Hi Joanne…back to your original post…it’s unfortunate that this damage occurred at this time of year…i.e. after the honeyflow and just before winter. Your bees will not repair the damaged frame now unless you do some supplementary feeding (sugar syrup)…or you could save a full frame from your or another beekeeper’s hive and place it in the space. Your idea of an in hive feeder also has merit as I know some commercial beekeepers in my area (Alberta) winter their colonies with feeders in place. Just make sure the brood area is intact (frames moved together) and you should be adding feed if your single brood box doesn’t weigh 50-80 lbs…this is usually done in the month of September as bee dormancy hasn’t set in yet.
May I also recommend that you consider changing over to either plastic foundation or totally molded plastic frames…although politically incorrect, the plastic foundation/frames give you structural integrity that you can rely on that may come in useful down the road.
I am continually rotating brood frames into honey supers and vice-versa and I know I could be courting disaster by using wax foundation frames (especially un-wired) in my extractors…this happens much less frequently with plastic foundation/frames.
Plastic frames also give you the option of reconditioning…so at a certain point in their life you can just scrape the frame content right down to the plastic foundation without damaging the frame…the bees love this and rebuild it with relish.
Often the contents of the frame contain beebread which is an excellent natural supplement and I feed that back to the bees in the fall and spring…in the photo you can see that I left a strip of original brood cells down the center for comparison’s sake.
Living in Canada, you may or may not have issues with bears. The photo shows what happens this time of year. I saw the bear and it was huge…walked right by my extracting room when I was working. I had left a stack of empty honey supers outside overnight but they were very close to a running generator so I thought the bear would stay away…wrong! The solid molded plastic frames had been worked over by the bear but absolutely no damage to the frame other than comb being crushed. In my mind this was the ultimate test.
For a biological control of varroa, I use one drone foundation bait comb (you can purchase plastic foundation that is drone cell size which varroa prefer or build your own) on the outside position of my brood box.
I hope this may help…and good luck with getting that hive through winter.