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  • Kathryn Allard

Bee Adventures - Part 5

July 11

I searched the web and read all kinds of posts about burr comb and cross comb until late last night.

The cross comb can be cut with a sharp knife, meaning you lift a frame - or both at the same time if you have someone to help you - and you cut through the sticky comb to a standard height on the frame. If alone, you lift a frame (comb breaking) and you cut the excess comb. But what do you do with the honey leaking out and down? It will leak on bees, will they’ll get stuck...? I would not appreciate having my wings and feet in a sticky mess! I guess I could pull out the frame, set it aside on a tray to at least gather the honey, then close the covers to have as few bees as possible out and about while I cut the comb...

Determined to do SOMETHING, I went to the hive, and opened the covers. Until I could solution the cross comb situation, I at least removed all the burr comb from the top of the frames and the inside cover by gently scraping it off the surfaces and giving the bees time to move. The wind was picking up and the clouds were rolling in. I was as slow but as efficient as I could be. All the comb was gathered in a bowl and brought to the house, to let the small quantity of honey drip in a plate. (MEEEUM !!!) Most of the comb was empty though, and no eggs either so I know the queen is not laying on the top. One bee was ¾ inside a cell, curled up, not moving. Either I hurt her while scraping or she is drunk on honey. I gently took her in my fingers - careful not to squoosh her - and removed her from the cell. Well, she might have been hurt or drunk but she still voiced her miscontentment. I just got my first bee sting.

Like most things in life, you know it’s eventually going to happen, but it seldom does the way you’ve imagined. A curled up bee in a cell... stung on a finger. My reaction was total surprise and I immediately removed the dart. It does hurt. A lot. The burn went on for a few minutes. Sensation of heat, then fades away. A little sore and sensitive even after a few hours, but if I am writing this now, I am alive and well.

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