Simply Resourceful

Simple ways to be more conscious about how we use our resources.

Cleaning Up Bee Frames

During a January thaw we cleaned up the hive that was robbed this fall. 

                       

The picture on the left shows the bees with their butts in the air trying to keep warm in their little cells and eating the final bits of honey.  So sad...     The picture on the right shows a cluster of dead bees on the screened bottom board.  There were several frames with irregular comb so I scraped it off for melting this summer using our solar wax melter.  The decision on whether to leave or remove the irregular comb varies from one beekeeper to the next.  Some say you want to remove the irregular comb so the bees don't continue building it (eliminate that trait).  I opt for removing it so when I pull frames out of the brood boxes I don't smash bees and ruin the comb.  The pictures below show the irregular comb. Have you ever had a hive build comb like this, and if so, what do you do with it?










2 comments :

Erik in TX May 21, 2014 at 8:31 AM  

From your pictures I would say the frames were spaced too far apart. The bees have a specific gap between comb that they want, and if frames are too far apart they'll build in between frames or out from frames or whatever. Sometimes there's no human way to understand what the bees do though. Just scrape the unwanted comb off, freeze the wax to kill wax moths and save it for the next batch of wax melting for candles. You might want to insert the frame between two fully drawn frames to get the bees to draw it as desired next time. Either between brood frames or CAPPED honey frames. If you place it between uncapped honey frames the bees will sometimes just draw out the uncapped comb face extra deep.

Holly May 22, 2014 at 7:47 AM  

Thanks for the comment Erik! In the end I removed the irregular comb but forgot to freeze it---wax moths were happily nibbling away and making webs in the wax which diminished my candle making supply a lot. Lesson learned!

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A weekly update on our adventures of trying to be more self-sufficient by using resources wisely. We explore a variety of topics that most broadly fit in the "Homesteading" category, i.e. beekeeping, organic gardening, edible landscaping/fruit forest, food preservation/canning, woodworking, soap-making, and environmental stewardship.

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