Used super comb quality.

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Nordicul 

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Hi All.
Up until last year, when I finally got super combs drawn and filled (3 supers) my concern had only been how to get the bees to drawn out said comb.
Now that I have it, I realise that there is more to it and would appreciate any tricks or tips to improve the quality of the used and drawn comb I have.

First off. The bees when drawing out and filling said comb from foundation, did not do it evenly, it had a wavey effect as it bulged into its neighbour or worse still holes..is that normal and or preventable?

2. As you can see from a couple of photos some used combs are a mess, will the bees correct these, can i correct it now as the wax is brittle now, or would I be better back
with foundation?frames 1.png

3.Some of mess is attributed to me from spinning too hard and pushing out comb onto the spinner support frames...room for improvement there.
I'm also wondering if I'd have been better to have cut off capings rather than use a hot air gun, as cutting might have given me a more level surface. How do you heat gun users manage the levels?

I'd let the bees clean up the wet combs in hive and then stored them dry overwinter.

So again any advice welcome. Tia Nordicul
 

Antipodes 

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Hi All.
Up until last year, when I finally got super combs drawn and filled (3 supers) my concern had only been how to get the bees to drawn out said comb.
Now that I have it, I realise that there is more to it and would appreciate any tricks or tips to improve the quality of the used and drawn comb I have.

First off. The bees when drawing out and filling said comb from foundation, did not do it evenly, it had a wavey effect as it bulged into its neighbour or worse still holes..is that normal and or preventable?

2. As you can see from a couple of photos some used combs are a mess, will the bees correct these, can i correct it now as the wax is brittle now, or would I be better back
with foundation?View attachment 25356

3.Some of mess is attributed to me from spinning too hard and pushing out comb onto the spinner support frames...room for improvement there.
I'm also wondering if I'd have been better to have cut off capings rather than use a hot air gun, as cutting might have given me a more level surface. How do you heat gun users manage the levels?

I'd let the bees clean up the wet combs in hive and then stored them dry overwinter.

So again any advice welcome. Tia Nordicul
G'day Tia,
A knife can keep things more even, not to say the hot air gun method is not legitimate etc.
What I do is make up langgy frames and stretch wire across the frames, embedding locally produced beeswax into them. I use a battery to heat the wire and then a crimper run along the wire to provide extra tension. The wire holds the wax foundation and helps stop it warping and carrying on..and also strong in the extractor. I think in Ireland you can probably buy pre-wired and fitted foundation sheets.
To salvage those combs/frames, you could try a thin bread knife each side of the comb, to shave off the excess, but you'll probably get crumbling. I've never used a heat gun on cappings, but perhaps they just do it quickly so as to only just melt the caps.
 
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drex 

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If you want to level them up, use a sharp knife now while it is still cold and the wax brittle. The frame on the right looks as if it has a part that has two layers? Did you use foundation,? what spacing method did you use? how many frames in the box?
 

Nordicul 

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Hi,
Thanks Tasi man and Drex for your replies. Your both on the same page when you say I could shave off excess.

Q, is the best time normally to do this after uncapping while frames wet and wax soft, or as now before putting them on when supering?

Re your Q’s Drex...they all had foundation, but some had been half drawn or so from earlier years.
10 frames in a box, spacing method?...just ten in a box or I may have taken one out when it was getting jammers!

Nothing yet from the hot air gun folks Re leveling comb.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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is the best time normally to do this after uncapping while frames wet and wax soft, or as now before putting them on when supering?
Either - but If I need to do it I tend to do it in the spring when the wax is still brittle - doesn't have to be perfect, the bees will sort it.
 

ericbeaumont 

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what spacing method did you use? how many frames in the box?
Something is not right here, Tia, because if frames are butted up firmly wild comb is unlikely to appear. Saw away any rubbish or excess (cold and brittle comb works best) and ram those frames up tight and fill the box.
10 frames in a box, spacing method?...just ten in a box or I may have taken one out when it was getting jammers!
Confusion on your part will allow bees to get creative to their hearts content. :)
 

pargyle 

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I think your frame spacing was a bit too wide ... the free comb built alongside the top bar gives you the clue. As above, saw the excess comb off level with the frames, the bees will sort out and build in from what you leave behind but ... your frame spacing needs to be closer. Are these home made frames ? If so that may be part of the problem .. what size (width) of top bars and frame sides did you use ? DId you use castellations in your supers and how many frames did they have ?

Manley frames are good in supers ...
 

drdrday 

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I uncap with a heat gun and don't find it contributes to messy frames. In fact I prefer it because it keeps my frames neater than when I use an uncapping fork or knife.
I think what you have is less a problem with the uncapping and more the drawing of the foundation. Perhaps an issue with the spacing - leading to that frame with the layered looking comb?
Also, as you get more practice with the extractor you get much better at spinning frames without causing damage. Don't forget the bees will tend to neaten up any mess themselves though. Personally, I'd probably start again with frames that have that layered looking discontinuous comb though.
 

Nordicul 

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Hi,
Thanks, Eric,Pargyle and Drdrday.....yep it was surely confusion on my part that led to these results, however I’ll take on board all your points.

I’ll clean them up now discarding the weirdest ,leaving bees to fine tune.
I did use Manley frames...photo reduction (like bees ) caused a bit of distortion to frame pic. Slider used not castellated, I don’t dare to ask which is better 😊
I’ll will though make sure to keep frames packed in this year no space for creative escapades.
And I’ll give it another year (fingers crossed) with the hot air gun.

Thanks again
Nordicul
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Manleys are the original self spacing frames, they should always be packed tightly together and no need for castellations - there's no real need to lift them out to inspect in a honey super anyway, you can see how advance they are in filling by looking betweek the top bars.
One of the reasons I don't like Manleys is that they are spaced ten to a box, if you are using all foundation then it gives the bees a wee bit too much space to be creative in (as you have found :) )
 

Gilberdyke John 

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Manleys are the original self spacing frames, they should always be packed tightly together and no need for castellations - there's no real need to lift them out to inspect in a honey super anyway, you can see how advance they are in filling by looking betweek the top bars.
One of the reasons I don't like Manleys is that they are spaced ten to a box, if you are using all foundation then it gives the bees a wee bit too much space to be creative in (as you have found :) )
They can be a bugger to insert in some radial extractors too
 

bobba 

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Manleys are the original self spacing frames, they should always be packed tightly together and no need for castellations - there's no real need to lift them out to inspect in a honey super anyway, you can see how advance they are in filling by looking betweek the top bars.
One of the reasons I don't like Manleys is that they are spaced ten to a box, if you are using all foundation then it gives the bees a wee bit too much space to be creative in (as you have found :) )

Manleys can be used with castellations as I have done so. But you must first put 10 in a box and get them drawn nice, then after extracting you can remove one and put on 9 frame castellated spacers

The advantage of 9 frames is the super will hold more honey.

But don't start out with 9 un-drawn or you will have problems.

(I know you likely already know this JBM, I am not trying to school you, I am adding for the benefit of others)
 

holmbee 

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In my Langstroth supers i use Hoffman frames and start them at 10 frames (full for Langstroths) and once drawn and being filled but uncapped I reduce to 9 frames that then become slightly thicker, holding more honey with the same capping. All fit perfectly into my nine frame radial extractor which then works well as I process one super at a time.
 

ericbeaumont 

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Manleys can be used with castellations as I have done so.
Can't quite see the benefit of paying extra for Manleys, again for castellations and combining the two.

Yes, 9-frame castellated boxes hold more (in good years, 4.5 lbs/SN frame) but in the end I found it too much of a fiddle and converted to Manleys rammed up tight with a board at the end, or a cut-down frame, to fill the space and hold them so. That way, carrying boxes out of a field held no fear of frames slapping about and leaking.

Not had wild comb in-between Manleys.
 

pargyle 

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Here you go, Philip: a 9-frame Lega universal cage that takes anything, inc. screens. I use one for Manleys and all sorts.
Thanks Eric - that looks a nice bit of kit although mine is a 15 frame ... the Manleys fit but they are very tight to get in the slots that hold the frames ... one of these days I will shave a bit off the edge of the manley frame top bars - only needs a tiny amount to make them fit ...
 

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