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1st Hive Visit, help please

1808 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  mike haney
Hi, I'm new, my package installation went smoothly, waited a week, went in today to check for queen release. All is well, she is out, and there is burr comb everywhere! It is very windy here today, northern Ohio, sunny, but cool about 55 degrees, the smoke was not moving well onto the bees, so I elected to just close up and go back in another day to take care of that comb and get the frames spaced properly.

But having seen that, now I'm concerned that if I wait another week to inspect I will have a real mess. They are forecasting rain here for several days this week, but tomorrow is supposed to be a beautiful day a bit warmer and much less wind.

so here are my questions:

1. is it ok to go back in tomorrow to take care of that comb and get the frames spaced correctly?
2. how do I get rid of that comb, just scrape it off, and will do I smoke the frame to get the bees off it it? I feel like I'm having a confidence problem, just wasn't expecting what I saw today. It's been a cool week since I installed and I didn't figure they'd bee so busy, although they have been taking lots of sugar water.

Any help/advice will be gratefully followed.

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I'm not very experienced, but it sounds like I am more experienced than you.

In my experience, I have never bothered to remove burr comb. I merely cut it so that I can remove frames. In other words, I only mess with it if its preventing me from doing something I need to do.

If you have good bees, and you have your frames all set up properly and reasonably spaced, and they are using the feeder, not being robbed, no pests in there.....there's only so much you can do....the bees will take care of themselves. I wouldn't worry so much.
are all of your frames in the hive? If not you need to open it up and put them all in. push them together so they all touch. That helps with burr comb.

Plastic foundation? Wax foundation? or foundationless? What are you seeing as a burr comb problem? Some of what you notice I might not consider burr comb, such as joining the frames together on the edges, if they are building between the foundation then you need to scrape it off and clean it up.
"burr" comb is that comb on the tops of frames and on the wooden boxware itself. other comb that is not inside the frame and inline with the top bar is refered to as "crosscomb" a basic beekeeping book with pictures will explain better than i and help you communicate with us. good luck,mike
Arthur, thanks I will try to be patient and calm, busy time of year for me, I operate a greenhouse business, 4 acres under glass, and this is Mother's Day week!

Charmd2, all of my frames are in the hive, but two of the frames are not spaced right b/c of the queen cage, which I did not remove today, even though she has been released, it is b/w these two frames that there is much white comb. Plastic foundation, in terms of "problem" I am following beekeeping for dummies and it says you have to keep the hive "cleaned up" otherwise future visits will become increasingly difficult. To your comment about comb on the edges of the frames, no this comb is below the top of the frame, in the middle of the hive, sort of centered on the queen cage.

Mike, no this comb is b/w the frames, not sticking the frames together, but it is b/w the two frames where the queen cage is and if I don't remove it or cut it down, I won't be able to space the frames properly.

All, do I need a different tool, other than my hive tool, to cut this comb so I can space the frames properly?

Wow thanks for the feedback I feel better already.

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It is very common for the bees to build comb around a queen cage. I'd remove the cage, remove that extra comb and then push the frames together. I found one hive today where I had forgotten to remove a feeding shim and the bees had completely filled the space above the frames inside the shim with comb and had honey and drone brood everywhere! What a mess.
Take the cage out. It will only get worse if you leave it in. As far as cross comb, I deal with it as soon as I find it.

I would take a frame or two out. Separate the frames with the cage in between and remove the cage along with any cross comb that you find. Then push all of the frames tight together and center the group in the box.
"...All, do I need a different tool, other than my hive tool, to cut this comb so I can space the frames properly..."most i think just use the tool-just gouge it outa there. be brutal and do a thorough job, they'll repair it right away. be very careful to not injure the queen-she'll be close- and is fairly fragile if mashed betwwen comb or even "rolled" as you pull out or replace frames. good luck,mike
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