BURR COMB!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by melrose, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. melrose

    melrose New Member

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    Checked on the bees tthis morning.
    A quick background,
    We have four hives,
    1 - Captured swarm, inprog filling the second deep with comb, 1 week younger than packaged hives
    2 and 3 - Are packaged hives, one is a little slower than the other, both into the second super though
    4 - cut hive that we did 6 days ago, they're busy making repairs.

    The first 3 are full of burr at the tops of the bottom box up into the bottoms of the top box. they are literally tying the frames together. It appears that the combs are full of nector and honey. I started to pull frames to scape all this out, but the wife was concerned about tearing the wax out and the bees simply redoing what they have done.

    I've attached a picture, what you see is actually between the 3 or 4 center frames.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    1... Measure the distance from the bottom frames to the top of the bottom box. Then measure the distance from the bottom of the top frames to the bottom of the top box. The total distance from frame bottom down to frame top should be 3/8 in. If it's more, they will continue to build there.

    2. Be sure all frames are pushed tightly together and centered in the boxes.
     

  3. melrose

    melrose New Member

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    I can tell by looking, and was quite puzzled by this, the distance is much more than 3/8". i can't figure out why, I have deep frames in deep boxes. I'll have to take a tape back with me and measure everything up.

    thank for the input
     
  4. milapostol

    milapostol New Member

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    Sometimes they just do it. I've learned that the bees will do what they want, our squares and straight lines be darned.
     
  5. melrose

    melrose New Member

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    I just looked at plan that I used to build some new deep boxes, they called for >10" on the box. the boxes that I bought are just shy of 9 5/8.

    Do I tear all that out and change boxes or let them build?
    Seems it just gives them more honey stores, but I can't inspect frames without tearing their world apart every two to three weeks. :(
     
  6. Murrell

    Murrell New Member

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  7. melrose

    melrose New Member

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    That's what I suspected, the Pierco frames are 9 1/8, the boxes that I purchased are 9 5/8, I'll run my boxes through a table saw.
     
  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    an Iddee snip:
    1... Measure the distance from the bottom frames to the top of the bottom box. Then measure the distance from the bottom of the top frames to the bottom of the top box. The total distance from frame bottom down to frame top should be 3/8 in. If it's more, they will continue to build there.

    a melrose snip:
    I just looked at plan that I used to build some new deep boxes, they called for >10" on the box. the boxes that I bought are just shy of 9 5/8.

    tecumseh:
    the dimensions for deeps may be as small as 9 and 5/8 inch or as much 9 and 11/16. although it has been stated that the rabbit is 5/8" deep this dimension can vary somewhat depending on 1) does the rabbit have a metal rest installed and 2) the manufacture. nothing in these dimensions runs by any kind of industry standard. some boxes are made for commercial folks with migratory lids and the rabbit is deep enough that the frame will rest with the bottom bar almost flush with the bottom of the box. some boxes are made for hobby folks (with inner cover/outer cover) and the frames have some space provided at the top and bottom of box.

    I don't really worry about such matters since I know equipment does come built to different standards and sometimes when you mix it up bee space will not be maintained. if too small the frames get glued together at the top and bottom bar intersection and if this becomes a problem I scrape it off. if too great I long ago learn to modify my expectation just a tad and look at this extra space as a small degree of swarm protection since invariable the bees will fill this in with solid comb and honey before they take to the trees.

    sometimes prying boxes apart can be a concern but even this can be managed fairly easily with some slight adjustment in your point of view.
     
  9. melrose

    melrose New Member

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    Separating the boxes would surely tear the burr comb apart, dumping honey everywhere. No biggie I gues since it's their honey, they'll just be forced to consume resources in rebuilding what's broken.
     
  10. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    If you eliminate the extra big bee space then they will not rebuild, therefore conserving heir resources since they are not rebuilding the burr comb. Maybe this would motivate them to move on up to an empty frame.
     
  11. melrose

    melrose New Member

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    Only way to eliminate the space is removing the boxes, in exchange for boxes that have been trimmed.
    I've measured everything, even the Rossman boxes have greater than 3/8" space between the bottoms and tops of the frames.

    I trimmed one box down, have two other that I plan on taking out and making the exchange with. Just don't envy the mess that I'm about to make.
     
  12. Murrell

    Murrell New Member

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    You will always have some comb between frames, which you are going to tear apart.

    I was told long ago this was highway comb, making it easier for the bees to travel up & down with out having fly 3/8 in between frames.

    One thing I have noticed a lot of these cells are drone cells, of course I use all 4.9 frames, helpful mite extermination !

    Murrell
     
  13. melrose

    melrose New Member

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    It's the heavy comb between the upper and lower frames the bugs me.
     
  14. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Perhaps a bit unrelated, but are you using frame rests on your boxes (the metal ones)?
    I have on occasion received frame rests that lay flat on the rabbet bottom and have also received frame rests that are raised (as in an upside down J)
    The difference these can make in the gap between the frames in the boxes using different frame rests has resulted in similar frustrations.
     
  15. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a melrose snip..
    It's the heavy comb between the upper and lower frames the bugs me.

    tecumseh:
    boy you lost me there.

    for me burr comb between the boxes is just something I deal with knowing full well the assortment of boxes I have made and collected were not made by a clock maker. as someone suggest above (I think???) often time this space is filled with drone brood and therefore acts as a place to monitor for varroa mites. I have also found that any syrup scrapped off in the process soon gets recycled by the bees. the wax component can promote some mess since if you drop it on the ground (as I do) it will constantly end up on your shoes and at your front door.
     
  16. melrose

    melrose New Member

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    By 'heavy', I mean how thickly built it is.
    It bothers me because, of the mess due to the comb that tears apart when I pull a top frame out.

    I guess I'll just rip right into it, pull and scrape as I go.

    thanks for all the input
     
  17. melrose

    melrose New Member

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    Went in last week and removed the home made boxes, and replaced them with the 9 1/8 boxes. Scraped out the comb that filled the 1+inch space and swapped all the frames. The bees were unbelieveably calm during all this. Really never paid me any attention during the whole time. It was a nice relaxing time.
    Checked the boxes today, the hive for the cut out is working away, we're starting to see bits of string at the entrance.
    The swarm that we captured is way ahead of the two package bees, we'll be adding a honey super on this week.
     
  18. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I hope that's a typo, and you meant 9 5/8.
     
  19. melrose

    melrose New Member

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    Not a typo, just a brain fart while typing. I did mean 9 5/8.