicular to the the frames.

    Should I cut it out and tie it back parallel or take it out altogether? I'm having hard time finding how to manipulate comb with thousands of stinging insects on them. A video/picture link would be awesome!




    p.s. picture was taken when the cold spell fell couple of days ago.

    Thanks.
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  2. #2
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    Oct 2010
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    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
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    Default Re: How to fix comb?

    Fix it now or all your comb will be running perpendicular to the frames. Those combs are so small you probably dont want to completely cut them off and try to reattach. I cut just enough to straighten and then pinch it back onto the starter strip or push it onto the bottom of the top bar. New comb is nice and pliable so shorter sections that need to be straightened can just be pushed to where they need to be. The point with foundationless is you have to make them draw straight or nothing in that hive will ever be good. One strategy would be to put a frame with foundation in there to force them to draw straight, then rotate that frame with foundation out if you dont want it in said hive. Another is to put a frame with straight drawn comb in it as a guide but you'll still need to either try to fix the existing comb or remove it from the hive.
    Zone 5a @ 4700 ft. High Desert
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Gaston, SC
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    266

    Default Re: How to fix comb?

    cut it off where it is attached at the top, then with big rubber bands that stretch completely around the frame,, slide the comb in the position you want it to be,, the bees will straighten it up and then chew up the rubber bands,,

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How to fix comb?

    Given what I see in the pic I would cut off the BAD part only. make them start again from a straight section. don't cut it all off just from where they got skewed. You could also put a follower board next to them as a guide.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How to fix comb?

    I can't quite make it out properly from the pic, but suspect there is something wrong with your comb guides, and you will always have problems even after you fix this little comb.

    Can you do a pic of the comb guides?

    Also, were these started from packages? Could the queen cage be causing a problem, if so remove it.

    When comb foundation was invented, it became universal so quick, because people could forget about these kind of problems.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  6. #6
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    lee county, fl, usa
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    Default Re: How to fix comb?

    I would do it the way rwurster described, have done it this way and it's worked, including adding a frame of straight drawn comb if you have it.
    Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prvb 16:24
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  7. #7
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    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
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    Default Re: How to fix comb?

    Good point oldtimer, improperly placed queen cages cause comb to be built in lunatic ways in a foundationless hive. I started foundationless (mistake ) and had a few problems lol. After you get some nice, straight drawn comb it is so much easier to go foundationless. It does give good experience and practice fixing comb though, especially for your first cut-outs.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: How to fix comb?

    Thanks, and just incase it appears different, what I said was meant to be in addition to the very good advise you gave, if he has a straight comb he should use it as a guide as you suggested.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  9. #9
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    Mar 2013
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    Acworth, GA
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    Default Re: How to fix comb?

    It was a mess! I have another hive which I installed four days prior to this one and they have build nice straight comb. Same set-up, different bees. Go figure.

    For someone like me who has not done it before I would recommend not to even try to fix is on the spot. Just take the bad comb off, shake off the bees, close up the hive and go sit down where you're comfortable and take your time with it. Then take it back to the hive. Otherwise you end up with comb falling, honey dripping around the hive, and bee smashing.

    Here's what I did:





    p.s. I only worked the larger pieces.

  10. #10
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    Jul 2010
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    Default Re: How to fix comb?

    Should work, you may need to straighten things again slightly once the bees have built it a bit more. Once there's a bunch of bees clustering on those combs that's a lot of weight that can cause the comb to fall down so be sure they are well anchored to the top. If in doubt, check again tomorrow, if all is well leave them be for a while. Then once you have a good comb or two, use them to guide the bees with the rest of the comb building, such as, put an empty frame between two well built ones, and similar.

    You could even pull a good comb from your other hive, shake the bees off it & put it into this hive.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Acworth, GA
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    Default Re: How to fix comb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    You could even pull a good comb from your other hive, shake the bees off it & put it into this hive.
    I like the idea. Will try. I did not notice any brood on the comb so I wonder if the queen is there or not. Perhaps giving them a frame that has young brood will do a double duty.

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