Drawn out Comb Purchase
Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Appleton WI
    Posts
    59

    Drawn out Comb Purchase

    I'm a soon to be beekeeper planning on starting in the spring 2001.
    I have been able to find enough equipment to set up five hives (2-deeps, 2-honey supers, top, bottom, inner, frames, and wax x 5).

    I've spent the summer and fall like Grasshopper from Kung Fu, sitting at the feet several Master Po's learning and doing all that I could to prepare.

    One thing I've been told is not to expect much honey production the first year as the package bees will need to devote so much energy to drawing out comb which makes sense. I have seen (from two 2nd year keepers that lost most of their hives the first year) that that if you give the girls drawn out frames to get started you will basically eliminate that issue.

    I hope to buy some drawn out deep frames and start the hives with about 4-5 per box so the queen can get right to work and give them a jump start.

    My questions: What is a fair price for drawn out frames? Deeps? Honey supers?
    Am I expected to swap frames and foundation for the drawn out ones or is it a package purchase?
    Is this even a common practice or do keepers hold drawn out frames too dear to sell them?

    Thanks folks, I have more questions where those came from and look forward to any help or info i can get

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon City, Oregon
    Posts
    977

    Default Re: Drawn out Comb Purchase

    Not a good idea or practice to buy used drawn brood comb because of the possibility of transferring disease, honey super comb maybe OK if brood was not reared in it I think...However if you just want honey you'd be much better off just buying it from someone who is willing to take the risk of beekeeping. Part of the "fun" of keeping is learning how to keep so start from scratch and enjoy, if you do it right they wont die because you didn't give them drawn comb thats guaranteed......
    Honeydew

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,668

    Default Re: Drawn out Comb Purchase

    My questions: What is a fair price for drawn out frames? Deeps? Honey supers?

    IF you find someone willing to sell, I've seen deep frames go for $2 each, and supers with drawn comb $10-$15 a box depending on how good the box is still.

    Is this even a common practice or do keepers hold drawn out frames too dear to sell them?

    Bingo. Remember that beekeepers don't sell their nice stuff - they sell their junk first.

    If you see drawn comb being sold, look for situations where a beekeeper is selling because the combs are in odd sized boxes. For example, if they are phasing shallow supers out of their operation. Or watch and buy out retiring beekeepers.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Pigeon Falls, WI
    Posts
    2,532

    Default Re: Drawn out Comb Purchase

    If you buy a 5 frame nuc you will start with 5 frames drawn out. You can also start with all foundation and a package(early april) and feed the heck out of them to draw the comb and harvest some surplus(pure honey from the bees) later in the season.

    Drawn comb is priceless. Diseased comb is worthless. Foundation is both under the right conditions.
    Leer Family Honey Farm-Shannon Leer

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    5,604

    Default Re: Drawn out Comb Purchase

    I agree that the 5 frame nuc route is the best way to go for you. Find a good reputable supplier selling nucs and you will be off to a good start this spring. The cost of a nuc is really not too much more than a package, but the advantages are significant. Not only will you have 5 disease free drawn out frames to start with, but also brood in various stages to help reduce the spring dip in population that you would experience with a package. This means that with initial feeding, followed by a good flow, your colony will build up quickly and probably give you a little honey to rob next fall.

    Starting out, please don't even consider buying drawn comb frames from anyone. It's tough enough to keep our bees alive without adding in another risk factor of used comb. For your first couple of years you will have your hands full figuring it all out, so keep it simple. Good luck!
    To everything there is a season....

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    New Cumberland, PA
    Posts
    1,378

    Default Re: Drawn out Comb Purchase

    SK,

    I was thinking these very same thoughts a year ago as I wanted a larger honey crop. I consider my own drawn comb to be very valuable probably even more than the queen as the bees spend their time making honey and not wax.

    I had read that for every pound of wax that the bees draw out, that they could have made 7 pounds of honey. I sell my honey at $5-$6 a pound and that is $35 to $42. So, I want them to make honey, much more than wax.

    If you do get your bees early, consider feeding them sugar syrup initially just to draw the wax for the brood.

    Also, don't underestimate the damage that the wax moth can do and guard your empty drawn frames against this pest, because the wax moth will find them sooner or later.

    And the best thing of drawing out your comb is that you know their history. as others have said, one never knows what has been in the comb of others.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Appleton WI
    Posts
    59

    Default Re: Drawn out Comb Purchase

    See, that's why this board is so useful.
    It seems the general consensus is that the risks are too great to pursue my strategy unless i know for certain the history of the comb and even then it's might not be worth it.

    Thanks for all the honest opinions, you folks know your fellow keepers better then I do.

    Are there tell tale signs of what a 'bad' frame looks like?

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    5,604

    Default Re: Drawn out Comb Purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by Stooge King View Post
    Are there tell tale signs of what a 'bad' frame looks like?
    Therein lies the problem. It's not too difficult to spot black scales in the cells of AFB contaminated comb, but the absence of them does not necessarily mean the comb is free of AFB spores. There also could be chemical contaminates in the comb that would go unnoticed without laboratory testing. To me, it's just not worth taking a chance on having to burn all of my equipment or lose sick bees in an attempt to save a few bucks. Everyone has their own comfort zone in regards to used equipment, I'm on the conservative side - especially when it relates to new beekeepers.
    To everything there is a season....

  10. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,487

    Default Re: Drawn out Comb Purchase

    They say not to expect honey the first year, but in all actuality I think most people get a little. Our first year we took 60# off 2 hives. This year we averaged 100# per hive.

    If the weather's good, plants blooming, you'll get something off that many hives.
    Dan

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Outagamie County, Wisconsin USA
    Posts
    1,214

    Default Re: Drawn out Comb Purchase

    Something to consider is going foundationless which is empty frames with just a comb guide at the bottom of the top bar of the frame. For more information check out Bush Bee Farm. He discusses foundationless and reasons to not use harsh chemicals in the hive and how to achieve this. Lot of other good information to know about beekeeping naturally and bees in general.

    www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm

    Spring of 2011. What is a master "po"? Will your bees be City bees or country bees?

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Appleton WI
    Posts
    59

    Default Re: Drawn out Comb Purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by Bee Bliss View Post
    Spring of 2011. What is a master "po"? Will your bees be City bees or country bees?
    In the old TV show Kung Fu, The young boy who was supposed to be 1/2 Asian but looked like he was from Kansas was called 'Grasshopper' by the blind monk "Master Po"

    I think I may try the foundationless option....the next year. It sounds very interesting. I think I'll just aspire to crawl the walk the first year then go for the double back-flip the next

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    berkley county, WV
    Posts
    429

    Default Re: Drawn out Comb Purchase

    I wouldn't count on it even the second year. Beekeeping is like any other agricultural activity. "subject to the whims of mother nature" means she can mess your year up in a heart beat. We were in a drought here for most of the summer and all the fall. I am going into winter with nothing but sugsr syrup on my bees, and hoping they put enough away. There was no fall flow, and the only honey I got this year was on the "old hives", all my new ones spent everything on comb. However; having said that I am looking forward to what next year brings and am wishing you all the best when I say to you
    welcome to your new addiction!!

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Drawn out Comb Purchase

    I hived a swarm in Sept (spring here) and they drew out two brood boxes and one honey super of comb which is now capped, all from foundationless frame. A lot of it down to luck I think. They have started on a second super but I am going to extract the first box and return the empty comb hopefully get another box at least this season. I only have one hive as my other two got AFB and I burned em....

Tags for this Thread

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
  •