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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Elkhorn Wi
    Posts
    55

    Default How do i pull out comb

    My Warre hive has windows so the slats are not to far down. To make a story short, everything was going great till my bees swarmed, twice. Now I need to check for a queen and the bees comb is stuck to the windows big time and I'm not sure what to do. ATTACH=CONFIG]12473[/ATTACH] How is it possible.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: How do i pull out comb

    You need to check for a queen after the hive swarmed twice? What queen, the young queen? Or do you want to check for the new queen being mated? For eggs and brood?

    Take the hive apart, flip the boxes on their sides and inspect from below. Bend the combs to the sides and use a headlamp or torch to look in between the combs. Also use a sharp knife to cut a wedge of comb, a small piece, out if the comb to check the cells for eggs.

    You can drive out the queen by drumming or smoking or shaking, too. Use an excluder or bee escape to locate the queen. You cut out combs for the queen in Spring, when there is less honey and fresh nectar in the combs. Do not cut heavy honey combs with bees on it. (Just without bees.)

  3. #3

    Default Re: How do i pull out comb

    Easy comb lifting in Spring:

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    1,272

    Default Re: How do i pull out comb

    How bout just taking a cake frosting spatula and separate the comb from the glass. a fillet knife will work also.

  5. #5

    Default Re: How do i pull out comb

    First one has to ask, why he want to find queen...so why do want to find the queen? Checking the proper mating? Requeening the hive? ...What do want to do?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Posts
    361

    Default Re: How do i pull out comb

    I've had a warre for 3 yrs and it swarms every year. I've never worried about a queen--they take care of themselves. I still get about 60lbs of honey from them too.

    However, this is one reason why I will probably sell the hive if they ever die out (and I have two boxes w/ removable drawn frames too).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Elkhorn Wi
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: How do i pull out comb

    My bees have had multiply swarms and I want to be sure there is a queen in there now. This is my first year beekeeping and I had two hives. Lost my first hive because I was told if there was a problem the bees would take care of it. They didn't. Had a queen laying drones with few brood. By the time I replaced her it was to late most the original bees had died off and none to take care of new brood so they died too. So my remaining hive has thrived to the point of being packed in like sardines. Had added a 4th box when they were almost done drawing comb in box 3. I was glad when they swarmed the first time (did not see actual swarm, noticeable difference in the hive windows) Not so happy when they have done multiply swarms since. I need to check and see what's going on in this hive. I don't want to lose this one to because I sit back and wait. I will try flipping boxes over first and see how it works for me otherwise in a week I will trying slicing the comb on the windows and pulling the comb out to check. Really appreciate the advice. Any ideas why they would continue to swarm? bee numbers are way down.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Posts
    361

    Default Re: How do i pull out comb

    Mine usually swarms 3-5 times (once was 7) and they look really empty when done. Two months later you couldn't even tell. Note that you may actually cause the problem this time if you remove frames. It will be a week or two before the new queen starts laying so you won't be able to confirm queen presence unless you remove every frame until you find her. Even then, if she is out mating, you won't find her. Whomever gave you the advice to ignore the drone layer has done you a disservice.

    Remember, swarming is instinct and bees are well adapted to re-queening in the process. However, the new queen could be eaten by a bird or something while mating. The worst time to disturb a hive is right after the swarming process when the new queen is getting mated and settled. This is when poking around can cause problems. If you want to make sure you are queenright, offer a new queen (in a cage) a week or so after the last swarm. If they attack her you are good, if not, introduce the queen and you are good. Look up videos on queenless hive behavior when offered a caged queen--there are good ones here somewhere.

    Good luck (I think you will be fine--90% probability anyway).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Elkhorn Wi
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: How do i pull out comb

    I can not tell you how much your response has given me some hope JClark. I know this time of the year is not good for swarming being later in the summer. I was told whatever bees leave now will not survive through the winter. Seems like every time I see the bees swirling around in the air I find more bees gone the next morning through the back windows. I will wait two weeks before I go into the hive. There is a breeder not far from me who sells queen bees I will keep that thought and will look into the videos you suggested. I know there were virgin queens in the hive. Not sure how many but last week I heard 2 different queens piping back and forth after the first big swam. Had to google it to figure out what it was...pretty cool though.
    I do not hold my brother a beekeeper for 7 years accountable for the loss of my drone laying hive. I should have followed my instincts when I saw my bees in great decline and knew something needed to be done. I'm pretty green at this but I am learning big time. Guess this is why I don't want to screw up this hive too. These bees are my joy. Thanks you for sharing about your swarms and their successes two months later. Gives me hope.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Posts
    361

    Default Re: How do i pull out comb

    Sounds like the first year I had my warre. They swarmed constantly for over a week and I thought it was done--but they came back. That was late May though. Now I throw two supers on in Apr and they fill w/ honey before swarming in May so I still get honey.

    It is late in the year so be sure to feed them 1:1 to build up then switch to 2:1 in another month or so if they need stores (at least a box of honey and the frames around the cluster in the second box filled). The fact that they swarmed now meant they were strong.

    Did your brother look at the hive? Might want to pull him in if he is close. If a Warre though you would have had to remove frames to catch the drone laying pattern before it was too late.

    Found the video here: http://vimeo.com/21327364

    Got from this archive:http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...e-the-easy-way

    There is also a link to MBush's site w/ discussions about laying workers. I found it when I had to deal w/ my first laying worker hive this past spring in one of my Langs--if a fixed frame Warre I would have never caught it. There's always something.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Elkhorn Wi
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: How do i pull out comb

    Have been feeding my bees 1:1 with honey b healthy. When I do get into the hive I will see how they are set for winter and adjust accordingly, thanks. Is that 2 parts water, 1 part sugar? My brother came out to help me install both my hives in April. He lives 3 hours away so we communicate mainly by email. My drone hive I pulled the comb out. It wasn't nearly as attached to the windows as this hive. I didn't realize how bad my situation was till I posted pictures on facebook and my cousin from Ohio who is also a beekeeper said those were drones. It was a little embarrassing. lol Took out over 100 drones with tweezers, put in a new queen and about the time I was considering putting in some bees from my other hive they swarmed and then the new queen I put in disappeared. So I shut down that hive hoping if my bees swarmed again they would go in there. No such luck.
    How long after your bees swarmed did they come back? I would think that is highly unusual. How fortunate for you though. Thanks for both the video and the forum. Interesting things bees are.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Posts
    361

    Default Re: How do i pull out comb

    2:1 is two parts sugar to 1 part water. Have to heat the water to get all the sugar do dissolve but don't let it boil.

    Was home over the 4th week-end and my hive was coming back after swarming at the end of May (saw brood out to the window). They cast off some huge swarms too but my notes are not as detailed and complete since I am away all summer (home every other week-end).

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,593

    Default Re: How do i pull out comb

    If you use a cheese cutter (two sticks with a guitar string between them) to cut the box loose, flip the box upside down, you can cut the comb loose from the walls without all the weight of the combs pulling the combs down. If you cut going down (toward the top bars which are now on the bottom) you will create force in a direction that won't be pulling the combs off of the top bars...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Elkhorn Wi
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: How do i pull out comb

    I picked up piano wire off ebay to slice through the boxes if I need to. Never would have thought to flip the box upside down to cut loose the combs. What a brilliant idea! Really enjoying all the different blends of people and solutions to one problem. Thanks

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