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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    118

    Default How much old comb to put in a new hive?

    I have 8 bars of old comb from when my only hive died out over the winter. I'm planning on starting two new hives this spring and using the old comb to help them get started. My question is how much of the old comb should I put in the new hives? If I put 4 bars each in the new hives will that spread out the bees too thin to begin with or will they just work from one or two bars of comb until they raise some more bees?
    "If I only knew then what I know now but keep forgetting"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Belews Creek, NC, USA
    Posts
    321

    Default Re: How much old comb to put in a new hive?

    I assume you are going to install packages? Packages can start out with no comb...just foundation, so 4 old frames would be a big help to them. Just make sure to put those old frames in the freezer for a couple of days to kill off any wax moths or other critters before installing them into your hives. Its probably been cold enough this winter, but you never know. Then feed them syrup until the flow starts or until they quit taking it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,408

    Default Re: How much old comb to put in a new hive?

    Give them all of it. Divide it evenly. Drawn comb belongs on hives...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Whitley County, Ky, USA
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: How much old comb to put in a new hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    Give them all of it. Divide it evenly. Drawn comb belongs on hives...
    We installed 2 nucs into top bars a couple of days ago. We have some peaces of comb left over. Should we wire some of this to a top bar in the hive are installing a package of bees into? Some has honey in them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Milw, WI
    Posts
    126

    Default Re: How much old comb to put in a new hive?

    If they are the leftovers from the corners you cut off so the Nuc frames would fit, I'm not sure you will be able to orient it correctly under the bar. Comb does have an UP direction to it.
    Technology is great.....when it works.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    118

    Default Re: How much old comb to put in a new hive?

    So I ended up splitting the old comb evenly between the two hives (four bars each) and the new packages of bees started cleaning them up and using them right away. The only difference I've noticed is that one hive seems to have a lot of moisture condensing on the observation window and the other hive hasn't had any. Both hives are identical and just a few feet from each other so I'm guessing that the extra moisture is coming from some of the old comb. The last few days there hasn't been as much water on the window so it appears that the bees have dried it all out pretty good. There are lots of new young bees just starting to show up so now they have more workers. They've also been building lots of new comb as well. Life is good.
    "If I only knew then what I know now but keep forgetting"

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