a short message to Crofter...

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by tecumseh, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a Crofter snip..
    Actually everything did seem in order but the spaced out 9 frames have a lot of burr comb between the top bars and that makes real bee grabbers when sliding them back together. That is not going to be easy to clean up to get proper spacing as there is some drone brood in it. A quick look showed no apparent queen cells but the frames are getting quite full so we put another deep of wax foundation on top of each one along with a frame feeder and closed back up.

    tecumseh:
    I noticed this on the introduction section and really looked at it in two ways and though perhaps I (well actually it was Iddee's suggestion) should make a comment.

    first view... starting from foundation and frames you always place the defined number of frames (ie 10 frames in a 10 frame box) to get the comb 'pulled' or 'drawn' to the proper width to insure bee space. later (once the comb is drawn) you then reduce the number of frames. if you did try to start 9 frames in a 10 frame box you are quite likely to get brace and cross comb everywhere.

    second view... it is quite common over the season for bees to build a bit of burr comb between the top bar area of the hive. most old fashion beekeepers would leave this alone during the late fall and winter months and then scrape it off at the first manipulation in the spring. I would typically remove one frame at a time, turn the frame on its side and use the flat side of my hive tool to remove this bit of wax and then reverse and do the same on the opposing side. generally you only need to do this once during the season but removing it makes the next set of inspection easier and it also likely somewhat improves ventilation up the stack during the summer (which is why you would not remove it during the fall or winter). in some commercial operation not doing this small task would get you some hard looks.
     
  2. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    Thanks tecumpseh;

    The two hives I purchased are overwintered hives and likely have not had top bars or frame rests cleaned and scraped for some time. I was a bit reluctant go at it and be killing some larvae and bees. On the other hand with the wax there you cant slide the frames back together without making a real bee jam sandwich. I did not locate the queen and did not want to squish her. It was getting late in the evening and all the workers were home, so timing not the best either.

    Frank
     

  3. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    For something like this, I usually have an empty nuc box available (if you have one). Whenever I know that I am going to go through a hive and give it a good going over, I do my usual inspection until I find the frame with the queen on it and then I remove that frame, pop it in my nuc box and close it up. I can then go through the hive, cleaning and scraping, confident that the queen is safe and sound and will not be harmed by a slip, fumbled frame, ill timed scrape, or any of the other accidents that can happen. Once done, I have 2 frames that are out, I simply pop the frame with the queen back in, slide it into position, drop the last frame in and close things up.
     
  4. rast

    rast New Member

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    And if you don't find the frame with the queen on it??
     
  5. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Then she ain't in there! :mrgreen:
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I don't worry so much about finding the queen and like I say for me this process is pretty much once a year and it's done. with 9 frames I usually work from the outside frames towards the center. once the two outer most frames are removed I have plenty of wiggle room to get out the rest with little problem. I perform the surgery right on top of the hive. Once I remove a frame I am holding one end bar in my left had with the frame sloping downward and the edge of the end bar furthest away from me resting on the top of the hive. I use the sharp end of the hive tool in a pushing motion to trim the excess wax. If you have too many bees on the frame a bit of smoke will encourage them to run down the frame and down into the hive. If you are a bit more particular than I you might want to catch the wax in some container since (at least for me) invariable the debris gets on the ground and on to the bottom of my shoes. can make for quite a mess. my wife is pretty tolerant of such stuff but some spouses might not be so understanding.