Noobie question about brood frames
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Posts
    11

    Default Noobie question about brood frames

    Hey guys, sorry if this is a dumb question.

    But I've got a few colonies that where from cutouts last year. Because i put wild comb into brood frames, the comb is all horribly uneven, with cross comb and double layers on one frame, ridiculous amounts of drone cells, etc...

    So now what i want to do is gradually begin to replace those frames, with full foundation frames, so that they can build nice even, neat worker brood. So my question is, How do i get them to empty the brood comb, before i remove it? Obviously i don't want to kill a frame full of brood, each time.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Liberty Hill, Texas
    Posts
    696

    Default Re: Noobie question about brood frames

    You can put a queen excluder on and move the frames up to a box above it. You can put new frames in. Pull the frames you want to clean and put in a Nuc Box. Shake some bees in it from some frames that don't have the queen. Start to do this with 3 frames is my thinking. Bee larvae is 21 days to emergence of the cells.
    I ditched as much comb as I could with the Ferrell comb I got in 2 months when the bees were in the hive. It can be a huge mess no doubt. Surprisingly my bees don't make drone comb on any of the foundationless frames. They do prefer foundationless VS foundation.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Cazadero, California
    Posts
    364

    Default Re: Noobie question about brood frames

    Not a dumb question at all.. because I was wondering the same thing.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Oyster Bay, NY, USA
    Posts
    476

    Default Re: Noobie question about brood frames

    I have the same thing, actually a whole box of messed-up comb. It's so messed up that you can't even remove the frames one at a time without ripping the comb to pieces. The bees have been using it all summer for brood so i haven't been able to remove it without also removing a lot of brood. I left it and let them use it.

    My plan is to leave it where it is, at the bottom of the hive, for the winter, and then in spring when they've moved up to the boxes above it, get rid of all it and swap it for clean foundation.

    I'm a newb so if this is a stupid thing to do, or if it won't work, someone please let me know.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    1,601

    Default Re: Noobie question about brood frames

    Westhill - All my hives started as cut outs or splits so there was quite a bit of ugly comb. Your idea will work.

    Another way to get rid of it is you can move it into a top box in the spring. Set new box on the ground, take out a frame or two of ugly comb shake it well over the top of the hive so you dont have the queen and put the excluder on. Put the second box on with those frames in it. After stuff emerges, pull it.

    A third way is to wait until they have attached it well to the frame, then take a good sharp knife and cut out the bad sections that stick out too far on either side.

    Horrible comb will cause them to make more horrible comb. Just cleaned up 4 frames of stuff by crushing and squeezing the honey out. One line of comb from one frame curved across two others. How did I miss that this summer????
    Started 9/13, building slowly, not trying the no treatment anymore

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Hollywood, MD
    Posts
    314

    Default Re: Noobie question about brood frames

    Westhill your plan is solid.
    Lenny, depending on how big the colony is, and how bad the frames are, sometimes it's easiest to just move one frame at a time to the first or last frame position. They'll hatch out and generally the queen won't lay in the outermost frames, so you can then remove them & put another wonky brood frame in its place.

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