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I approached the hive today with both water mister and smoker, just in case. Turned out I didn't really need the smoker at all, though by the end, a couple of fairly annoyed bees bounced rather huffily off my head net:).

There was some new comb drawn. You can see the persistent pattern of cross combing (not as overwhelming as it seemed first time around) where the edge of one comb kind of abuts up against the top of the adjacent bar. Per suggestion, I tried cutting a piece off and attaching to a bar fitted with hardware cloth. While the comb was not so fragile it was unworkable, it was also not so stable and wide that it just slid on. So, the smallest piece ended up in the bottom of the hive so the bees could scavenge the nectar and I went with Gentle Suggestion #2: push the comb over so it's aligned straight, place back in the hive, and hope the bees take the hint. I also placed the bar-with-cloth next to the adjusted comb in case that provided some additional encouragement.



(Note: while I am working with a bar, I place a dummy board over the hole so the bees don't feel quite so invaded. Or, at least I hope that's what is happening)

I pulled the next bar out, and gently pushed both sides more toward the middle and replaced the bar. Like the first one, the bar had gotten started, but had not quite reached the point where the one side was crossing onto the adjacent bar. It had some brood and some nectar.


The third bar from the end was a thing of beauty: deep, with a whole bunch of capped brood that was lovely to see. I think that is nectar curing above the brood.


The next bars were fairly well cross combed, but still came out in a group of three. The hive stand was very useful here, and it just fit all three bars. Having three bars out simultaneously was definitely heavier! I also saw three patterns of capping -- what looked like worker brood (yellow) and two kinds of raised caps, both of which may be drone, or perhaps the one in red is an emergency queen?


Finally, the first 5 bars I left in the hive -- I will have to extend the top of the inspection stand so they can be set down more easily.


I was really happy to see all the capped brood as it seems as though the hive is fairly light of bees. I realize that a package is just a starter colony, and I know they're out foraging -- I saw workers with different colored pollen on their legs, and finally, bees that were returning from my own yard! I am pretty sure this is the case, as I saw bees zipping home from the north-west, which is where we are oriented relative to the hive. And yesterday, after four days of rain, the ligustrum hit full bloom, and I saw several honeybees in attendance, along with a number of butterflies:cool:.

 

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Most common cause of cross comb is hive is not properly level.Sometimes a hive will settle and that knocks it out of level.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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One good comb leads to another. One bad comb leads to another. Try to have the last comb (from which the next will be parallel) straight. Feed empty bars in between good straight brood combs. If you don't have any good combs, build frames and rubber band combs into the frames. It takes straight combs to get straight combs... so you have to get straight combs by whatever means you can and make sure your new combs are being drawn parallel to those good combs. The three most important combs in the hive are the two in the middle of the brood nest that you keep putting empty bars between until they are drawn, and the last one from which the next one will be drawn.
 

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the brood circled in the red and the blue are both drone caps. It just looks a little different when there are empty cells around a drone cell. Looks like your package is off to a good start. Wish I could get more photos of my bees on my flowers. That's one of the reasons that I started keeping bees. Maybe I need to quit my day-job :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7

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Michael is saying that once you get the comb straight you can put an empty bar in the middle of the brood nest and they will draw it out. If the two bars it is between are straight it will be straight.
 

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>HI Michael, What I'm two weeks new. What does this mean?

If E is empty bars and M is messed up comb and B is good brood comb and your colony looks something like this:
12345678901234567890123456789012
EEEEEMMMMMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

The NEXT combs built will be in position 5 and 16. Since those two are messed up the next two combs will be messed up.

If you make three frames and cut three of those messed up combs out and tie them into the frames with rubber bands or string or wire, you now have three straight combs and you can now rearrange it something like this:

12345678901234567890123456789012
MMBEBBEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

The next two combs to be drawn will be #4 and #7 and since #4 is between two straight brood combs it will be a straight comb for sure. Since #7 is next to a straight comb it will likely be a straight comb. Bees build parallel combs, so you want the next place they build a comb to have a straight comb next to it or, better, one on each side of it. This only works with brood comb because it's a fixed width, but can work between drawn capped honey comb. It does not work with open honey comb one each side of an empty bar as they often draw the combs deeper instead of building another.
 
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