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Do you change your comb regularly?

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jimbeekeeper 

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Hi

I am just interested in what other peoples thoughts are on the life span or maximum number of sessions use a frame of foundation (brood or super) should be?

Due to other reasons (expanding and selling nucs) I will be adding predominantly new foundation to my hives / AS in 2009.

Or do you just keep on using it until is is black?

Jim
 

Polyanwood 

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I'm not worrying about changing super foundation. I use a queen excluder, and it has never had brood in it, and I never do treatments with supers on, so wax shouldn't be contaminated. So unless it is full of waxmoth it should last years.

I plan to change about a third of the brood foundation every year, because it could have nosema spores in it. Do you think I am being too fussy?
(Yes, I know you think I am disease obsessed PH)
 

Finman 

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I change when sunlight does not come through.

I keep dark combs in the middle of brood are and when they rae too dark, I discard them.

There was a period when I gived only light combs to brood area. It happened that one day all my brood combs were as black. It was hard job to renew them at once.
 
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Finman 

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I plan to change about a third of the brood foundation every year, because it could have nosema spores in it. Do you think I am being too fussy?
)
You think that nosema is in every third comb? You must own some comb lotto?

Frames will be broken and spoiled many other ways than getting old.
 
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Polyanwood 

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Interesting Finman. Have you got evidence that nosema spores are equally distributed in all cells? OK so we know there are nosema spores in pollen and we know there are nosema spores if infected bees defecate. I thought even with high nosema loads, there is not so much in honey stores?

I mark frames with year, so I know how old they are, but as your, "if you can see sunlight through them rule is easier.". I might adopt it.
 

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A local group near me are going to change all brood comb over the season every year starting 2009.
 

jimbeekeeper 

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I think changing brood over regularly (every year) has so many benefits, like reduction of build-up of diseases and toxins plus it keeps the little madam's busy making drawing out the foundation.

Its not like it is wasted, the waxed can be used for making things or simply exchanged for new foundation.
 

Finman 

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I think changing brood over regularly (every year) has so many benefits, .

Makes no sence.

When bees draw one Langstroth box foundation, they make 1 kg wax and it needs 6-8 kg honey + pollen.

Would you calculate how much it makes money?

And what diseases are you preventing?
What toxics you have in your combs?

Do you act according believes or according information?

It means that you have alarm actions on even if you have no alarm.
Brainless job.
 
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SteveH 

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Like Polyanwood, I keep super frames for as long as possible but aim to replace a third of brood frames each year. This year I started marking the top bars with the year. However, I do replace early any frames that have had excessive chalk brood or more drone brood.

I did my first complete Bailey comb exchange this year - moved from standard national to 14x12. With a little feeding they soon drew it out. I'll be doing the same next year as I plan to move most colonies to 14x12. I'll then keep the best standard frames for swarms and the like and melt/recover the rest.
 

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I agree with Finman,If I found chalkbrood I would re-queen.
 

jimbeekeeper 

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what about salt on the top of the bars?

Or is Finman going to tell me that is just a waste of salt I should just it put on my chips?:hat:
 

Finman 

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what about salt on the top of the bars?

Or is Finman going to tell me that is just a waste of salt I should just it put on my chips?:hat:
Every reliable research tells that there is no chemical or medicin agaist chalkbrood. It is totally your head ace if you do not believe it, - and your bees.

- But put salt on fish too.

I had a bad chalkbrood in my apiary 15 years. Then I byed new queens and I succeed to get a genome in my apiary which tolerate chalkrood. Now things are OK. Hard work to do that. Many professional queen sellers have chalkdrood sensitive queens.

********************

The secret weapon was contaminated mating nucs and frames.

I reared queens and I killed every new queen which brood showed sensitivenes to disease.

.
 
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SteveH 

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Well, this was only my third season and the only new queens I had were from swarm cells - I'm planning to have a go at proper queen rearing next year.

I had a visit from the seasonal bee inspector this year (after registering on beebase) and he suggested sprinkling salt on the top bars. He reckoned it helps get the bees into cleaning mode such that they remove chalk brood more quickly. I suspect my chalk brood problem was also down to damp - the site I moved to had more tree cover and at the time I was using solid floors. I've had less chalk brood since moving to OMF's.
 

Finman 

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and he suggested sprinkling salt on the top bars. .
He have wrong knowledge. There too acid and what ever stories among beekeeprs.


I suspect my chalk brood problem was also down to damp - the site I moved to had more tree cover and at the time I was using solid floors. I've had less chalk brood since moving to OMF's.
Chalkbrood hits again when weathers are cold and rainy 2 weeks. Bees loose they workers and they cannot keep brood area warm.

Chalkbrood burst when brood catch cold. That is why you may find one sick frame. It is a frame which you have kept outside and larvae caught cold.

Read here: http://www.spc.int/rahs/Manual/BEES/CHALKBROODE.HTM
http://www.rirdc.gov.au/reports/HBE/03-107.pdf

.
 
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