Threw the Queen out with burr comb...
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Gainesville, GA
    Posts
    11

    Default Threw the Queen out with burr comb...

    Ya - seriously. But it’s OK.... I think.

    Storytime: New beekeeper and 3 weeks ago we hived our package bees. About 3 days later I peaked to see if the queen was out. She was not so I buttoned everything up but did see a small amount of burr comb before doing so. Figured I’d check again in a few days.

    Due to weather, it ended up being a week and a half later. Oops - there was, say a frames worth of burr comb attached to the top board! Being new to this I was in “burr comb bad” mode.

    I started removing it, shaking off bees best I could, dropping the pieces just behind the hive. Obviously the queen had been busy since there was a fair amount of larva. ****.... but burr comb bad, right?

    Anyway - comb out I button it all up. An hour later I’m thinking Wow, they’re still pretty worked up. Had to leave for a couple of hours, during which I realize what I may have done. Upon returning, walked toward the hive and saw a small cluster of bees below the hive. OMG - It’s the sovereign!

    Grab hood, gloves and bee brush. Gently get queen on my glove while fearless wife (with no protection) opens hive. Put queen back into hive..... or so I thought.

    Now, this is where it gets bizarre...

    Mission accomplished, I wipe my brow and start to head inside. I am wearing a short sleeve, button down shirt so I’m not surprised when I feel something crawling under it. No big deal, this has happened before - be calm and release trapped bee. Look under shirt. YOUR MAJESTY!?

    I have absolutely no idea how that happened. Gently grab queen, fearless wife opens hive again. Drop queen in, actually see her go down into the frames. Button up. Wipe brow but now worried about long term consequences.

    That was 1 week ago. All seems good now but have not opened the hive since and not planning on doing so for another week but it’s killing me to know how queen is after such a traumatic experience.

    TL;DR: Threw Queen out with comb. Queen found. Queen escapes in my shirt. Queen returned. Worry.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Decatur / Cullman, also. 35603
    Posts
    897

    Default Re: Threw the Queen out with burr comb...

    Lol, all is well.. you didnt.loose her.
    The burr comb issue.. are.you.not using inner cover? Too much bee space there mabye... ???

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    5,232

    Default Re: Threw the Queen out with burr comb...

    If you scrape the burr comb slowly, almost all of the bees will get out of the way. This is also a good time to use smoke. Good thing you got it removed now, the bees get really pissy when you scrape burr comb that is full of brood.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
    Posts
    846

    Default Re: Threw the Queen out with burr comb...

    if it is large chunks of burr comb I would rubber band it to empty frames in the future so teh bees can still use it.

    I would check again in a week like you are planning and go from there. Since you got the queen back in the hive you may be ok.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Gainesville, GA
    Posts
    11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Richinbama View Post
    Lol, all is well.. you didnt.loose her.
    The burr comb issue.. are.you.not using inner cover? Too much bee space there mabye... ???
    Yep, using inner cover/top board and then outer cover on top. They had made the comb vertically in the space where the queen cage was hanging, attached to the inner/top board. It was actually quite tidy as it was not attached to other frames but of course, had to be removed.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,627

    Default Re: Threw the Queen out with burr comb...

    All's well that ends well. Good story and will make me think twice when scraping burr comb. You might want to get in the habit of putting your burr comb in a can. I find that the large, plastic coffee cans work well. I don't know what type gloves you are using, but might want to try nitrile or go gloveless. I suspect that Her Majesty may have stuck to your glove when you thought you transferred her to the hive and then she crawled off into your shirt when you wiped your brow (literally or figuratively), J

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Yakima Co, WA, USA
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: Threw the Queen out with burr comb...

    Wow!
    Meghan

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Gainesville, GA
    Posts
    11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fivej View Post
    I don't know what type gloves you are using, but might want to try nitrile or go gloveless. I suspect that Her Majesty may have stuck to your glove when you thought you transferred her to the hive and then she crawled off into your shirt when you wiped your brow (literally or figuratively), J
    I bet you’re right. I am usually gloveless but when I found the queen with a bunch of workers around her, I didn’t know how they’d react to me picking her up so I put some old cotton beekeepers gloves on. Bet she hitched a ride.

    Side note: In the short time working with this hive I’ve discovered that going gloveless has been one of the most rewarding things.

    I wore nitriles for hiving the package - probably a good idea. Wore shorts = 1 sting on leg (duh) and another flew into the button down shirt I wore - again, duh. For the first inspection though the book said try going without. I was apprehensive but it was great! Since then I’ve only been stung once (hand) and I think that was because my dog started sniffing around.

    Here’s pics from first inspection and Comb Catastrophe day. Yes, that’s my daughter in the witch’s hat. Didn’t have another hood but the hat had mesh we fashioned into one. Worked great and no doubt the most fashionable beekeeper to ever ride a broom!

    Unfortunately, I don’t have pics of the burr comb but this is me reaching in to retrieve some that had fallen off. Nerve wracking but came out unscathed! The more I work with them the more amazed I am. Kids love it too!

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,627

    Default Re: Threw the Queen out with burr comb...

    Love the witches veil on your daughter! lol

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