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Recycling Wax and Honey Back into Hive?

3511 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Santa Caras
A little background...I caught and hived a swarm from a bee tree about two and a half weeks ago. Between this year and last, I have captured (4) swarms from this same tree. Pretty average size swarm, 3-5 lbs or so. Swarm was placed in a hive consisting of (2) 8 frame medium supers full of PF120s.

Did my first inspection of this hive yesterday and found good news and bad news. Good news, plenty of brood in all stages and lots of capped honey already. Bad news, they built the comb crazy!

I got myself in a tough spot last year by allowing a swarm to draw pretty wild comb in a foundationless hive and I am still dealing with that now, so I decided to do the hard thing and start scraping out the mess they had made. I probably had to scrape out half of the work they had done; it was about a 50/50 split of capped honey and brood :(

With a hit like that on a new swarm, I'd like to give them all the help they can get so I am considering trying to feed the honey back to them. Can I just fill a mason jar with the honey and put it on top of the hive to slowly drip through the inner cover (similar to typical sugar syrup)? It will be inside the hive to prevent any robbing from other bees, wasps, etc.

I am also considering melting down the wax collected and brushing it onto the PF120s to try and give them a better idea of how to start drawing the combs. What is the best way to separate all of the dead brood, honey, and pollen out of the wax for melting? Melt slowly on low heat? I saw some notes on other threads about using crockpots for this, any better ideas or is this a pretty good method?

Thanks for the help!
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I have a hive that put a bunch of comb and honey between the top bar of the frames and the inner cover. They even put it on top of frames that were not even drawn out. I scraped off the comb and smashed it onto an empty frame so that the honey dripped down the face of foundation. It stayed in place while I inserted it next to a drawn out nectar frame. I didn't put it next to a brood frame for fear of killing brood or the queen with dripping.
The leftover comb was put into an aluminum pan and was open fed to the bees. There was a bit of fighting but they cleaned out the pan and the wax.
When I scrape burr comb that has honey in it I spread it out in a pan and let the bees clean it up.
Bees don't recycle wax all that much, but on occasion you can see them stealing it if you leave some out, kind of odd that way.
I would keep the honey for you and if they need feed then give them sugar syrup. You can spread disease by feeding honey back to bees. And never feed anyone else's honey. (if you use supermarket honey most come from china you will most certainly get something bad)

I have allot of PF100s and there is nowhere near enough wax on them. The bees work them better with extra wax added. I use a foam roller to apply, takes practice not to fill in the cells but increase the height of the cell walls of the plastic frame. I have found areas that I added the most wax are the first area where the bee work.

Bees do not like plastic frames, sometimes they do anything to not work them, even swarm. The only time they will is when there is a strong flow. But they sure can burr comb them up any time of the year.

After 3 year of using PF100's I am done with them and will not be buying any more. Foundationless is where it's at! Foundationless frames are the quickest to be drawn. Just put it between two good frames and that's it.
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I run all foundationless - a little effort to get a couple good frames to build off of, but solid results once you get started right.

For the false starts and the "OMGWTF comb" that's full of goodies, I first attempt to save the larger pieces by rubber banding the comb to an empty frame. It holds it in and the bees reattach it to the frame within a couple days. If the comb is small, or too far gone to save but has a bit of nectar, I will leave it in the bottom of the hive and/or near the hive entrance. They usually clean it out in a few hours. I then come along behind them at the next opportunity and pick it up to melt down.

I have not seen them take the pollen out of bad comb, but they readily clean out the honey.
I too use foundationless and am trying to get drawn frames so that i can start do some expirementing. Question I have is this. (and it has to do with recyling the honey) They built some cross comb in the upper super that i tried straighting out but in the end, i just took it out an set to the side and let them take the honey and now I've got some comb to attach to a frame to throw back in. My question is this. As i was trying to straighten the comb.....a bunch of the honey was dripping down into the brood box below. by the time I got down to the brood box to take a look, them ladies were PO'D!!!! to the max! No matter the smoke I softly blew on, everytime i went to pull up a frame, they swarmed out of that hive batting my hands (got a few stings... no big deal) but they wernt having ANY part of me messing with them. Tried several times to pull frames and each time had to back away cuz of all bees coming at me. retrospect...would it have been better to work that honeycomb AWAY from the box below so the honey didnt drip into the brood box? Think thats what pissed em off? At that point i decided to just leave em alone and see if they'd cool down for another visit, another day. Kinda like i do my wife when she's riled at me! LOL
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