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Author Topic: Culling old brood comb  (Read 1559 times)

Offline bobsim

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Culling old brood comb
« on: October 20, 2017, 10:32:54 am »
  I would appreciate comments on how you folks weed out old, nasty brood comb. I understand the old combs (3 years and older) accumulate waste and debris.

  This is my third year with bees, started with a nuc and a package but the package bees didn't make it through the second year. The nuc colony turned out to be strong and I split it twice this year and now have my urban limit of three colonies. They're looking great and I'm excited.

  I'm going to steal some honey for the winter in the next few days and thought while I'm in there this would be a good time to start getting rid of that old brood comb. I'm thinking if I move the comb out of the brood area the nurse bees will stay with the brood then abandon the comb once it's hatched and I can pull it out then. What do y'all think? Should I replace the brood comb with empty bars and leave a void in the brood nest? Here in north Florida the cold isn't a concern yet and the bees are bringing in nectar. Lots of drones too.

  I'm a little worried that they'll draw new comb in the brood nest and fill it with nectar. Also thinking about replacing the old comb with new honey comb but I'm thinking those honey cells are too large for the brood. ?  How do you folks handle the issue?


 

Online sawdstmakr

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Re: Culling old brood comb
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2017, 08:41:15 pm »
Bob,
Usually 3 year old comb is not that bad, usually brown comb. I usually cull the comb at the 5 year mark when it is black.
If you take the black comb and put it in the upper Supers, the queen will not lay in it. Then when the brood hatches, move it to the outer most frames, 1 or 10 and scratch the capped comb. The bees will probably move the honey to above the brood.
Jim

Offline bobsim

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Re: Culling old brood comb
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2017, 09:36:41 am »
  Thanks Jim,

  So I'm correct in thinking that the nurse bees will stay with the brood until it hatches? I have top bar hives so I would be moving the brood comb to the opposite end of the hive beyond the honey stores. I think.

 

Online sawdstmakr

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Re: Culling old brood comb
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2017, 06:12:24 pm »
Yes, they will stay with the brood. Remember brood is the most valuable item in the hive. Moving the frame to inside the honey frames will protect the brood until it hatches and then beyond the honey frames and scratching it will get them to empty it.
Jim