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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just me again. I know that building comb takes a lot of energy and work for the bees. I am thinking a little ahead here to the time when I would need to use supers (maybe not until next year since these are first-year hives). Does anyone know of a place to buy frames already drawn out with brand new comb? Is this a crazy idea? If you could do that, you could allow the bees to simply collect and store nectar, and not waste time building comb. Also, if that is not possible, and the bees just have to build their own, what is the trade-off between building comb and honey production? In other words, this year they may only get a few supers drawn out and therefore didn't have time to put anything in them, but next year it would already be done. Hope this makes sense-
 

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John Seets has PermaComb (see the thread in the equpment section) it is fully drawn plastic comb, NOT foundation. It's the only thing that is commercially available. You also might find a beekeeper who will sell you some fully drawn wax comb.


[This message has been edited by Michael Bush (edited April 17, 2003).]
 

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I would feed for the entire year until there is enough stores to get through the winter. If they collect necture and you get honey this year it could be considered a bonus.

I attend auctions and sales and buy alot of bee equipment used, but you need to be aware of buying deseased equipment. You can contact a state or local club and perhaps advertise for drawn supers, etc. Unless I get a GREAT deal, I would just as rather have the bees make new comb that is desease free and cleaner to abstract honey from.

Your goal the first year is to get them through the first winter.
 

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Since they are recently installed packages
I would concur with BjornBee and make that the primary goal for this year. Keep feeding to simulate that queen(s) and the population should be there to make some comb for you.
Chances are the bees will drawn out one maybe two honey supers for you. Don't count your chickens before they hatch.
 

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What a lot of the big beekeepers do is when the two bottom hive bodies are full put on super then a queen excluder and put on a bucket feeder above that. They will build out the super with the sugar/water you are feeding them. Then towards the end of the season remove the queen excluder and put on a inner cover then put the super back on. The will bring down anything they have stored. This will leave you with a fully drawn empty honey super ready for next year. Some beekeepers just take it off set it in the yard and let them all rob it. But there are pros and cons to doing it that way.

Good luck

P.S. I have started packages and feed them till both hive bodies are going strong and then the honey flow came and took off 1 or 2 supers so it is possible to get a honey crop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks for all the input! I was more concerned with getting drawn comb in the supers than with having them filled with honey, so that next year, they could get about the business of storing nectar/honey and not have to fool around as much with drawing comb first. Any supers of comb I get them to make, I would store safely away (with PDB?) until it was needed next year. I have been reading George Imirie who says that in order for the bees to make lots of honey, they need more super space to store nectar for ripening.
Thanks again for everybody's wisdom!
 

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A couple of years ago I had the great "pleasure" of beginning to clean our entire stock empty drawn supers that had been ravaged by the moths (probably about 30-40) one thing I did notice was where we had three or four queen excluders together over the supers they were not touched at all, while everything above was destroyed. This happened in a couple different places. Of course it's not logical to buy several queen excluders to cover empty supers, it's couldn't hurt if you have extra.
 
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