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Discussion Starter #1
Need help soon, immediately, really! It's Sunday 06.06.2010, 12:44 EDT. ; )

I have a medium box I'm using for a second brood box, foundationless. The bees are drawing cross comb between two frames, which I can handle — remove, cut away wayward comb, retain what I keep with string or a rubberband, and return the frame to the hive — but what I can't figure out is how to get the bees off the comb. I mean there are a lot of bees — maybe four or five hundred bees across the two frames involved in the fix.

What are tricks to clear bees off comb they're building? I tried brushing and smoking, and neither had much of an impact. I'm not sure I want to bang the frame, though I'll do it if that's necessary. I could tell them to move, but I'm not sure that'll do the trick.

My idea is to remove the two frames and leave them on a frame holder outside the frame for a while, with the expectation that the bees on the frames will find their way back in before too long. (I've checked, and have confirmed that the queen is absolutely not on the two frames.) There's a forecast for rain, so maybe a shower would accelerate the the process? (Is it dangerous to the bees to leave them out?)

Thoughts? Answers? Soon? ; )


Many thanks!


Mig
 

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I use a long sharp filet knife and just cut it slowly...they will move. Then take out the frames and trim the comb down...
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Heh! I did it! Thank you, both, devdog108 and honeybeekeeper. Here's what I did.

As I said, I left the two frames on the frame holder outside on the side of the hive for twenty minutes or so while I formulated a plan (a big part of which was to post an urgent q. here ...) and summoned courage. I expected that after some time the bees would realize that they were outside, and would begin to abandon the frames.

I loaded Bee Source on my cell phone as I headed back out, and reloaded the site a couple of times while I was by the hive, so I got the advice of "shake 'em" and "knife 'em," both.

I was happy to see that my hypothesis was correct. They had cleared off the frame by some 80% or so by the time I returned -- a much more manageable situation. Waiting a bit more, and it got down to only about 10% and then just a few dozen remaining, which I shook a few times and brushed clear.

Now I have the comb in my house -- it's just beautiful -- and sometime this evening I'll probably trim it a bit, and hold it in place with a rubber-band if I need to, and will return it to the hive tomorrow evening.

My mistake -- something I anticipated -- was to have no guide frame with foundation. The five deep frames I got with my nuc served as guides in the main deep brood box, as the gals built absolutely straight and perfect comb on the empty frames alongside them. I hadn't ever bought any medium foundation, however, so I gave it a go to have them try with just the empty frames and pop-sickle stick guide bar. That didn't work so well, but it was worth the trial.

Now, however, when I return the fixed frames to the hive, I'm hoping and expecting that they'll serve as guides for the other frames in that box. From then on, I can take a couple of good, straight medium frames from that box and use them as needed in other boxes, and I'll be set for the future. (Even so, I expect something like this to happen again, and when I does, I'll be more prepared.)

So ... success. Thank you for your help, and for assisting in my learning.


Mig
 

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If you wire the frames first, the bees will build around the wire and the comb will not blow apart in the extractor.

dickm
 
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