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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Clare, Michigan
    Posts
    141

    Default Drawn Comb Dilemma

    The bees made quite a bit of drawn comb last year but I still don't have enough to super all my hives completely. I am wanting to see what everyone else has done in similar circumstances. I have a couple ways I could go. One is to fill up as many hive bodies as I can with drawn comb and when I run out use foundation in the rest and hope the bees draw it out as they need it. Or I might put every other frame as drawn comb and that would give me more supers with at least some drawn comb. Or would you put say 3 drawn combs side by side in the middle of each super and fill around ether sides with foundation? I am not sure which would be the best way or does it really matter?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Butler Co, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    174

    Default Re: Drawn Comb Dilemma

    Three in the center, rest just foundation
    Habitually learning...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,587

    Thumbs Up Re: Drawn Comb Dilemma

    One work around was suggested by Matt DAvey, Here. Study it, it works for more than swarm prevention/delay.
    ...We don't see things as they are, we see things as WE are...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Nova Scotia Canada
    Posts
    83

    Default Re: Drawn Comb Dilemma

    I am running into a similar situation . as a new beek lack of drawn comb is my biggest problem .
    My 1st year I started with a long Lang hive , and they drew a lot of comb . it was easy to work , and I just left a 1G jar of 1:1 in the back of the hive and every week I would pop the top and drop in undrawn frames into the brood nest and they would draw them out quickly . The problem was the long lang did not over winter well and the bees died .

    The next year I switched to standard langs 8 frame deep boxed , and the bees have survived the winter , However I noticed that they did not draw as much comb as the previous year in the long lang . my original 4 frame nuc in the long lang drew out almost 14 frames of comb . In the standard lang configuration they only drew-out a few frames per colony .

    This year my plan is to run a couple of long lang hives as comb builders , then split them up in mid summer ( july ) into nucs and over winter them in 4 over 4 configurations .

    my hope is that this will enable me to get enough drawn comb to keep expanding .
    so far 3 of 5 hives seem to have made it . the 2 that i think are dead were weak combines which I did not expect to make it any way . I will use the frames in the dead-outs to make some spring splits and keep building .

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Yuba County, California, USA
    Posts
    5,654

    Default Re: Drawn Comb Dilemma

    Or would you put say 3 drawn combs side by side in the middle of each super and fill around ether sides with foundation?

    Yep, that's what I'd do.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    51,763

    Default Re: Drawn Comb Dilemma

    >Or would you put say 3 drawn combs side by side in the middle of each super and fill around ether sides with foundation?

    Yes.

    > I am not sure which would be the best way or does it really matter?

    It matters. If you go every other one they will fatten the drawn comb and ignore the foundation. The fat combs will prevent you pulling the frames of foundation back out...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Dayton, TN
    Posts
    75

    Default Re: Drawn Comb Dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >It matters. If you go every other one they will fatten the drawn comb and ignore the foundation. The fat combs will prevent you pulling the frames of foundation back out...
    I learned this the hard way and it hurts your feelings when you have to cut away all that pretty new drawn comb or worse, it gets ripped apart when trying to get it out.

    Side note: 3 hives, all survived. So far...
    Andy

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Clare, Michigan
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: Drawn Comb Dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by Lburou View Post
    One work around was suggested by Matt DAvey, Here. Study it, it works for more than swarm prevention/delay.
    Yes...I have read this before but I don't hear many bee keeps using this method but maybe they do but don't say much. It was interesting though. Thanks

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Clare, Michigan
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: Drawn Comb Dilemma

    Thanks for the answers. I was thinking 3 or 4 combs side by side would be better. Some of my comb is drawn out kind of funky or just half drawn out will they repair or continue building out these combs. Would you put the good combs intermingled with the bad?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Yuba County, California, USA
    Posts
    5,654

    Default Re: Drawn Comb Dilemma

    I would cut out any places that are bad and intermingle those with good combs.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Drawn Comb Dilemma

    Another reason to keep Nucs in my veiw. Two story's high. Pull drawen frames or frames of brood what ever the main hive needs. With flow I bet you could pull five frames a week.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    51,763

    Default Re: Drawn Comb Dilemma

    >I learned this the hard way and it hurts your feelings when you have to cut away all that pretty new drawn comb or worse, it gets ripped apart when trying to get it out.

    Next time, if there is one, flip the box upside down and remove the box first. Then pull the frames from the ends.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

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