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Hey everyone,

First post ever:

I have been doing a ton of reading on beekeeping and want to start in earnest next spring. In the meantime, the brewery that I work at keeps 2 hives that the chef started with packaged bees. He put the bees in a brood box like normal but instead of putting the tops on just the one box, he put another brood box on top containing no frames.

After my interest in beekeeping was piqued, I donned the bee suit and smoker and went to take a look at what he had started. Since he never inspected the hive and had a less than ideal setup, the bees filled maybe 2 or 3 frames then started building burr comb. Upward.

I had read on my local bee clubs website that you can remove the burr comb and place them in foundationless frames in between rubber bands. I did that with as much of the burr comb that I felt comfortable removing since most of it was full of nectar or larva. I filled the top brood box with as many frames as I could fit around the remaining burr comb.

Since this work, they have built an unmanageable amount of burr comb in the spaces in the top brood box. Is this hive too far gone to do anything with? Can I let them overwinter in it and inspect it in the spring, while there are few larva and the burr comb is more disposable?

Any advice appreciated.

Slainte!
 

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Are you running foundationless or with foundation. Burr comb is simply extra comb, waste comb, typically built ontop of the bottom or top bar. Often burr comb fills the space between frames in two boxes. There is no point in saving it, just scrap it off and pitch.

If you are running foundationless or put an empty box, then you have a totally different problem. It is probably not pretty.

Take a few pics when you have time.
 

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I think you have the same problem I have....wanting to save every egg, larva, and pupa. i would get as much of the remaining comb into frames with rubber bands and not leave any unframed comb in the box, that's just asking for trouble. You're going to end up sacrificing some brood as well as some comb, but simply waiting won't help, especially if they move up into the disorganized section when they're overwintering. There's plenty of time in the season, especially if you have a fall flow.
 

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Get rid of the top box or get the appropriate amount of frames in it or you will have some wild comb!

Why'd he do that?!?!
 

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That was before they murdered the king right? Assuming you have some frames with no foundation in them, drive small nails on one side top and bottom and middle of each end. Tie fishing line on one nail and drive it down with a hammer. Tightly wrap the string around all the nails making a grid and pound down the nails to keep the line tight. Prepare several. Then, cut pieces of larvae and eggs and ccapped brood and gently lay them down on the frame trying to respect the upward orientation and keeping the brood in that orientation. After you have the crazy quilt of brood laid out on the grid in the frame, either drive more nails and use string or use big rubber bands to keep the comb upright so you can put it back into the box. If you can salvage some honey for them in similar fashion that would be good. If it all fits in one box great but be ready to add a second box with foundation if there are enough bees to work up into it. But as our literate friend said, "Once more into the breach!" and get it done as soon as you can. It will be a sticky mess and good luck doing your first cut out.
 

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You could leave it until spring. By then the bees would be in the top box, most likely. Then you could reverse the boxes and add a super at the same time. As the queen moves up, put an excluder over the bottom box. Remove the bottom box when it's empty.
 

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That was before they murdered the king right? Assuming you have some frames with no foundation in them, drive small nails on one side top and bottom and middle of each end. Tie fishing line on one nail and drive it down with a hammer. Tightly wrap the string around all the nails making a grid and pound down the nails to keep the line tight. Prepare several. Then, cut pieces of larvae and eggs and ccapped brood and gently lay them down on the frame trying to respect the upward orientation and keeping the brood in that orientation. After you have the crazy quilt of brood laid out on the grid in the frame, either drive more nails and use string or use big rubber bands to keep the comb upright so you can put it back into the box. If you can salvage some honey for them in similar fashion that would be good. If it all fits in one box great but be ready to add a second box with foundation if there are enough bees to work up into it. But as our literate friend said, "Once more into the breach!" and get it done as soon as you can. It will be a sticky mess and good luck doing your first cut out.
I'd like to suggest a heavy duty stapler as an option over the hammer and nails, 1/4" staples do the trick. Also, the accumulated tension of several wraps of line will bow the bottom of your frame upward if you aren't careful.
 
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