Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 49
  1. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,758

    Default Re: Annual Comb Replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by RAK View Post
    Does the cell get smaller over time from all the brood on older combs??
    According to ABC & XYZ of Bee Culture it does. It even has a picture of a cross section of some cut up old brood comb, showing the cocoons building up.

    The book suggests taking brood comb and holding it up to the sun. If you can see through it, it's fine. If you can't, it's time to replace. That's excessive to me.

    I started switching out brood combs about three years ago, and I've noticed an improvement in the heath of my bees. I have less colonies that just appear to be dinks, for no other apparent reason. I'm not saying the wax is the cause of the improved heath, it could be from a wide variety of reasons: better beekeeping practices, better varroa management, better genetics, who knows.

    I replace comb every 5-7 years, or throw out a few frames if they are those dark black kind. But I do it not only because of the potential of chemical buildups in the comb, but because I'm a firm believer that having colonies draw out wax every year is good for their heath. Just my take on it.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,456

    Default Re: Annual Comb Replacement

    I agree, putting in a couple combs of foundation is a good thing, if for no other reason than maintenance. Yes, we do rotate lots of combs in each year but if you are replacing every 7 years you are either throwing a lot of brood and/or honey, selling lots of nucs (and passing on the "problem") or you are having lots of other issues and are ending up with a boat load of empty combs each year. My policy is when we see a bad comb we give it an ugly scratch with our hive tool and move it towards the outide hoping eventually to be able to rotate it out, but sometimes they linger in strong hives for years.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    1,212

    Default Re: Annual Comb Replacement

    I'm in the process of a major comb change out this year. Most of the combs I am getting rid of are between 10 and 20 years old.
    DarJones - 44 years, 10 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,238

    Default Re: Annual Comb Replacement

    I agree Jim, practicality always trumps the intended good idea

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,380

    Default Re: Annual Comb Replacement

    I'm sure the biggest opposition to a "7 year plan" ( or something similar) is centered around the "energy" cost to the hive to draw the new comb. Even though the frames themselves are a pile of money its the dastardly hive energy sucking phenom that I dread the most in doing this. Its very expensive to a hive to have to draw new comb. IMO worse than shelling out dough for the new frames.

    Not to jump on the eco bandwagon but I would like to know what you all think the rate of AFB would be without the use of Antibiotics if everyone instituted a 7 year plan on all brood comb. This question is asked from a bee health perspective setting aside all thoughts of the financial perspective. I know we need to live within the finances our profession allows but putting the money issue aside what do you conclude would be the affects on hive health alone?

  6. #26

    Default Re: Annual Comb Replacement

    I have a bunch of inherited comb that is dura gill. With bad spots in it that I am working out. Plus plans of working out some of the old brood comb. I don't think any thing new in frames has been add in a very long time for supers or brood.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Bloomfield,KY
    Posts
    279

    Default Re: Annual Comb Replacement

    I switch out 2 frames each year. By doing it this way, no comb is more than 5 years old. I use thumbtacks that are colored the same as queen marking system color so that I know what year they were replaced.
    "Of all God's creatures, only the honeybee improves its environment and preys on no other species."--Haydon Brown

  8. #28
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,953

    Default Re: Annual Comb Replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by irwin harlton View Post
    Odfrank said " we can't blame old comb on the massive losses we have seen since 2006."
    Ok, I'll bite,what are saying
    >Some people are concerned that chemicals built up in brood comb beeswax is causing problems effecting the bees ability to raise brood.<
    That is what was said. I pointed out that many hives on brand new combs are dying also.

    I am not terribly afraid of chemicals in new foundation. Pesticides deteriorate overtime and few would have any potency after being heated several times to the temperature of melted wax. And many of these one season hives that are dying are started on plastic foundation and those are sometimes not even wax coated.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Northfield,MN
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Annual Comb Replacement

    there is the theory that if you sell brood/nucs every year and replace with new foundation then after a couple of years you are selling comb so nice it hurts to see it go.

    the constant cycle allows you to always have good comb with out throwing anything away. as well as providing your customers with a good product.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,114

    Default Re: Annual Comb Replacement

    You could possibly blame recent bee health problems on newer chemicals, but agg and other chemicals have been in the invironment for a long time. Remember seeing plumes of black factory smoke when you were a kid? And especially heavy metal pollution has been curtailed since then. Bees are having to deal with things that they did not used to, but on average their environment is probably much less contaminated than anytime since WW2.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,732

    Default Re: Annual Comb Replacement

    Since CCD, we run our operation as two separate warehouses and groups of beeyards, old and new equipment(we use no miticides). In the old equipment, the "new" frames are marked "P92"(plastic , 1992). Around half the frames are very dark, have a "tit" on the end of the top bar, and look like from the 60's(?). The bees have often chewed them down to the mid rib and redrawn the comb. The new equipment is all post 2007.

    After decontamination of the old equipment, we have see NO difference in performance between the two groups of equipment that can not be easily explained by geographical or meteorological factors.

    We therefore conclude that the age of the comb is not a factor, especially if miticides can be withheld from the hive.

    On the flip side, a well known Wis. beekeeper using miticides told me he does a four year brood comb rotation.

    Crazy Roland

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbell River, BC, CA
    Posts
    530

    Default Re: Annual Comb Replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    but sometimes they linger in strong hives for years.
    Is there a reason you wouldn't move the marked frames up into the honey boxes, then do the frame culling after the extractor as they go back into boxes ?

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,456

    Default Re: Annual Comb Replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by grozzie2 View Post
    Is there a reason you wouldn't move the marked frames up into the honey boxes, then do the frame culling after the extractor as they go back into boxes ?
    I don't extract brood comb.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbell River, BC, CA
    Posts
    530

    Default Re: Annual Comb Replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    I don't extract brood comb.
    Reason for everything, sometimes just need to ask, to 'get it'. Thanks.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,758

    Default Re: Annual Comb Replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    I pointed out that many hives on brand new combs are dying also.
    I don't think anyone here was saying old was was the only reason a colony will die.

    It's much more common that a hive will starve or go through a queen issue. And if the comment is brought up about first or second year beekeepers losing hives, don't even get me started at the laundry list of things a beginner can do wrong (or that I have). None of that has anything to do with the age of the wax.

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    I am not terribly afraid of chemicals in new foundation. Pesticides deteriorate overtime and few would have any potency after being heated several times to the temperature of melted wax.
    Have you tested any wax foundation you've encountered to verify this? I haven't, just read in magazines about how durable the new level of pesticides are, how others have tested foundation to find it somewhat high in pesticide levels, and how many of them have half lives of 50+ years.

    Wax isn't usually heated that high. Boiling water doesn't usually affect many of these pesticide and chemical's potency, so why would the heat of melted wax affect it?

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,758

    Default Re: Annual Comb Replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland View Post
    After decontamination of the old equipment, we have see NO difference in performance between the two groups of equipment that can not be easily explained by geographical or meteorological factors.
    Interesting.

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,758

    Default Re: Annual Comb Replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    on average their environment is probably much less contaminated than anytime since WW2.
    From a volume perspective, I don't know if I would agree, but I could see your point. From a potency perspective, I think things have changed a lot since WW2. Many of the pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, ect. are MUCH more potent than they were 50 years ago.

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    441

    Default Re: Annual Comb Replacement

    I was at a seminar last week where the presenter said that studies showed that replacing all of the comb at once often resulted in bees having higher levels of disease. Apparently the used comb harbors beneficial fauna needed to fight disease.

    I wonder how long it takes new comb to have disease spore levels comparable to the old comb if the combs are side by side in the brood nest.

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,238

    Default Re: Annual Comb Replacement

    thats interesting Allen, because at a convention a couple of years ago I was sure I heard one of the presenters speaking on irradiation of bee equipment say that the disease level and bee loses were higher in the irradiated equipment than the check colonies. (not referring to AFB)
    So ya, beneficial fauna holds within the nest. One thing beekeepers like Michael Bush and others continually pound the on the desk about when speaking on in hive treatments and such.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    441

    Default Re: Annual Comb Replacement

    Good memory but short.

    The study involved irradiated comb not new.

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads