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Freshly drawn comb wax - question

It has been many years since I ate some honeycomb. I remember it being waxy and chewy.
Last night, I inspected our week old hives. One of the new frames (foundationless) was partially drawn out. In the middle, was a small section of comb perpendicular to the frame. I cut it out leaving a small gap between the comb that was correct. After finishing, I decided to eat that small section that I had cut out. It seemed rather dry and crumblely.
Is that normal (not how I remember) ?
Is that indicative of any kind of issue ?

I don’t much like eating wax, but it can be crumbly. It gets crumblier if you freeze it. For me, it has a crumblier mouth-feel if there isn’t much honey in it. It doesn’t mean that there is a problem with the wax or the bees.

If I am going to eat comb honey, I do one of the following:

  1. Toast some English muffins or crusty bread (baguettes are excellent), then smear the comb honey onto the hot toast. The wax melts and the texture is more appealing
  2. Put a tiny chunk on top of crackers with a sharp cheese. Sharp cheddar is good, and so are blue cheeses
  3. Cut it into very small chunks (1/4" or ~5mm) and sprinkle it over a crunchy fresh salad

With one of those methods, it can be enjoyable. I still prefer the liquid stuff though! Good thing I have a Flow hive, I suppose… :blush:

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@Dawn_SD
:joy: thanks
You are making me hungry talking about all of that food.
It did have a little honey in it. But, I think it was probably syrup honey. Both hives went through about 3 gal each in a week.
It was a little on the cool side, so, that may have been part of it.
Just wanted to be sure that didn’t indicate some kind of problem.
Thank you

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I have some stray comb between the two center frames because I didn’t remove the queen cage in time. After their rough start, I’ve been wondering if it might be better to leave it as is for now. It’s been 10 days, and I guess the queen has been out and about for about 8 days. In June I’m going to transfer them all to a Flow Hive, and I thought that might be a better time to remove it. Any thoughts about how much disruption I should cause?

@claire_c
I don’t know what the good answer may be, however, I just cut mine out as I encounter it, before the problem expands.

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Your experience sounds normal for new comb that’s not finished. I agree that there’s nothing wrong with it. What you could do if it’s only a small piece is place it in a tea strainer, then press the honey out with a teaspoon. I would do that because wax sticks to my false teeth.

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I’ll give it a try. I’ll have to feed them a fresh baggie tomorrow and my new feeder should be here in a few days. Thanks!

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@JeffH
It was a rather small piece. If you look at the frame, about 1/3 from the left, you can see it, with bees drinking the honey where it split away from the adjacent frame.

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@claire_c
Good luck ! I was worried about making the rest of the comb fall off too. I just started cutting slowly and carefully, next thing I knew the cross-comb just fell off in my hand and I hadn’t even finished cutting. The rest of the comb seemed fine. I did clean up a lot of burr comb on the bottom of the inner cover, top of frames, bottom of frames, and a little bridge comb between frames. It wasn’t too bad. I just worked slowly and carefully.

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Hi Sam, I would try to encourage you to use properly fitted wax foundation. That eliminates the issues you’re having. Plus you’ll get mostly worker comb, which results in a strong population of worker bees.

@JeffH
Thanks Jeff. I may consider that for the future. I would like to find someone experienced in my area to watch installing and wiring. I have seen a couple of videos, but, it’s always better in person. I am sure I could figure it out on my own, but, it may save some headaches to do some observation and learning first.

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I always remove it ASAP, because it never goes away, it just gets worse. If you are going to open the hive to feed them, I would just cut it off then. If it is bigger than the palm of my hand, I would consider “rubber banding” it into an empty frame, so that it isn’t wasted.

:wink:

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That’s a good idea! I’ll let you know how it goes tomorrow! Thanks :slight_smile:

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Hi Sam, you might be able to pick @Doug1 's brains in relation to plastic foundation. His bees do a beautiful job of drawing out the comb on plastic foundation. I haven’t had much luck with it, however I haven’t tried all that hard either. I’m happy to continue on with wax foundation.

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OK, mission accomplished! I carefully cut the crosscomb away from the frames with a ceramic knife and pulled it out. I also did my first official inspection. I found that I like using a feather to brush away bees much more than the bee brush. I didn’t see the queen, but I’m sure she’s in there. About 4 frames were covered solid with bees on both sides. I’m using plastic foundation coated with some Texas beeswax. (Sounds good to me!) The comb had a little pollen and nectar, and I put it in the freezer for safe keeping until I have a foundationless frame to attach it to.

Thanks so much for your good advice. I was a little hesitant (and a little scared) to do it, but I’m glad that’s taken care of!

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Squish it into your flow frames. Itll help draw bees up when you eventually use your super…

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Thanks! That sound like a good idea!

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Nicely done, Claire! I am so proud of you. :blush:

@HappyHibee has a great idea there, but I would keep it frozen until needed. We are going to be inspecting our bees over the next few weeks, and if we have an overpopulated hive, I will let you know in case you want a frame of brood or two… So far it sounds as if your nurturing is working very well though.
:wink:

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@Dawn_SD
That’s awesome !
Very nice of you !

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