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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Appreciate your insights. I'm new to bee keeping and the forum.

Installed a package of Russian Carniolan Bees into a 10 frame deep super and left a frameless short (shallow) super stacked above the 10 frames. The shallow super above was left without frames, as I was going to pull it and add an additional 10 frame deep super as a second brood frame. (You prob' can see where this is going.)

I went in to Swap out the frameless shallow super for the intended deep super and... the bees have been busy filling the empty space provided by the frameless short super with their own configuration of comb. My question is, what now?

Do I,
1) leave the established deep (10 framed) and shallow (unframed with their structure) as undisturbed as possible and add another shallow 10 frame super above for brood (creating 1 deep and the space of 2 shallow for brood),

2) leave the established deep (10 framed) and shallow (unframed with their structure) undisturbed and add a queen excluder and shallow 10 frame for honey?

3) move / reorganize the architecture they've filled onto the frameless shallow super?

4) other?

Greatly appreciate the insights, and direction.
Clearly I need to be looking in on them more often. Got that!

~TJ
 

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I would remove the wonkey comb as soon as possible. Then make your decisions based upon how much time you want to spend on this. Foundation-less has to be monitored more closely than foundation.
 

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depends on how full the super is.
if less than 1/2 I would do as advise cut it out and put the next framed box on.
If greater than 1/2 full it is going to be a bit harder to just toss it all.

either way the comb can be cut out and ate, or leave it out for the bees to empty.

I presume it is attached to the lid so Step 1 get a thin wire or long thin knife and cut just above the brood box, a fillet knife from each side may also work, may need to lift the box a 1/32 to get the blade or wire in.
Take the whole top off lid and box and wonky comb. smoke the bees down and scrape off the top bars of the deep, add the next box deep or super, what ever you were going to do.

have a look at the top now as it is upside down, if only a couple combs then cut it out srcape the bees off with a large feather, and toss in a dish.

keep in mind with out an excluder the queen and brood may be up there, so there is risk in the cut and the cut out.
Another option is to cut the top off and go in from the top but likely more comb is attached at the top Vrs the Bottom.

Lettin it ride is not the best choice. they will fill it and you cannot get in to inspect and it just gets worse.

and just so I can understand what was the empty box for ?? you had a box but no frames? if you had the deep a less costly error would be just add the second deep.

good luck, at times we need to see the results of our handy work to make adjustments.

GG
 

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Do I,
1) leave the established deep (10 framed) and shallow (unframed with their structure) as undisturbed as possible and add another shallow 10 frame super above for brood (creating 1 deep and the space of 2 shallow for brood),

2) leave the established deep (10 framed) and shallow (unframed with their structure) undisturbed and add a queen excluder and shallow 10 frame for honey?

3) move / reorganize the architecture they've filled onto the frameless shallow super?

4) other?
Lazy way or involved way?
Your choice.

Involved way - do a cut out and properly insert the wild combs into the frames and continue normally. If you are a control freak and will not sleep well until thing fixed - do this.
Nothing wrong with approach, but without experience you may have some mess and stress while doing it. If the scope of the operation is small (2-3 frames worth), might as well do it.

Lazy way - put your shallow on the bottom (not your #1/#2) and grow your hive up properly this time.
Over time the bees will largely empty the messed up super and transfer most all honey UP (if there is any honey).
Eventually the shallow can be removed as mostly containing empty combs.
Eventually - this fall or the next spring (no need to stress out over this; not a big deal).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I would remove the wonkey comb as soon as possible. Then make your decisions based upon how much time you want to spend on this. Foundation-less has to be monitored more closely than foundation.
Thanks for the tip. Looks like I'll be removing the comb and reorganizing in the next couple days.
Appreciate the insight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
> depends on how full the super is.
> either way the comb can be cut out and ate, or leave it out for the bees to empty.
Thanks for the thoughts. The feedback received supports my hunch that I'll be better off in the long run removing/reorganizing the "wild" comb. Now I just need to get prepped for the task and get into it. Once I get into the space to be cleared I'll have a better grasp of the specific direction to take.

> keep in mind with out an excluder the queen and brood may be up there, so there is risk in the cut and the cut out.
> Another option is to cut the top off and go in from the top but likely more comb is attached at the top Vrs the Bottom.
Appreciate your reminder to be cautious of where the queen may be, as well as thoughts of approach from the bottom or top.

> Lettin it ride is not the best choice.
> They will fill it and you cannot get in to inspect and
> it just gets worse.
That's what I was afraid of. I was not envisioning a way that I could "let it ride", AND be able to inspect the lower supers in the future.

Appreciate your time and thoughtful response.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Involved way - do a cut out and properly insert the wild combs into the frames and continue normally. If you are a control freak and will not sleep well until thing fixed - do this.
Nothing wrong with approach, but without experience you may have some mess and stress while doing it. If the scope of the operation is small (2-3 frames worth), might as well do it.

Lazy way - put your shallow on the bottom (not your #1/#2) and grow your hive up properly this time.
Over time the bees will largely empty the messed up super and transfer most all honey UP (if there is any honey).
Eventually the shallow can be removed as mostly containing empty combs.
Eventually - this fall or the next spring (no need to stress out over this; not a big deal).
Thanks for the suggestions and options of approach!

The task should be addressed in the next couple days. I suspect I'll take a mixed approach, combining the highlighted "involved" and "lazy" methods. Once fully accessing and getting a sense of the wild comb structure I should have a better idea of what's feasible. That said, I envision reframing the comb that can be secured to a frame in a relatively straight forward manner. Wild comb that remains and/or is anchored to the sides of the super I'll leave in place, rotating this short super to the bottom of the hive (schedule for removal in the late fall.)

This mixed method would seem to;
A) seed the new upper frames for development, and
B) allow the bees to salvage (move up) resources from the new (now) lower wild comb super prior to removal in the Fall.

If I appear to have misinterpreted something or am otherwise headed in the wrong direction please let me know. I'm looking to aid the hive's long term health and stability following my misstep.

Cheers!
 

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This mixed method would seem to;
A) seed the new upper frames for development, and
B) allow the bees to salvage (move up) resources from the new (now) lower wild comb super prior to removal in the Fall.
Just try the "cut-out" and see how it goes.
It very well may turn out OK. Watch few videos and go for it.
Personally, I would do the cut-out and be done.

Keep in mind that IF you create too much empty space in the shallow and THEN place it under, the bees most like will build into it again - not exactly what you want.
So the "lazy" way is best when the entire super is packed full of wild combs wall to wall and looks like a complete disaster to bother with.
 

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When doing the cut out method you will want to avoid putting combs of honey in frames and rubber banding in place if they are full. New comb is very soft and will collapse under the weight of the honey. You could come back to an even bigger mess.
Pull the wonky honey combs, do the crush and strain, add a little water and feed it back to the bees. Rubber band the brood comb into frames.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So the "lazy" way is best when the entire super is packed full of wild combs wall to wall and looks like a complete disaster to bother with.
Got it! I'll assess the "wild comb super" this weekend and be ready to go either way based on the nature of the contents.
Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
When doing the cut out method you will want to avoid putting combs of honey in frames and rubber banding in place if they are full. New comb is very soft and will collapse under the weight of the honey. You could come back to an even bigger mess.
Pull the wonky honey combs, do the crush and strain, add a little water and feed it back to the bees. Rubber band the brood comb into frames.
Appreciate the insight! I'm not interested in coming back to a bigger mess.
Is there a quick and easy way for me to assess if the comb is too new/soft to reframe?
 

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When doing the cut out method you will want to avoid putting combs of honey in frames and rubber banding in place if they are full. New comb is very soft and will collapse under the weight of the honey. You could come back to an even bigger mess.
Pull the wonky honey combs, do the crush and strain, add a little water and feed it back to the bees. Rubber band the brood comb into frames.
It is a possibility - fresh combs full of honey.
I just had that this very last weekend.
Let's just say my gloves were soaked in honey - not great for picture taking (as is sometimes suggested - yeah, right).

My way - not even bother with crush/strain/feed (just another busy project on top of everything else).
Simply added a super on the top.
Separated the super from the remainder of the hive with a soft cover - leave passages for the bees to come up (a couple of folded corners will do).
Tossed in few sticks from under the feet onto the cover (hopefully for bee passages under the combs).
Dumped all this honey-dripping mess onto the soft cover for the bees to clean up.
I will go back there this coming weekend and expect mostly dry combs for me to collect (or re-arrange and leave for longer cleanup).
It is bees' job to cleanup their own mess, not mine. :)
 
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