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jimbeekeeper 

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Hi

I am looking to do a bit of cut comb honey for this year, and have seen these.


http://www.beeosphere.com/

Has anyone used them?

Also would it be possible to do cut comb from starter strips of foundation, a bit like a TBH frame?

Thanks
 

jimbeekeeper 

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Just phoned thornes, they have stopped selling them + they old make them for langstrough hives.:(
 

mrDoe 

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Hi Jim

I've done some cut comb and section before. I use individual plastic containers for cut comb and special thin foundation, normal foundation is too thick and makes the comb too chewy. Natural comb should be ok as long as it has NOT had brood reared in it or pollen stored in it (some customers might like pollen if you get the odd cut comb with it in)

If it's sections your interested in doing, they can be quite hard to produce but I've sold them for as much as £15 each. Dave Cushman has a good page on producing sections. I'd follow his section box design, extract honey off a flow and as soon as the flow finished put the section box on your strongest hive and feed them back the honey you extracted; it's the bast way to get them to draw and fill a good number of sections.

Either way it's a premium product that gets a good price. You can use any scraps from cut comb to make jarred chunk honey, which often sells for more than plain honey.

Hope that helps


Peter
Cambridge UK
 
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Polyanwood 

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I'm going to try to use them in one super this year. I'll let you know how i get on. K
 

Poly Hive 

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Feeding honey to produce sections is pretty much cheating in my book.

For CC. Strong colony, good flow, and inbetween drawn combs place your CC frame. You can economise on the CC foundation by cutting it diagonally but the bees tend to draw out the blank part with drone comb which can spoil the look of it.

For cutting it make a template, I use ply, and shape it to match the top of the CC container, place worst side towards you and with a sharp knife cut around it. A sticky job.

For sections pretty much as above but wooden ones are a REAL struggle to get finished. Rund ones are much easier.

I tried feeding heather once to get some sections finished and it was a complete waste of time. But that was my experience only.

PH
 

mrDoe 

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one half of normal yield will be consumed for wax making and comb building.

.
Hi Finman

I think it is a popular belief that using foundation means the bees will use less honey to make the wax needed to store a crop away and therefore you will get less honey if you don't use foundation. However, I don't think that is the case. During a flow the wax makers will be gorged with honey and their wax glands will be secreting so much wax you can often find the floor covered with unused wax 'scales'.


Peter
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mrDoe 

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Feeding honey to produce sections is pretty much cheating in my book.

<snip>

For sections pretty much as above but wooden ones are a REAL struggle to get finished. Rund ones are much easier.

I tried feeding heather once to get some sections finished and it was a complete waste of time. But that was my experience only.

PH
Hi PH


Cheating? Well, I'd be the last to say you're not entitled to your opinion, but it's an easy accusation to make without explaining your objection.

Exactly how is the customer being cheated, do you dispute that the end result will be a section of honey? Or, having tried this 'cheating' method yourself unsuccessfully, are you simply mollifying your disappointment by now labeling it as foul play, or has it become cheating since you tried it?



Best regards

Peter
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Finman 

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Hi Finman

I think it is a popular belief that using foundation means the bees will use less honey to make the wax needed to store a crop away and therefore you will get less honey if you don't use foundation.

However, I don't think that is the case. During a flow the wax makers will be gorged with honey and their wax glands will be secreting so much wax you can often find the floor covered with unused wax 'scales'.


Peter
Cambridge UK
Sorry to say , it does not go that way at all. You see it here http://www.honeybeeworld.com/diary/articles/fdnvsdrawn.htm

I have heard that argument many times before.

And it woud be a huge loss of energy to bees if they make wax scales for nothing.
How many kilos you have found those scales?

If a hive build one langstroth box foundations, it needs new wax 1 kg. How big woud be the heap of scales if the weight is 1000 g.

The weight of foundations is 100 g per piece, and 10 frames 1000 g.

.
 
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mrDoe 

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Hi Finman


An interesting article, thanks.

I'm not sure I agree with all of it though. It recommends changing out just 10% of old comb each year (at a pinch 20%) and suggests new operations source old comb from 3rd parties to start off a new venture, stating all diseases so transferred can be dealt with, apart from AFB; which makes me wonder how they know for sure the old comb (with honey and pollen if possible) does NOT contain AFB.

I'm happy to consider honey yields might go down with wax production, but I'd like to see similar conclusions from non US commercial outfits as well, which corroborate their results. I'd also like to know what their feed regime is for established colonies and new packages that have comb to draw.



Best regards

Peter
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Finman 

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Hi Finman


An interesting article, thanks.

I'm not sure I agree with all of it though.UK
Heh heh. It is only your problem what you agree. I loose nothing. :)

You was not able/willing to read that reseach what it tells.

* First lesson is if you use wax strips or foundations ---- it is same as you produce comb honey.

* Second lesson is how these alternatives affect on your final profit.

* how much you need to getl honey that you rise above prime cost.


.
 
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Polyanwood 

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I agree with you Finman. Therefore price at which we sell cut combs must reflect the addtional cost to produce it.
 

mrDoe 

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Heh heh. It is only your problem what you agree. I loose nothing. :)

You was not able/willing to read that reseach what it tells.

I did read the article, thank you, and I think you are straying into deep water telling me what I am able/willing to read, or not!

I do think articles on the internet have to be considered as a whole before you start taking specific details as accurate facts. There are many websites full of supposed facts that are total rubbish, written by people with vested interests in particular subjects. I'm not saying that this has happened in this case. However, before accepting their specific results I'd personally like to know more details of their experiment and have their results duplicated. That's how science works!

You also said that for the bees to make wax unnecessarily would be a huge waste of effort on their part. Are you suggesting that the bees "decide" how much wax is needed and only make what is required? I hope not, but that seems to be what you are implying. I'd suggest that for millions of years bees have evolved to make enough wax to build enough natural comb to store away whatever flow of excess nectar they are able to collect. Now, suddenly add into the mix a beekeeper that provides them some foundation to use once all the empty comb is filled, and you think they will simply cut back their wax production in recognition of the beekeepers contribution? I think not.


Peter
Cambridge UK

P.S. I do enjoy debating these ideas here, I won't claim to be correct about all things, far from it, and my motivation is only to further my understand of our craft. I also hope my style of writing is inclusive, informative (even when I'm wrong) and courteous!
 

mrDoe 

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I agree with you Finman. Therefore price at which we sell cut combs must reflect the addtional cost to produce it.
Hi Polyanwood


Here in the UK we can get 5 cut comb from one super frame (if using frames of course)

These are top of the head figures which others may wish to take issue with (and are welcomed to) Cut comb can go for about ?3 each = ?15, if you get 3lb of honey from a super frame that sells for ?3.50 = ?10.50.

Personally I have only a few customers who buy cut comb and even fewer who want sections (?15 each)


Best regards


Peter
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Finman 

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P.S. I do enjoy debating these ideas here, !
I simple say that you are wrong. Bees have made millions of years vain job if you are right.

You should know that natural swarm like to go into ready old hive where combs allready exist.
They need not build new ones. As a beekeepers you may give then ready combs.

If bees inhabit an empty cavity, they make all new combs and they need honey and pollen to make wax and handle it into combs.

You claim that when bees find a ready combs they however exrecete wax for vain.

You shopuld know that bees are able to coltrol their wax production. They build walls only to combs when honey surface goes up.
They do not build first ready combs and then fill cells with honey.

They capp only the cells if the cells are full on honey.

If you know biological basics, you know that creatures need food and energy to run biological processes.
If you feed sugar syrup for winter, bees loose 25% of sugar when they handle the food and cap it.



.
 
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mrDoe 

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I simple say that you are wrong. Bees have made millions of years vain job if you are right.

How so Finman?

You are very quick with the derisive one liners, but all too often don't back up your accusations with anything that resembles an explanation.

My contention is that for millions of years the bees have made what they needed in the way of wax, how is that a vain job on their part, and that they are NOT able to simply switch off that production rate because they don't need so much when provided with foundation, as you've stated . I might be right or wrong and am interested in knowing which is the case.

Wax producing bees that are gorged with honey produce wax, automatically. When you look at the floor of a hive during a nectar flow there are lots of unused wax scales there, why is that Finman, if as you claim bees are conscious of what is needed and only produce what's required?



Peter
Cambridge UK

P.S. Maybe I'm in error for trying to understand what you decree, and should adopt your approach...... So?. How exactly do they know when they have made enough Wax Finman?
 

Polyanwood 

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I thought someone told me that it takes 6lb of honey to make 1lb of wax. I that true?

If so the cost of sections and cut comb should be even more.
 

mrDoe 

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I thought someone told me that it takes 6lb of honey to make 1lb of wax. I that true?

If so the cost of sections and cut comb should be even more.
Hi Polyanwood

Yes, that is broadly true.

However, a nectar gorged wax maker produces wax as long as it is gorged with nectar. So in the morning as nectar starts to come in the wax producers start making wax making wax. Maybe they have comb to put their harvest in or maybe the available comb is full and new comb must be drawn, with or without foundation.

Now, given foundation the bees pull out part of the foundation as well as add fresh wax to it, so they are able to build more comb with less wax during the day, than if they were building natural comb. My point is that for millions of years they have evolved to be able to build enough comb in a day to store what they are bringing in, however much that may be (depending on the strength of the colony) But given foundation will those millions of years of evolution mean they will produce more than required? A natural died out feral colony will usually get robbed out by other colonies and then cleaned out by wax moth (so reducing the disease load og the nest site) Not often will a swarm move in straight away, as often dead out will occur during the winter and the moth will get to work before the swarming season (of course there will be exceptions to this)

Now, I'm not saying I am right and Finman is wrong, I am quite prepared to be wrong but require more than faith, or an edict, to understand where I am wrong. Likewise, I am happy do explain why I think a particular thing and not just expect others to hang on my every word!


What I would like to understand is, what is the mechanism by which Finman thinks the bees can control their wax making? Even if some wax makers are recruited to other duties they will still be excreting wax which means there is no gain in honey production by giving them drawn comb, as they will still produce as much wax, even if they don't use that wax.



Best regards

Peter
Cambridge UK
 
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Finman 

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Wax producing bees that are gorged with honey produce wax, automatically. When you look at the floor of a hive during a nectar flow there are lots of unused wax scales there,[/ QUOTE]

I have looked them 46 years and I have not seen much scales.

When you feed bees with sugar they "produce wax, automatically"

Huge nonsence.
 

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