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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I put out a bait box 11 days ago (it was taken up almost immediately), I had run out of frames - other than 2 drawn mediums and a couple of ancient empty deep frames. I knew I shouldn't leave empty space in the box, but decided I'd transfer the frames w/in 5 days or so, and before the bees could do a whole lot.

OK, fate intervened. Cold and/or rainy weather arrived, and it took me 10 days before I opened the box to make a transfer to a deep. And lo .... the bees'd filled the 2 medium frames, not touched the "empty" frames, and constructed 2 (1, really big) combs from the cover! Jesus! :eek:

I was told I should cut out the combs and attach them to empty frames (with twine, or rubber bands, etc). Cut 'em out, but .... the comb then seemed to almost melt in my hands, warp in shape, and fall into chunks. The rubber bands (worn out) snapped, and I couldn't do the twine correctly.

Unhappy to see that there were zillions of larvae and eggs (1st time in 5 years of beekeeping that I've actually seen a bee egg :D) in the collapsed comb.

So, my question is: what could I have done differently (considering the circumstances)?? Was there any way I could've saved any of the precious brood? No way I could've attached bits of brood comb onto frames in the exact configuration, and I hear that's kinda crucial.

Thx much for any feedback on this. It was a nightmare, in its own way ....

Mitch
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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So, I guess you figured out pretty quick that new comb not on foundation is VERY soft. How warm was it when you tried to cut it out. This is a case where colder is better. I doubt you had much of a chance for success no matter what steps you may have taken. Key points are to get them in a hive as best as you can and never set a bait hive with missing frames. Been down that road and got hit by that bus too.

:bus
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So, I guess you figured out pretty quick that new comb not on foundation is VERY soft. How warm was it when you tried to cut it out. This is a case where colder is better. I doubt you had much of a chance for success no matter what steps you may have taken. Key points are to get them in a hive as best as you can and never set a bait hive with missing frames. Been down that road and got hit by that bus too.

:bus
Thx, JW; I was thinking that this comb was softer and had less structural integrity than any other comb I've handled (I've successfully attached comb to frames, but not "fresh" comb). Yeah, in future, I'll just have to make sure I have the frames -- one way or the other -- to do the bait boxes. The burned, waxy hand is the best teacher.

And it was a warm day -- in the mid-70's ....

Mitch
 

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What you need to do is prepare what I call "string frames."Get some light string like kite string or even fishing line.Lay a frame flat on a hard surface and staple the string end on the top bar upper corner,then at a slight angle down to the bottom bar. Repeat. Work your way in a zig zag pattern across the frame. Flipped over,this gives you a grid to lay the comb on.You can then repeat on the other side or use rubber bands.I use another frame as a template to cut the comb to the proper height.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What you need to do is prepare what I call "string frames."Get some light string like kite string or even fishing line.Lay a frame flat on a hard surface and staple the string end on the top bar upper corner,then at a slight angle down to the bottom bar. Repeat. Work your way in a zig zag pattern across the frame. Flipped over,this gives you a grid to lay the comb on.You can then repeat on the other side or use rubber bands.I use another frame as a template to cut the comb to the proper height.
Hmmmm .. interesting idea. Maybe I could've rescued the situation had I done this prior to the disaster. I'd not entertained the possibility that there'd be brood comb to be excised in the bait box. "If you fail to plan .....". I think I'll make one of these and keep aside, in the off-chance I let this (unwanted comb drawing) happen again. Much obliged.
 

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Hit by that buss myself. I use 4 deep combs, older the better, Flanked by 3 on each side of Foundation Less frames either Medium or deep.
The frames being in the box is the best preventive. If you have all your frames full and have Zero on hand what are you going to do with the swarm?
So when I am out of frames I pull the decoys back in. I can then go a week with out worry. remote bait traps have 10 full combs or foundation.
GG
 
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