Pulling comb...

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Thanos, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. Thanos

    Thanos New Member

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    Hi all,

    My new hive (started late Apr) is doing much better than the last one, but the bees are not pulling comb on the honey super.

    Here's how it went: I started with one brood box, when that was 70%, I added a 2nd one, when that was 70% I added the honey super with the separator underneath it.

    I have fed them 5 batches of syrup (each batch is 15lbs or so) and just put a 6th one one. (They consumed the last batch in 4 days - it has been very warm in San Francisco recently).

    Anyway, the bottom two brood boxes are now 95% pulled (8 frame deep), but they have not touched the super (8 frame shallow). Instead, they keep building bits of comb in the emptying feeder.

    Should I be worried about anything, or just give them some more time and they'll get around to it?

    Thanks!

    Thanos
     
  2. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Is this "separator" a queen excluder?

    If so remove it, they will not cross the queen excluder to an empty super full of foundation or empty foundationless frames.
    If you are worried about the queen going up to the top super, for the most part she will not cross over capped honey. You might need to check you brood box to see if they are honey (or in your case syrup bound). Not sure what is blooming in your area but if you are wanting a crop of honey in your super quit feeding syrup.
     

  3. Thanos

    Thanos New Member

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    Yes - I meant queen excluder.

    They seem to be happily crossing it to go into the feeder (plenty of them up there) but just not making any comb yet.

    I was advised it would be a good idea to leave the feeder on until all the comb is pulled, and I could shake out the watery syrup to get rid of it.

    I'll try pulling the excluder when I return home.

    ‚ÄčThanos
     
  4. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    They will cross it for the syrup, but not stop along the way to build comb.

    I surely would not shake out the combs after they have worked so hard to store and condense that syrup. Yes feeding 1 to 1 syrup will stimulate them to build comb (represents a flow).
     
  5. pistolpete

    pistolpete New Member

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    If you want them up there in a hurry, bait the super. (assuming your super is a deep box) Take the outside frames from the box below (these two frames are typically just honey) and put them in positions 3 and 5 in the super. This will make it clear to the bees that this is indeed part of their hive and they will start building next to these frames. You should mark these two frames and move them back down in a couple of months, because they contain sugar syrup and would contaminate your honey. Another method that I read about is to move a couple of frames of brood above the queen excluder to make the bees go up there, but that never seemed like a good idea to me, because brood should be next to pollen and honey stores.
     
  6. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    The bees will evaporate the moisture out of the syrup, so it will not shake out of the cells very easily once they store the syrup in the cells.
     
  7. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    sounds to me like the hive is doing quite well. can we assume the reference to 15 pounds was sugar + water? < or about 2 gallons every other week?

    sounds like to me that you just need to wait. if you have lots of flowers blooming you could ease off on the feeding or if you definitely want all the comb pulled that is possible then simply keep feeding. sounds like you have the rate of feeding just about right and for almost all new beekeepers some focus on getting all the comb you can pulled in year one is a good and doable objective.