Urban beekeeping in New Mexico's largest city.
I was checking my TBH and the ladies have been hard at work. Unfortunately an enter bar of comb came off the bar and fell in the hive as i tried to lift the bar. I hadn't lifted the bar more than 2 inches, majority of the comb was still in the hive. What should I do? Re-attach? If so, how?
You might try creating a basket if you have a spare bar. Use chicken wire to create the basket. Put the detached comb in the basket and let the bees attach it to the bar.
Thanks for the reply. I certainly will try this. I have the material around for this. On the web I saw something about using a hair comb ( a pincher type) but I couldn't find it again last night. Your solution seems much simpler. Again, thank you.
Did you notice whether the comb had brood in it? If so, did you leave the comb inside the hive?
That happened to me last year because it was hot outside and the wax was soft and broke as I was moving it. I was told that yes, I should try to reattach the comb to the top bar because the brood is important to the bees. I did as Ted suggested below and I rigged the comb up using a few pieces of wire. Eventually I took it out of the hive, but only after the brood had hatched. If the comb is on the small side and not completely full of brood and honey, you may be able to adhere it to the top bar by smashing it back onto the bar. This is pretty destructive to the comb, but the bees will fix it. It sounds like you'll need to reinforce the comb with wire anyways, though.
My bees often adhere the comb to the walls of the hive for some reason. Before I pull out any bar, I check that it's not attached to the box. You can simply cut it loose with a knife if you find that they've done that. I hope this helps!
I didn't get the comb out to look at it. As soon as I tried to lift it, it came off the bar. I just put the bar back. I am going to try and reinforce the comb this afternoon and hopefully get a better look. The comb was a pretty good size piece and heavy. Thanks for the reply.
I had the same problem.. I'd used cotton string to tie the comb back on.. with "some" success.. My Wonderful Bee Mentor, Joe Wesbrook, came over to work my bees with me this past Friday.. All He did was to Press The Wax Comb to the side of the guide bar on the bottom of My top bar.. The stickiness of the wax was enough to make it hold.. It took all of 5 seconds to do.. He said that the bees will fix it on better in time. I hope this helps.
In my opinion, if the hive is strong and you already have a lot of top bars drawn with both brood and honey I would pull that comb out that fell and harvest the honey. I wouldn't do this if it is a brood comb however. If there is brood on it I would try and re-attach it unless the comb is darkened. It is always good to cull black or really dark brood comb to keep the hive healthy. If it is dark and has "capped" brood on it, leave it upright on the bottom of the hive (move to the end) and let them hatch and then cull the comb while leaving the top bar where you found it so it can become new wax and brood (or honey if the bar was at the honey end of the hive).
Just my 2 cents on what I would do...