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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all

I have a 10 frame brood box with 10 frames in, I installed a nuc into them however 2 frames in the nuc were out of a 10 frame box with 9 frames in so they have drawn them out more I think. Now I've had the bees filling out all the other frames its very tight in there to get the frames out and I worry about killing too many bees every time I inspect. I moved one of the fat frame up into the second chamber that I recently added to make some more space however one frame is still at the bottom full of brood that's very wide. Shall I persevere with it and eventually move them to a super (when the flow starts) so I can them cut them back? I plan to run 9 frames in the supers anyhow and 10 in the brood boxes. I know some of you run 11 frames shaved down but even with 10 it seams a struggle.

Thanks
 

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Shall I persevere with it and eventually move them to a super (when the flow starts) so I can them cut them back?
That's what I would do.

I use a bread knife to trim fat comb...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah that was the best idea I could think of, let all the brood hatch then cut them down. Thanks :)
 

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All the worker brood should be at the same low level, only drone brood and honey would be extended, too far for comfort. You could carefully trim down the cells that are projecting beyond the rest, drone and honey - that's what I do. Bread or steak knife. Sometimes one of those razor knives, and if I don't have a sharp knife handy, a dull knife I've heated with the propane torch I light my smoker with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah its only drone and honey I think that protrudes. I will take the advise and see how I go! Thanks
 

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Usually there is less going on at the end frames. I usually pull them first, as my murder rate is much less. :doh:

I think the tight spacing in the brood box is a GOOD thing. I squeezed an extra frame in a brood box last year by shaving the frames to 1-1/4 inch. I had a booming hive with additional box in 2 months.

Phil
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah I'm happy to stay with 10 frames at the minute but I think I just need to get rid of those 2 fat frames and I'll be fine. I'll cut back the comb like you guys said.
 

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You could carefully trim down the cells that are projecting beyond the rest, drone and honey - that's what I do. Bread or steak knife. Sometimes one of those razor knives, and if I don't have a sharp knife handy, a dull knife I've heated with the propane torch I light my smoker with.
Joseph - If you do this to honey comb that they have pulled all the honey from, will they repair and use it again? I am assuming they will but I don't have any extra comb and do not want to destroy the little I have. It is all from cutouts and was fairly fat comb. They are about done cleaning most clean of honey as winter ends and I have been reluctant to mess with what little pulled comb I have.

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So far the few dozen frames I've done this with have all been repaired quickly and successfully. However, I try to be careful that when I'm cutting, I cut as cleanly as possible. A gentle sawing motion with a slightly lifting force, applied during the cut. My goal, while cutting, is to cut the cell walls cleanly, and to crush the honeycomb structure, as little as possible. I have seen honeycomb that was severely damaged, repaired. But some severely damaged combs take quite a while to finally be completely restored. When comb is crushed or torn away from its core, that damage can take the bees extra time to repair.

I like to keep plenty of empty foundationless frames available. During a flow, even a moderately populous colony can fill an empty frame with new comb in 24 hours or a little more. Not saying that they absolutely will, but they can, especially if those empty frames are placed between two comb surfaces that are completely or nearly filled with brood.
 

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Use a very sharp knife with a sawing motion, the sharper the better. It is easier, I think, to cut the comb off full rather than empty, though. I can de-cap shallows with my knife with little or no damage now that I have it reasonably sharp. Should work OK on empty comb, but warm and full of honey is probably easier.

If you can put the trimmed comb back between flat comb full of brood or stores they won't make such a mess of it. Next to foundation or with too much room between frames and they will just draw it back out a mile wide.

My brother and I battled the mess his bees made in a hive with spaced out brood comb for a couple years. Almost impossible to get the combs in and out, repeatedly drawn lumpy, and so forth. Better to get clean flat comb to start with if you can. Joe's suggestion of putting empty frames between frames of brood works very well, and I've found that usually narrow frames (1 1/4" spacing instead of 1 3/8" spacing) result in nice flat comb.

One thing to watch out for though if you want to use foundationless -- do NOT put a foundationless frame near the outside of a box between frames with foundation unless there is a strong flow on (and probably not then, either). I did this hoping to get some nice drone comb and ended up with partially drawn frames with the comb in the frames on either side drawn out to fill the space where the center frame was not drawn. Big mess, had to wait until we extracted to fix it. Will have to wait until drone raising season to see if they kept it cleaned up.

Peter
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My bees seam to take a long time to draw out comb, the second box has been on now for 3 weeks and they have yet to draw out one side of a frame. Maybe the population is not quite there yet? I have been tempted to feed them but as its the middle of summer here I'm a little reluctant.
 

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C 100,
You have been told how to trim the overly-extended cells on the face of the comb, but that's only half the game. You also need to clean up the propolis on the face of the spacing shoulders of the end bars, or the bees will just do the same thing again - maybe worse. And don't neglect the adjacent frames to the 2 in question.

They will only draw wax when incoming nectar exceeds colony feed needs. Feeding syrup will fix that.

Walt
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks Walt, I will resume feeding I think and trim the propolis as you say, they as all sticky when you pull them apart. Thank you for the advice :)
 

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> I know some of you run 11 frames shaved down but even with 10 it seams a struggle.

Your problem was that it was 9 frames spaced 1 1/2" or more. With 11-1 1/4" frames it's not a problem at all. The surface of the brood comb is very even and does not protrude at all. With 10- 1 3/8" frames it's fairly even and only protrudes a little. With 9 frames spaced 1 1/2" or more the honey protrudes a lot as do odd drone cells. It is MUCH easier to get a 1 1/4" spaced frame out than a fat 1 1/2" spaced frame because it's flat and even.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfaqs.htm#framespacing
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesframewidth.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Have started to feed them again now. They smashed 750mls almost overnight, so they seam to want it. Will start to trim down the frames at the weekend! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Went in the hive today, cleaned off all the propolis from the ends of the frames and now they come out a lot easier. 2 frames had been drawn and filled with syrup too. very happy so far. Not sure when to finish feeding but I guess another week would help them draw out more comb.
 
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