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cross combing

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New Bee

Joined: 20 Aug 2015
Posts: 3
Location: netherlands

PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2016 4:40 pm    Post subject: cross combing Reply with quote

Hello everybody,

I am a bit worried and would like to ask for your help. I just opened my hive today to check if they still had space enough. They didn't they had built like crazy, which was a good thing.

But what happened and worries me, is that they didn't build the comb straight. It seems the honey cells are very big and they attach them to two bars, partially or wholly. The bars I tried to correct had honey on the top and brood thereunder. The only problem were the honey cells, which I broke trying to get the combs out. It is a mess in the hive, there is honey everywhere, and I saw it dripping down into the hive. I didn't damage the brood as those are not that thick of a comb as the honey comb is ( except that there is probably honey on it now)

I put the comb back but I am worried that is not a good idea as the smell might lead to robbery ?

Anybody has an advice on what I can best do now ?

Lian from the Netherlands.
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Site Admin

Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1857
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2016 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sounds like your top bars may not be wide enough or the comb guides are perhaps not good enough. You may find that you some shims (extra thin top bars about 7mm wide) put next to or in between the overlapping honey comb bars will help them to get back on line and then going on to wider top bars after that.

As regards the spilt honey, there isn't a lot you can do except reduce the entrance for a few days and/or maybe peg a sheet over the hive to stop the smell of honey from carrying on the breeze. The bees should clean it up pretty quickly though.

The extra wide honey comb usually occurs when there is a really good honey flow and they have more nectar to store than comb available, so they draw the honey cells longer. If you had some drawn comb that you could give them, that might alleviate the problem. Otherwise, shims are the way to go and then wider bars.
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Adam Rose
Silver Bee

Joined: 09 Oct 2011
Posts: 589
Location: Manchester, UK

PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2016 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barbara's advice is, as ever, good advice.

If you don't have some straight drawn comb, I would consider making a 3/4 length follower board. Then the new wider bars, or the existing bars plus shims, can go the other side of the follower. You should find that the bees start again with straight comes on the other side of the 3/4 length follower. If the new bars are wide enough to take a full honey bar, you should be OK from then on. You can eventually remove the 3/4 length follower if you want to.

Maybe you can wait until the autumn or spring to sort out the cross combing. One way to do that might be to simply harvest all the cross combed bars.

Where are the entrance holes in your hive ? I ask this because this is where side entrances are useful, since you can still inspect the brood nest from the other end. If you have end entrances and the first comb is right up against the end, then that's a lot harder.

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New Bee

Joined: 05 Jun 2016
Posts: 1
Location: Sarasota, FL

PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 10:36 pm    Post subject: full medium super all honey all crosscombed Reply with quote

Hi. I got some bees from a friend last year...I'm doing terribly here. I went out of town for two months and came back to a terrible mess. My friend sold me two hives which are both frameless. One hive was a medium and other a deep each with bottom boards and perfectly drawn frames. Then...I got started on it.

I put two deeps on top and they are both cross combed. I tried adding a medium super to one of the hives, which now has a medium-deep-medium mess going on. I haven't seen inside the bottom box in a year. The medium super I put on top is full of honey but entirely cross combed. It's beautiful, but a big mess. I just now took it off to survey the damage. Now there is honey everywhere.

I really don't know a thing about beekeeping. This was basically my first day. I've extracted a medium super before but that was a year ago and I've kinda forgotten everything my friend taught me.

Any suggestions on how to get the bees out of the cross-combed medium super so that I can start it over? I just want to start all over. I have a deep bottom ready to go. I just don't know what to do.

I'm new to this forum but I'm here because I will not be using chemicals. I'm an all organic landscaper in Florida. Please, any help is greatly appreciated.
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