After a week, the bees grew comb where I didn't want it and I removed it.
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Norfolk County, Massachusetts, USA
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    17

    Question After a week, the bees grew comb where I didn't want it and I removed it.

    I just got my first package of bees a week ago and installed them in my box-hive. In order to do so I took out four frames from the top box. Today I went for my first inspection and found they had made their comb in the empty space attached to the inner lid. Without thinking too much about it, I removed the comb and replaced the missing frames. I took the comb away from the hive, washed it off, and put it in my shed.

    I realize now that I probably should have asked someone before I did this. I feel as if I may have hurt my hive significantly by doing this. If someone could tell me if I did the right thing or not, it would be greatly appreciated.
    Comb.jpg Open.jpg

    p.s. I apologize if this double-posts. I posted it 10 minutes ago and it disappeared

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
    Posts
    5,536

    Default Re: After a week, the bees grew comb where I didn't want it and I removed it.

    If that was they only comb they had made, you may have killed off their first brood, but they can make it up.

    Why did you not have a full complement of frames in the second box? If you didn't have them in, and space wasn't occupied by a feeder or dummy boards, this is a very common outcome. If this is a package I wouldn't have used more than one box to start with, and I'd take off the second one until the bottom box is 80% drawn and in use. The bees put the comb in the warmer part of the hive: just under the inner cover.

    You could also have just carefully cut the comb off and used rubber bands to make a cage around an empty frame(s) (pop the foundation out)in which to hold the combs upright and more or less filling the space inside the frame. The bees would have waxed them in quickly and gone on using them. This makes for slightly wavy/bumpy combs, but otherwise quite serviceable ones. I have ones like that are five years old. This is useful bee-skill called tying in. I always keep big rubber bands on hand for just that situation.

    You haven't done anything super-bad, just been a little too overgenerous on the space, for a new colony. Very easy fix for that!

    Good luck.

    Enj.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    7,861

    Default Re: After a week, the bees grew comb where I didn't want it and I removed it.

    New comb should be place in a cool dry place. The shed may be too hot in the day and melted the fragile comb. If you
    attach this comb back on a frame and place it in the center of the brood nest in the lower box then they will continue to draw
    it out. You need to wire the frame though. A sturdy frame will make hive inspection much easier in the future.
    Yes, agreed that it is too much space. Give them a box so that all effort is concentrating on drawing out the frames in the
    first box before giving them a 2nd box. A box should never be empty unless you are feeding them inside the hive. Putting a
    small net over the first box will eliminate the comb making issue. Are you feeding them syrup inside with the top box on?
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Norfolk County, Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: After a week, the bees grew comb where I didn't want it and I removed it.

    Thanks for the responses. I really should've thought to reattach the comb in a frame.

    I thought it would be ok to leave them that space for just a week because I thought I needed to make space for when I dumped the package in. Next time I would make that mistake.

    @beepro, I am feeding them still with the sugar can that came with the box. The holes in that were pretty small so almost all of it is still left. I propped it up in a nearby tree and they found it quickly. However, they stopped drinking it recently and seem to be off in the nearby swamp gathering nectar and pollen.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    5,400

    Default Re: After a week, the bees grew comb where I didn't want it and I removed it.

    This is a package. They do not need more than a single 8 or 10 frame box to start with. Two is too much space for them. you need to get them into a singles.
    For future reference when installing a package you remove 4 or 5 frames dump the bees into the hive shaking as many as possible. replace the removed frames and place the queen cage between the center frames. and put the top on. Them lay the package against the hive so the bees in the package can make their way to the new hive

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,942

    Default Re: After a week, the bees grew comb where I didn't want it and I removed it.

    Never leave a box with less than a full complement of frames. Don't give a package more room than they need. Next time shake the bees out of the package into the hive and put all the frames back.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Norfolk County, Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: After a week, the bees grew comb where I didn't want it and I removed it.

    Thanks everyone.

    I'll definitely make sure to do it right the next time

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