Welcome, Guest

Author Topic: ?Cleaning? Brood Comb  (Read 155 times)

Offline crmauch

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 54
  • Gender: Male
?Cleaning? Brood Comb
« on: July 30, 2020, 01:49:46 am »
When I moved my swarm trap hive to it's new home in the top-bar hive, I ended up with some damaged comb.  The honey comb I extracted, but I froze the brood comb.  I want to reuse the brood comb next Spring in my swarm traps.  The comb had capped brood.  To use this comb, I assume I need to clear out this brood, so it doesn't turn foul -- is this correct? 

Assuming the brood comb needs cleaned out, what is best way to do this? 

Chris
Chris

Offline Acebird

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 6010
  • Gender: Male
  • Practicing non intervention beekeeping
Re: ?Cleaning? Brood Comb
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2020, 08:49:10 am »
Five minutes in a chicken coup.
Brian Cardinal
Just do it

Online AR Beekeeper

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 356
  • Gender: Male
Re: ?Cleaning? Brood Comb
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2020, 09:44:07 am »
If you intend to keep the comb frozen until you place it on a colony, you need to do nothing.  The day before you place it in the new colony take a stiff brush and scrub the frozen comb just enough to remove the cappings on any sealed cells.  By the next day the comb will have warmed and all you need to do is place the comb in the brood area of the new colony.  The bees will remove any pupa/larvae in the cells and will clean the cells to make them ready for use.

If you can't store the comb for a period in a freezer, then brush the cappings off and wash the pupa out of the cells, let the comb dry and store using moth protection.  This is more difficult than leaving in the freezer and the comb often develops an odor, but when placed in a colony the bees clean and use it.

Offline crmauch

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 54
  • Gender: Male
Re: ?Cleaning? Brood Comb
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2020, 11:14:36 am »
The comb isn't planned for an active colony, but for an empty swarm trap.  I've always thought lack of any brood comb was a big part of why I wasn't successful in swarm trapping.  I plan to put 2 small sections of brood comb in each swarm trap.  I thought if the comb was too fouled with dead brood it might instead act as a repellent.  I've been trying to extract the brood with a small wire with a hooked end.  Some of the brood have come out easily, but others have come out in a gooey mess, and some is left behind, and a number of cells have been damaged.  I might try washing them out as suggested.

Unfortunately Brian, I don't have chickens.  Wouldn't they rip apart the comb? 

And sorry I just can't resist (I hope you won't be offended):  To the chickens:  'Viva la revoluci?n!'

 Chris
Chris

Offline Acebird

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 6010
  • Gender: Male
  • Practicing non intervention beekeeping
Re: ?Cleaning? Brood Comb
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2020, 08:45:32 am »
Wouldn't they rip apart the comb? 
Yes of course but you are going to use it for a swarm which will repair it in a heartbeat.  Question:  Is the entire comb filled with brood?  I wouldn't use that one.
Brian Cardinal
Just do it

Offline Bob Wilson

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 533
  • Gender: Male
Re: ?Cleaning? Brood Comb
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2020, 09:19:00 am »
You don't need the whole comb. A swarm of bees will draw new comb fast. They don't need it.
Just cut the entire comb out or scrape it clean. The little comb left on it along the edges, and all the propolis along the edges will give you plenty of old hive smell.