Brace comb

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Firegazer 

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Here's another question for the beginners' book . . .

When my nuc was made up, GWW used some frames from the nuc the swarm had occupied and a few others from other hives (stores and capped brood).

Because the frames came from different hives, they were drawn out to different extents. In each hive, the bee-spaces were probably maintained between the adjacent frames, but not by perfect parallel comb faces.

When these frames were combined (in my poly Lang), the comb faces didn't fit together perfectly and give bee-space gaps everywhere. When I inspected yesterday, there were a number of places where the central (most busy) frames were brace-combed together - I guess the gaps were too large or too small in places.

I forced the frames apart to inspect, tearing the small areas of bracing apart in doing so. When I put them together again, I was worried about pinning bees between the two sticky-out bits of comb on the mating faces, so I pushed them together again very slowly.

Question is: what should I do next time? Shave them flat with the hive tool? Do the same as I did this time? Something else?

Any help appreciated, as always.

FG
 

Firegazer 

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Hmmm. 75 views and no answers tells me this is a tricky one . . .

FG
 

Polyanwood 

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Shaving them flat is a messy job, especially if comb has stores in it but I have certainly used a serrated knife to trim comb on frames before, with some success. Also bees sometimes tidy up the frames themselves.

Easiest way is just to replace comb week by week, replacing wonky comb with foundation.

An answer if not the answer Firegazer.
 

Cazza 

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I never worry about this, just push them together slowly as you did. The bees move out of the way, I've never seen a squashed one!

I'm sure other people will have differing views but I really don't think it's worth fussing about unless the brace is large, in which case cut it off.

Cazza
 

Firegazer 

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Cheers, Bee Dudes. I'll just be gentle and hope they get the message.

FG
 

m100 

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Find the queen, ensure she is on a another frame.

Fit a 'drone trapping frame'

https://secure.thorne.co.uk/popup/images/healthl21.jpg

over a specific wonky frame. The workers will emerge and the queen won't be able to lay in it.

Then 21 days later it will be empty of brood so remove it, and mash the comb to mix the nectar / honey with the wax and place it in a rapid feeder above the crownboard with the inverted cup removed (and with the cover fitted) In a few days the bees will have robbed out all the sugars and you'll have dry wax flakes.

Work your way through all the frames in turn
 
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Midland Beek 

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Stick a drawing pin into the top bar of any frame you consider to be defective. Aim to work these duff frames out of the hive over time. Perhaps these could be exchanged for some foundation next spring?

In the meantime, and while the duff frames remain in the hive, arrange them 'by eye' before you close up the hive. Aim to get the duff frames at the edges of the hive, thus making their replacement with foundation easier.
 

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