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Cross Combing - Procedure for Restoring Comb to Frame


Hive Inspection 20160602

Well, an unhappy second inspection at week four after package installation. Multiple issues encountered. I’ll keep each of these issues in a separate thread for easier future reference and to make it easier for helpful advice givers to respond.

So this inspection bore the unwelcome sight of significant cross combing.
Trying to separate (slowly, gently, prying with hive tool) ended with comb falling out of two middle frames that were about 2/3 full and adhered to top and one side of their frames.

  • After my one week inspection after package install, I decided to keep “hands off” for the ensuing three weeks after reading a number of threads about “too much for the new hive” interfering inspections. ??Should I have inspected more often? If so, how often?

  • How do I “evacuate” the comb and frame of bees in order to “repair” using the rubber band method of re-installing the comb? I feel I handled the bees on the comb too much while I tried to insert the comb into the rubber band loops.


I have a long boning knife in my kit. It is useful for dealing with things like this. Allows a more delicate touch.


I put starter strips in empty frames. That’s just a thin strip of foundation, just broad enough to be fixed to the first wire. This gives the bees a clue on where and how to build the comb. they do use the wires also. I’ve seen them clustering on the top bar, the cluster hanging down and holding on to the wire. So far no cross combs in my hives.


Cross-combing will be difficult to remedy. What I would do is start at one end, do each frame at a time & only try to save the worker comb. Place that in the empty frames nice & straight. If you decide to go with wax of wax coated plastic foundation, use that on the remaining frames. Put all the frames with brood in the middle.

Be sure not to allow the brood comb to touch the brood comb of the next frames when replacing the frames.

You may decide to consume the honey from the remaining comb or feed it back to the bees.

I would check on them after a few days, then once a week for a while.