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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a bar of comb that is capped sugar syrup that I pulled from my topbar hive for a garden expo last month. Bees still have plenty of stores in the hive so I don't need to give it back to them, plus the weather has warmed and they are out collecting pollen and nectar. They are however out of drawn comb to lay brood in. This piece of comb was used for brood last year. I'd like to uncap it and be able to remove the syrup without melting the beeswax so I can put the empty comb back in the broodnest for the queen to fill it up with eggs.

Any suggestions on how to do that? Tepid water bath? 200 degree oven with it laying on it's side? Hot steam?
 

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Give it back to the bees. they will take care of it. If they want brood space they will make it.
 

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Place the comb near the entrance away from the direction you want them to expand. They'll use it for brood and pollen once they start emptying the cells.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks for all the replies, but I suppose I should call myself the "impatient beekeeper". Didn't want to wait until they decided to use it. I'm really trying to get these girls going so I can do a split of two when my queens come in. So I just uncapped the comb and ran it under warm water with the sprayer until it seemed like most of the syrup was out. Blotted it off with some paper towels and just popped it back into the hive on the edge of the brood nest. (and stole another honeycomb that wasn't ever used for brood for my next garden show in March).

Girls are going to town on cleaning the rest of it up, and hopefully in a week or so it will be full of brood. I didn't do a full inspection, but the couple of bars I pried apart had a good amount of bees on the honeycomb. They didn't seem to be uncapping it, so I'm glad I didn't wait until they decide to eat it. They are far too busy right now with all the good stuff that just started blooming here in Hampton Roads, Virginia. I'll use some of these capped honeycombs when I do my splits in April. Guess I need to mark the bars that I know are capped sugar water so I don't accidentally think they are honey later in the season.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
MB, will they use it or move it? I have a few more frames of brood comb that they filled with syrup last fall, and in about 3 weeks time, I'm gonna want to have those free of syrup as well. If they will use it up, I'll scratch open a bar a week. If they are just going to move it, I'd rather wash them out as well.
 

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>MB, will they use it or move it?

Mostly they will use it. They eat uncapped stores before they open more capped stores and it's next to the brood nest where they need food to feed the young. But I wouldn't guarantee they won't move it if it's in their way. Still, they are unlikely to move it somewhere and cap it when they are in the spring buildup.
 
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