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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Atlanta GA
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    296

    Default Changing out old comb

    Hi All:
    The comb in my hive is about 3 years old. It is my understanding that after 3 years comb should be changed out? Any tips on changing out the comb. Of course this is something I will do next spring. I imagine in the brood nest there will be eggs pollen on the comb..can't really take that out? Let me know how often you change out your comb and how you go about doing it. Thank you in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,703

    Default Re: Changing out old comb

    Here is a useful page on rotating out old comb:

    http://www.honeybeesuite.com/rotate-...thier-nursery/
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Littlerock, California, USA
    Posts
    951

    Default Re: Changing out old comb

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    Here is a useful page on rotating out old comb:

    http://www.honeybeesuite.com/rotate-...thier-nursery/
    That's about how I handle it. More by color and condition than actual age. I do mark the date on the top of the frames for the year that I put them in service. Just to keep track. Another thing that I do is use an upper entrance in the first super above the brood boxes. The bees that are bringing in nectar do not have to walk across the brood comb to get to the stores above.
    “Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end”

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,463

    Default Re: Changing out old comb

    Quote Originally Posted by SallyD View Post
    Hi All:
    Any tips on changing out the comb.
    Is your brood comb deep frames, or mediums?
    To everything there is a season....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    5,038

    Default Re: Changing out old comb

    I am changing out all brood combs 2005 and older that come from dead outs. I made this funky steam comb melter to use during the winter when the solar melter is not working. Click on the picture to see video. My foundations are all wax.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    5,038

    Default Re: Changing out old comb

    I brand the year of 1st service into all brood frames. I have a bad brace/burr/propolis problem so sometimes it is hard to read the year brand.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,477

    Default Re: Changing out old comb

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    I am changing out all brood combs 2005 and older that come from dead outs. I made this funky steam comb melter to use during the winter when the solar melter is not working. Click on the picture to see video. My foundations are all wax.
    Way too much time on your hands.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Richland Iowa USA
    Posts
    189

    Default Re: Changing out old comb

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie B View Post
    Way too much time on your hands.
    LOL!! Thats what I thought.. pretty neat idea though!!!

    In spring the bees should be near the top of the hive. A perfect time to change out the frames in the lower brood box's or box if you use deeps. You can put the upper brood box on the bottom, drop the new brood box on top of them.. next spring do it again... then you can skip a year. I use mediums, so it puts the rotation to three years and works well. (so far)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    5,038

    Default Re: Changing out old comb

    Once the melter was made there is little time involved. Fill the pressure cookers, light the burners, load the frames, bang the cocoons off the frames. It takes about 1 1/2 hours for a batch and I can do other projects in the meanwhile, or take a nap. Here are a few pictures from today's batch:

    Opening:


    Removing a cooked frame:



    A banged clean frame:


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Crystal Water, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    909

    Default Re: Changing out old comb

    Odfrank = I do something similar with old frames with the difference that I cut the comb out and dispose of it.
    When I started doing this I did as you do and I was very disapointed by the very small amount of wax I got from old comb.
    What has your experience been?
    from the Bee House -http://ecologicalsolutions.com.au/bees/?page_id=8
    40 years - +/- 20 H - TF - Subtropical

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,812

    Default Re: Changing out old comb

    There is wax in the old comb, just hard to get out. An under water press is needed.

    Crazy Roland

  12. #12

    Default Re: Changing out old comb

    Quote Originally Posted by SallyD View Post
    Hi All:
    It is my understanding that after 3 years comb should be changed out?
    Hi Sally, I rotate my brood comb out at five years. Brood comb only. Honey comb from supers should be good forever (or at least a long time). I try to do it at two frames per year....that way the bees aren't overwhelmed all at once.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,149

    Default Re: Changing out old comb

    I've seen almost that exact rig before in use along the TN NC line. I don't think they were rendering wax though.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    5,038

    Default Re: Changing out old comb

    The JollyOllie Steam Comb Rendering Box is producing about two pounds minus of very dark wax per ten deep or Jumbo frames. It is getting out a lot more wax from the cocoons than the solar melter does.

    >I've seen almost that exact rig before in use along the TN NC line. I don't think they were rendering wax though.
    In my design I made sure the device and it's components could be used for other purposes in the off season.

    See post #1 in this thread:
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...m-steam-melter

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Atlanta GA
    Posts
    296

    Default Re: Changing out old comb

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    Hi Sally, I rotate my brood comb out at five years. Brood comb only. Honey comb from supers should be good forever (or at least a long time). I try to do it at two frames per year....that way the bees aren't overwhelmed all at once.
    Thank you Dan and everyone else for good advice!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tipton, TN, USA
    Posts
    784

    Default Re: Changing out old comb

    How much wax do you seem reclaimed from old brood comb. Guessitmate on number of frames to average weight of wax.

    Is it worth saving the cocoons and trying to press the additional wax from them? I've tried boiling them, but I didn't really think it was worth the time/effort. This year, I'll try with a steam box.. Planning to use a 1 gallon wallpaper steamer for the initial steam source,

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Auburn, Washington, USA
    Posts
    318

    Default Re: Changing out old comb

    Let me understand this clearly. If I user solar melter, I get very little to none wax out of the old comb. If I boil it in the pot and then run through a sieve (like Fat Beeman shows on his youtube), I get just as little as with solar. Is the steam melter the answer? Does it extract wax so much better than the other 2 methods? Two lbs of wax from 10 frames of old comb sounds like a dream.

    I've come to a point where it does not seem to be worth the trouble to process really old comb (like 6 years old). I did notice that if you burn it, certainly wax starts to come out. I was considering making suspended cage with a tub of water under it, to just burn the darn thing and collect the wax drops. I know, it is rather insane, but this is more of a curiosity thing now than anything else.

    I've tried underwater presses with burlap sacks and that's just not the route I will ever take again. All wax impregnated the sack and there was all that slumgum to deal with.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tipton, TN, USA
    Posts
    784

    Default Re: Changing out old comb

    Per the random youtube videos, steam works pretty good. I'll be trying this year...

    I can tell you that boiling it doesn't get it out.. Unless your running into through a filter bag/press type setup...
    Solo for the last 4 Years, ~60 Hives, TF + Oils.
    http://tradingwebsites4bees.com

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    5,038

    Default Re: Changing out old comb

    Quote Originally Posted by AramF View Post
    Let me understand this clearly. If I user solar melter, I get very little to none wax out of the old comb. If I boil it in the pot and then run through a sieve (like Fat Beeman shows on his youtube), I get just as little as with solar. Is the steam melter the answer? Does it extract wax so much better than the other 2 methods? Two lbs of wax from 10 frames of old comb sounds like a dream
    I weighed the six blocks I made from my steam comb cleaner box and they average 2.41lbs. each from ten deep frames each. Some were Jumbo depth frames. A bit of slumgum in a few blocks. Pretty grungy looking wax, almost green. I think I am getting much more than from solar melting. I will collect some data next year.




  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tipton, TN, USA
    Posts
    784

    Default Re: Changing out old comb

    Looks like propolis to me.... Should put them in the solar or boil them to get all that to settle out..
    Solo for the last 4 Years, ~60 Hives, TF + Oils.
    http://tradingwebsites4bees.com

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