Changing comb – Part 3 – Season 6

In the last post, I described how I removed the old comb from my four deep double super beehives. I still had three hives in regular supers, which needed to have their old foundation removed. So, in this post, I am going to talk about them.

I start with placing a clean bottom board and deep super next to the beehive, which needs to be disassembled.

1. I start with placing a clean bottom board and deep super next to the beehive, which needs to be disassembled.

 

In this particular beehive, the bees did not even start building foundation in the top box. This was alarming to me.

In this particular beehive, the bees hardly started on building the comb in the top box. This was alarming to me. But, as I realized later, each colony ignored the top box. Two of the colonies were cramped in the bottom deep supers, but still had hardly moved onto the frames in the top medium super. I decided that the heat must have been the real culprit here. As we had had no rain for months, and it has been unusually hot, the bees simply did not have an ability to ventilate their hive. That is the reason I go to deep double supers each and every year: they are just like top bar hives, but more manageable for the Southern climate.

I removed the second box to the side (and set it on my outer, telescopic, cover)

2. I removed the second box to the side (and set it on my outer, telescopic, cover)

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3. I am looking for fresh comb and the queen. I found the queen and placed her frame (it had an old comb, but I would remove it later) in the new beehive.

 

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4. After moving all fresh comb frames with the queen into the new deep super, I add new frames for the colony to finish building it. Then, I brush the bees off the old frames (which are promptly placed in the plastic container).

 

Some frames contain fresh comb and honey. Those frames will go in the new super. The old comb, with honey, goes for processing

Some frames, like this one, contain fresh comb and honey. Those frames will go in the new super. The old comb, with honey, goes for processing. Any old comb can be cut out and placed in the top shallow super for feeding. The bees will move the honey down.

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5. The inner cover is set on the top of the deep super, then the shallow honey super is set on the top of it. The hive is ready for the winter.

After inspecting the next two hives, I found out that only one of them had a queen (the other one had a very small colony). It was nice that both hives were on the same stand. I joined the two colonies, by setting only one new hive, removing fresh comb only from the colony, which had a queen, and placing it in the middle of the hive. I brushed the bees from the other colony onto the inner cover as you can see below. I sprayed them with sugar water, for better acceptance. Although not all of them will be accepted, some will be, and it is better than sure death. All foundation from the queenless colony was taken away. I did not see any signs of disease. I did dust both colonies and gave them syrup. 

After inspecting the next two hives, I found out that only one of them had a queen (the other one had a very small colony). It was nice that both hives were on the same stand. I joined the two colonies, by setting only one new hive, removing fresh comb only from the colony, which had a queen, and placing it in the middle of the hive.

 I brushed the bees from the other colony onto the inner cover as you can see below. I sprayed them with sugar water, for better acceptance. Although not all of them will be accepted, some will be, and it is better than sure death. All foundation from the queenless colony was taken away. I did not see any signs of disease. I did dust both colonies and gave them syrup.

I brushed the bees from the other colony onto the inner cover as you can see below. I sprayed them with sugar water, for better acceptance. Although not all of them will be accepted, some will be, and it is better than sure death. All foundation from the queenless colony was taken away. I did not see any signs of disease. I did dust both colonies and gave them syrup.

So, in the beginning of Season 6, I had five colonies. I now have six going into the winter. In the next post on Changing Comb, I will tell how I removed the old comb from the bottom super. The post on winterizing the beehives for this season is coming soon.

 

 

 

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