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Old comb

 
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Mick Flower
New Bee


Joined: 28 Feb 2019
Posts: 2
Location: Nottingham, UK

PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 4:39 pm    Post subject: Old comb Reply with quote

What is the best way to move comb from the centre of the TBH to the outside edges so that it can be scrapped? I am now going into my third season with a strong TB colony and the comb in the centre of the hive is very dark. My queen is currently laying well but all the sealed brood is in old comb. How can I encourage my bees to build some new comb this season? Thanks.
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Barbara
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1838
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi.
3 year old comb is not a real concern in my opinion. I have some well over 10 years and the hive is still surviving treatment free although the cell size is now becoming unsustainably small, so I will be replacing most of it this year.
It depends to a certain extent on your forage. If you are in an area of agricultural crops where pesticides are being used, you will probably want to cycle it out sooner than later. Old comb is however impregnated with propolis which has health benefits and has the ability to buffer moisture in the hive better than new comb, so it can be advantageous.
To start to cycle it out you can insert a blank bar here and there in the centre of the brood nest once we are properly into Spring and there is a nectar flow (usually when the dandelions start to flower), for them to draw some new brood comb. If you do this over a number of years the older comb will eventually work it's way towards the back of the hive and be used for honey storage and can then be harvested out and inserting new empty bars in between this old drawn comb in the broodnest will encourage them to build nice straight comb in the gap created between the 2 old combs. It does need to be done when the weather is reasonably warm and there is a nectar flow to enable them to build the comb.
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Mick Flower
New Bee


Joined: 28 Feb 2019
Posts: 2
Location: Nottingham, UK

PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you , Barbara, for such a detailed and knowledgeable response. You have given me the reassurance that I need and I now feel confident that I don't need to worry too much about the potential disease problem in old cone. Many thanks. Mick
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