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Discussion Starter #1
Thanks for looking over my question.

I'm a new beekeeper as of last week, finally.

However, before my own bees arrived, I was able to do a successful cut-out which is now a thriving hive at my neighbor's house. And it was very rewarding. Since then more wild hives have been popping up around here and I have a question about securing the comb to an empty frame for future projects- two of which are within the next week or so.

My question is this:

If the actual chunk of comb is larger than the frame, how should I work it?

I am *guessing* that I would trim the comb from the bottom up if it's too long, since that's the last that would have been built, but I wanted to check here. Also, what about the extra comb? I thought I read something about leaving it on the inner cover to get robbed out by the hive's own bees, or is there a better alternative? Personally, I'm not interested in saving it for candles or anything like that at this time, and if possible I'd like to have the bees reuse it.


Thanks again,
b1rd
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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There will always be some comb that you cannot use, or is not worth the effort to save. For the frames, cut away any comb with honey and save only the brood comb. Secure it in the frames with rubber bands. On top of the innercover, inside an empty super would be fine for feeding the honey comb back to the bees. Watch for robbing. Do save your leftover wax. At some point you will either need it or can sell it.
 

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I guess if I had to choose I would cut the top of the comb off as it likely has the honey, saving the most brood comb.
if the comb is very wide, you can cut it top to bottom and put it in 2 frames.
A straight bottom for at least 4-6 inches would allow setting it on the frame bottom to rubber band to a frame to save a much resources as possible.
Good advice from JWP to place the chunks not framed over the inner cover hole, brood bit in the center honey chunks around it.

Bees do not so much reuse the wax like you think, at times they steel it from some where for immediate use. Do save it there are several uses and it has value.

the bigger chunks with honey can be crush and strained, makes good gifts to family. the wax rince water can be used to make 2:1 syrup to feed.

Not yet mentioned in this thread do place the comb in the same orientation, bees make a 15 degree angle on the comb, side way or upside down can not be used, may need tear down, etc. If you place a 5-8 inch piece in the center of the frame they will build the rest out so smaller than full frames size can also be used. Also do not just put it willi nilly in the box,, the brood is normally centered to help keep it warm,, surrounded by stores. If using mediums for you frames, better to have 5 frames over 5 frames surrounded by empties than 10 in one box, a pancake shape is a less efficient cluster. Also reduce the entrance to avoid robbing from all the ripped open honey smell and keep them a bit warmer till they re organize the brood nest.

Good luck with the upcoming cutouts.

GG
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies. Very helpful and I had read about prioritizing the brood over the honey storage before, but totally forgot.

I did just get back from one the bee projects, and it was less than I had hoped for. It was a very small comb within the inside of a BBQ lid, which had already fallen to the grate. I was able to gently pick up the small chunks and rubber-band them into two frames, but they were very delicate and small. Only a handful of bees as well, however the friend I was with thought he saw the queen in the mix, so who knows.

I secured the two frames inside a "Pro Nuc" box, along with three other frames with foundation and left it where the BBQ was for now, and I do have a follow up question.

My plan is to leave the Nuc where it's at for a week. I have them in a 5-frame Nuc with the entrance open. The plan is for them to draw more comb out, build up and become stronger before I transport them. I don't think the secured comb would survive the drive at this time. Also, I was not able to set up a feeder at this time, but I'm not sure it's needed during this time of year, but please correct me if I'm wrong.

As far as securing the comb in the same fashion as they were in BBQ cover, that was not possible. It was more-or-less a single section of comb that had fallen from the top of the inner cover onto the grate, and folded over. I was lucky to get it into rubber bands to be honest.

I don't have high hopes for this hive, but being new to bees, perhaps it's better off than I think. Once the comb was placed into the Nuc, I did see some bees hoovering around the entrance, but none were coming and going. I'm hoping they just need to figure out how the entrance works.

I also did not see any of the bees fanning at all, which I'm taking as a bad sign for now.

I'm always open to input, so feel free to correct anything I'm doing.


b1rd
 

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Yea, good deed you did what you could.
So in a week they are not going to build up much, no harm however, they should be reoriented in the new hive by then.

You "could" bring them home, move your strongest NUC to a new spot , set this one down in the same place to add in some bees, or add some nurse bees via shaking a frame into the NUC.

bottom line this needs some bees.
You do have a queen if you want to split as well.

Another Idea, I have done in the past, is double queen exclude over a strong hive, set this on top VIA newspaper combine, in 3-5 weeks you have a new hive to take off.

maybe you find a 6 pound swarm and can give these a pound or 2 of bees, maybe you find a queen less swarm , who knows, a spare queen allows options.

GG
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks.

I'll have this hive placed with my neighbor's two hives on his property, so I'll have him look over this as well since I'll have to tap his hives for resources. My own personal hive is just a week old (from a 5-frame nuc), so it's still pretty small.

We're both new, so we'll have to familiarize ourselves with some of this, but I do have a very general idea of how to proceed. I'd just feel more comfortable if the hive was larger, but this will be a great learning experience.


Thanks again,
b1rd
 

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b1rd:

Well done with your cut-out- sounds like a fun project.

As regards your question, I am always reminded of Mr. George Imirie's truism that, 'comb is your most valuable resource'.

As such, the goal should always be to save as much drawn comb that you can, within reason.

Sounds like you are off to a successful start- good for you.

Russ
 
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