The Bailey Comb Change

  1. Prepare a clean brood box filled with frames of foundation.
  2. Place this box over the existing brood box.
  3. Unless there is a strong nectar flow feed with winter strength sugar syrup i.e. 1 Kg of sugar to 650ml of water.
  4. When the bees have drawn out some of the foundation, find the queen and place her on this comb.
  5. Put a queen excluder over the old brood box and under the new, thus trapping the queen in the upper box.
  6. If possible arrange a new hive entrance between the two brood boxes and close off the old. This helps to reduce the amount of pollen stored in the old lower combs.
  7. After three weeks, remove the old brood box. The brood will have hatched and the comb can then be rendered to recover the beeswax.

This system is ideal for replacing all the combs at once and is best performed in early spring often, with clement weather, March is suitable, but remember to keep feeding so the bees can build comb.

Adapted from: Replacing Old Brood Comb (FAQ 5)

Crown copyright 2013 - used under the terms of the Open Government Licence (OGL)


The Association's apiary in North Shropshire


The Association maintains an apiary at an organic farm in North Shropshire. We hold regular meetings at the apiary during the summer, where members old and new can gain experience in handling bees.

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visionWe encourage and develop
the art and science of bee keeping

visionWe strive to educate
Through group meetings, practical out apiary events and educational support 


The North Shropshire Beekeepers' Association - to encourage and develop the art and science of bee keeping