Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

Stupid Mistake...

1388 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  RedHead1
Hi Everyone,
So, like most newbies out there I've been trying to read as much as possible about the best way to accomplish the everyday tasks of beekeeping, but as most of you know there are ever so many "best" ways. I don't begrudge the plethora of options of lack of consensus; it makes this whole beekeeping venture a bit more adventurous in my view, but I may not have made the best choice when choosing my method of "best" installation. I read online, in a book, or at one of the recent classes I attended to try installing the bee package by just laying the package on top of the internal cover and allowing the bees to climb down into the brood chamber on their own after you install the queen cage by attaching her to one of the frames. Okay, I did that, but here's where I probably went rogue and did something not mentioned in any of the best practice advice columns...I left out two frames in the middle of the brood box next to the queen cage. Last night (four days after installation) I went back to remove the queen cage and it is completely covered with comb! This is not nice, linear comb either, this is comb that is angled with a 90 degree bend in it. I also have comb hanging down from the hole in the internal cover and almost no comb on the wax foundations. So, what do I do? I left the comb the bees had built in place, mostly because I feel bad destroying their work (I can already see pollen placed in the comb crevices) and maybe their eggs too, though I didn't see any. Should I destroy the comb and replace with frames, or let it be since it is their brood box?
See less See more
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Cut/scrape out all the crazy comb and put the other frames in to establish proper bee space. You're well on your way to enough beeswax to make your first candle. You'll want to do this right away because they will keep building that crazy stuff and the problem will only get worse.

Feed them and they will redo their work. You didn't say whether the queen was released, but I'll assume she was since you were looking for eggs in the comb. When removing the crazy comb be very careful not to crush the queen. You may want to try and locate her first so you can avoid her as much as possible.
i just finished cleaning up a similar mess about 5 minutes ago. my last two packages of the year came in a bit late and i had to install quickly before heading out of state for work. I left out a single frame in each of the hives and the result was as you mentioned. mine wasn't as bad as your sounds, but they made comb not at all how i want it to be. I removed it all, marked the queen that was already released and then released the queen that was still in her cage. I should be set up now to never need to buy bees again, but never is a long time. if I introduce packages again, I"ll just direct introduce the queen and avoid the mess.
Thanks for the responses. Yes, the queen was released from her cage, but is there any advice for gracefully removing all the bees that still cling to the queen cage and crazy comb? I've tried the bee brush, but that just seems to aggravate them and before I know it I have a bunch of bees clinging and stinging the brush rather than going back into their home. Let me know if I'm doing something wrong or if you have any thoughts and I'll get in there and try to clean up the mess this afternoon.
A brush should be used violently. Quick hard flicks. NEVER use a brush slowly and gracefully. The bees just hang on tighter and you roll them and make them mad. If you flick them they are just surprised. Shaking is the same. It's about suddenness and surprise, not slow and graceful. There is a time for grace and brushing or shaking bees is not that time...
After you remove the cage and the crazy comb, lay the comb and queen cage on top of the hive after closing the hive up. Go back after sunset when all the bees have returned to the hive and pick up the wax and cage, the bees will be inside the hive.
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.