Pulling new comb

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by arkiebee, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. arkiebee

    arkiebee New Member

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    Hi Guys - I thought that I would check on one of my hives yesterday - I try to stay out of them when they have the air conditioner running, but I needed to take a look-see at this particular hive because I checked a few weeks ago and NOTHING in the super. This is a strong hive with lots of bees. I put a super on them several weeks ago, (but I also added a second hive body before that & they had it pulled & brood) and they still haven't pulled any comb in this super. The honey flow is pretty much nil right now, so I don't expect much, but I just knew that they would have had some comb pulled by now? In fact they started chewing up some of the foundation. I don't have any supers with used comb, or I would have used that. I took the super off and peeked down into the second hive body, and they have it wall-to-wall honey & I'm sure brood (I didn't want to take out any frames) - will they pull this out when the fall flow comes on? I don't have a queen excluder on it. I just really thought that they would have something in there by now?

    I try to stay OUT of them when these temps are in the 90s - 100s - that's why I didn't look any further.
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    They will only draw comb when all the comb they have is being used. As long as any of it is empty, they won't draw anymore.
     

  3. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Mine are the same way. Two brood boxes full and healthy, super still empty and not drawn. I figure they will start to use the super when they decide they need it.
    I don't use and excluder either. I'm actually fine with them increasing into the super for more brood space if they want to, too. More than getting honey this year, my bigger goal is to have 2 very strong new hives going into this coming winter.
     
  4. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    Omie your just to easy to get along with. When most people fight to keep the bees down you come along and say here take it if you want. I like that attitude when it comes to bees :thumbsup:
     
  5. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Hey thanks riverrat. :)
    I figure the stronger the brood nest, the more likely it is that they'll survive the winter and that I'll get lots of honey next year. Also, if they come out of winter stronger, then when i do a split in the Spring they will bounce back faster and 'maybe' make some extra honey for me even after splitting next year. In any case, at that point I'll have twice as many hives...a great thing in itself. :Dancing:
    Even though i had a hive last year, I'm still in the position of many new beeks, in that I have no extra frames of drawn comb yet. This limits my options for doing stuff.
    If my bees want to draw comb for more brood or for storing nectar, either way it's good because brood comb frames can be used by the bees for nectar and honey as well in the future.
    If one is running a commercial apiary, I can see the need for more exact control over brood and honey areas, but when you only have a few hives for family and friends, I say give 'em all the room they want...it's all good! :thumbsup:
     
  6. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper New Member

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    My second year the girls were draging their feet drawing comb in the honey super. Old fellow at the club told me to split the brood boxes and insert the honey super in between for 7 days.
    I did just that and had a honey super of mostly drawn comb in thoses 7 days.

    Most comerical bee keepers I know my self included do not use queen excluders because it is just a bunch of extra equipment to keep track of and store in the off season. I do own some. When I am pulling honey supers if I run across a honey super full of brood I make sure the queen isn't still up there and place the excluder so she can't make a return visit.

    :mrgreen: Al
     
  7. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    I noticed a similar same thing last year: The hive looked crowded, so I put another super on, with some frames of drawn comb, and some foundation. It was probably mid-August at the time, and not much in bloom. It remained totally empty - not even any nectar in the drawn comb - and I removed it before winter. I suspect the bees were arranging their stores in a compact manner in preparation for winter. They're no dummies. Whereas, I can't say the same for myself...!

    Omie, I'm with you on the "brood in the super." I let them put whatever they want in the cells. If it means a frame or three less honey for me, oh well. I tried a queen excluder my first year in beekeeping (following the books, you know) and it turned out to be a "bee excluder. " Even the workers would not pass through. I removed it and now the excluder is the rack I rest frames on when uncapping. (Or sometimes pressed into service as a "queen includer" for a newly hived swarm.)
     
  8. arkiebee

    arkiebee New Member

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    I agree with you guys as well. If they want to move up in the super to lay a few eggs - so be it. I have found that in my three whole years :lol: of experience - that certain queens will do this and some won't. I don't like queen excluders, but they are a necessary tool at times. I don't use them unless I have to - like if I am splitting a hive and I KNOW where the queen is - I will use one to trap her in there so I am for sure I don't move her too.

    It has been so HOT down here in Arkansas that I also don't mind the extra room for air to move through the hives. I haven't even taken any honey yet this year because I like to see what kind of weather hits - hot and dry - or whatever. I am not in it for the honey anyway, but it is nice to sell all you have and I had no trouble selling it at school last fall.

    I - like Hobie - figure the bees know better than I do about how to arrange their hive. We will wait and see what the fall honey flow will bring.
     
  9. rast

    rast New Member

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    Usually, chewing up foundation is a real good sign (if you need a sign) that there is nothing coming in. Maybe they are reusing the wax to cap brood cells.
    Just be careful, leaving a lot of empty space in a hive is a good way for SHB to get established.