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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Brazoria, TX
    Posts
    29

    Default Comb from cut-out - Do I let bees rob, or put it in the compost.

    A couple days ago I cut a colony out of an electric box, and installed them in my apiary. I could not fit all the honey comb into the hive, so I crushed the honey out for me. I am considering setting out the crushings for the bees from the apiary to clean up. The last time I did this, I put the crushings too close to my hive stands, and the established bees started robbing the new colony, which got fed up and flew into a tree. I think they were also aggravated by an animal removing the entrance reducer, and there was a lot of brood and bees that died from the cut-out trauma, so the hive may have been too dirty for them after 3 days.

    There was no brood from the cut-out yesterday, because most of the plants are not flowering in November. Temperatures on the Texas Gulf coast can range from 30-40 to up to 60 degrees at this time of year, so on some days the bees will fly, but other days they hunker down. This time I duct-taped the entrance reducer, and fixed it so it is only one bee wide. Time will tell if they have the queen or they stay.

    My concerns:

    I don't think I did a very good job putting the comb in the frames. (Probably I need a helper). I gave them a couple of drawn out frames, too. I don't want to disturb them at all. How can I tell if I have the queen if it will be two months before it is reasonable to expect brood?

    I think I should give them more room at the entrance to drag out dead bees.

    I plan to put out the crushings on my patio which is 100 yards from the apiary, for all four hives to forage. Or should I just compost it? Because Why?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    784

    Default Re: Comb from cut-out - Do I let bees rob, or put it in the compost.

    I usually save the honey comb from cutouts and feed it back to the bees. I rig up a rack above the top super and place the comb on the rack until the bees have cleaned it out. -james

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,889

    Default Re: Comb from cut-out - Do I let bees rob, or put it in the compost.

    Feeding cutout honey back to your bees might be a good way to spread AFB.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Brazoria, TX
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Comb from cut-out - Do I let bees rob, or put it in the compost.

    I hear you about the AFB - I think I have given up on hygiene.

    What I did was put it in the compost on the side that is "resting" The bees can get in there, but the varmints can't open the box.

    I noticed a few of the new colony "fanning": that is a good sign, but does not necessarily mean the queen is OK, right?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    966

    Default Re: Comb from cut-out - Do I let bees rob, or put it in the compost.

    You have colony the comb came from in front of you when you are at the hive.
    You're able to inspect it, and see if there is no sign of AFB...it's not comb from an "unknown source".
    If there isn't, I'd feed it.

    Fanning usually means they need to circulate air for climate control.
    When bees have just been moved, they'll also fan to spread nasanov pheromone to indicate where the new home is.

    It is no indication of whether or not the queen is alright, though in the scenario above of helping bees orient on a new home, it usually is an indication the queen is present.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Comb from cut-out - Do I let bees rob, or put it in the compost.

    I made a miller type feeder and put the comb up there. It worked to a point.
    David

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Ft Myers, Fl 33967
    Posts
    165

    Default Re: Comb from cut-out - Do I let bees rob, or put it in the compost.

    If you make a 3/4" to 1" dia. entrance hole near the top of the box, the guard bees can control who comes and who goes (close off the bottom entrance). That reduces robbing. If you put a robbing screen across this entrance, robbing is stopped completly.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: Comb from cut-out - Do I let bees rob, or put it in the compost.

    I like to give it back to the bees that made it, place it above inner cover and put and empty box on. After its empty render the wax.

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