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Author Topic: Comb honey. A journey of learning  (Read 28031 times)

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #260 on: January 31, 2024, 04:25:36 pm »
The tee nuts that I ordered arrived yesterday which enabled all of the frames to be assembled. You may notice that wing nuts are used to tension the adjustable frames. This works for me as I currently make comb in the top super and use migratory lids. If I ever need to reduce the space taken up by the wing nuts, they could be replaced with slim line hex nuts. Bee access is available from all directions. Bees can move freely from top to bottom and side to side. This should help to keep comb building reasonably consistent. I would expect to move frames 1,2,9 and 10 during the comb building process to help maintain uniformity and help to keep the quality of the comb at a high standard. Although not essential during a strong flow, this method does keep partially capped or poorly shaped combs to a minimum.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #261 on: February 01, 2024, 06:44:33 am »
If you look in the old bee magazines back in the late 1800s there is a hive called the Heddon hive.  It's first interesting feature is that there is a frame inside the frame that pivots so you can turn the combs upside down.  This was done to prevent swarming.  The other thing it had was that the box was reversible.  This was accomplished by a screw that pushes towards the center from the outside frame so that the frames where crammed together and you could flip the entire box upside down.  Maybe some of that could help with what you're trying to do.  This was just two screws that pushed the frames together instead of a bolt on each one.
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Offline max2

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #262 on: February 01, 2024, 07:11:08 am »
"Turn the combs upside down"
Interesting!
Years ago, when i used to do cuouts we used to put capped brood into frames upsode down.
generally the queen would not place eggs into these frames after to brood hatched - meaning you could take the frame sout and replace it with a frame with foundation

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #263 on: February 01, 2024, 07:39:36 am »
The theory of the Heddon hive's reversible boxes and reversible frames was that every time you reversed them the bees would rearrange the brood box, the swarm cells would be upside down, the band of honey at the top of the frames was at the bottom etc.  By the time they rearranged it all, you reversed it again.  It would probably work for Varroa control as a Russian invention has proved by slowly rotating the combs.  I was just thinking it might serve the same purpose of holding things together that the wing nuts were doing in lesgold's arrangement.

The other theory of Heddon's was that you could use smaller boxes (his were about the size of an eight frame medium) and manage the hive "by the box".

I think the only thing about upside down comb that lends towards the queen not laying in them is preference.  Bees have preferences, but they will use whatever is available.  They can even put honey in cells sloped the wrong way.  I've watched them do it in my observation hive.
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Offline Lesgold

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #264 on: February 01, 2024, 04:22:24 pm »
That is so interesting Michael. It really gets the old brain ticking over. It also generates so many questions as to how the bees coped and what they would actually do in that situation. Would they uncap honey and move it up? What about uncapped honey? Would that create a mess in the hive as it ran down the frame onto the bottom board? Perhaps in our modern world the SHB would be thanking Heddon for his design. It would be really interesting to hear about this design in relation to varroa and how it could possibly impact their life cycle. Thanks again for posting this idea. Max, your approach to cut outs gets a thumbs up. I have only done a few in the early days and found it to be a messy and time consuming job. Your idea of reversing the comb was really thinking outside the box. I wish I had thought of that at the time. It would have definitely saved time in the long run.

Offline max2

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #265 on: February 01, 2024, 05:29:00 pm »
Michael wrote:
I think the only thing about upside down comb that lends towards the queen not laying in them is preference.  Bees have preferences, but they will use whatever is available.  They can even put honey in cells sloped the wrong way.  I've watched them do it in my observation hive.

I wonder if this a timing issue?
I found I was able to take our messy bits and pieces of foundation out BEFORE the queen was tempted to use the empty cells again.
I do think that it is a preferance thing - the preferance being normal sloping cells.