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Discussion Starter #1
Went in today.
A 3# package of Italians and breed queen were installed on May 5, went in a week later to get the queen cage, which I had dropped, so the frames on either side of here were too far apart, this I learned.They had drawn comb off the topboard, which I cut off and slide the frames closer together. My wife and I swear they moved the frames apart again, can this be? I guess I need to get them closer yet.

I did not cut the comb off this time for fear of loosing brood, but then again I don't know what I'm looking at so it may not be a big worry. Are the cells at the bottom edge drone cells?

Any and all critiques are welcome, well ones that will help me and the bees.

How long before it will be ok to bother them again?
With a little smoke they were perfect ladies, no buzzing about or hitting my veil.
below is a link to my Fliker page with bee shots, I will be adding more from the beginning.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/














http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
 

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Have you got an empty frame without foundation? If so I would cut the comb from the inner cover and take thread and sew it to an empty frame, or use 2 or 3 rubber bands and install into an empty frame. I would place it back in the hive about the same place you found it. I would defintely tighten all the frames to the center of the hive, have all the frames touching each other. Leave any extra room in the hive agaisnt the outer walls, slide all the frames together in the center touching each other. I dont believe the bees can move the frames? Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank You, I do have empty frames.
Brush the bees down, rubber-band in-place, put into same place in hive, sounds like a plan.
 

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Make sure the bottom of the frames are not hitting something below and teetering apart. This happened to me with burr comb on the top of the frames for the brood box below. It sounds like you might have a bottom board with a single brood box configuration at this time?
 

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willy, I had a similar situation with my colony this spring and attempted the same 'lace comb into the frame' process to try and save this early comb and healthy brood. I used 3 vertical loops of cotton twine but I don't think it provided enough support. We had a warm day, sunny, high 70-80f, and the comb collapsed downward before they could secure it and they drew fresh from the top bar as the original comb folded to the bottom. I eventually pulled this 'frankencomb' and have kept it for display.

I assume that the rubber band method may support the comb better, or perhaps a band horizontally to prevent sway & sag? any other suggestions for us newbeeks who have had similar problems and would like to salvage the hard work of our diligent bees?

and yes, that looks like drone brood on the bottom. I wouldn't worry about sacrificing those drone cells to fit it into a frame, your colony doesn't need a lot of freeloading drones at this point in the season. they'll make more soon enough.
 

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just cut it out and toss it. its early in your season, they'll make more. ALL the frames MUST be touching at the end bars or you'll get this every time. use your hive tool, wedge'em all together tight, and any space at the sides divide equally. you'll likely have about 1/4 inch on each side(of the box) empty when you're done. good luck,mike
 
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