How To Fix Cross Comb (Bee Frames Stuck Together)

If you've noticed that your frames are stuck together in a "cross comb" pattern, don't worry. You can get your frames unstuck and your bees back to work in no time. Learn how to fix cross-comb in your bee frames using simple, easy-to-follow steps.

Remove the frames from the hive, then separate the stuck frames by gently pulling them apart. If the frames are still stuck, put them in a bucket of warm water and wait a few minutes. The warm water will help break down the wax and propolis and separate the frames. If needed, use a hive tool to separate the frames.

This guide will help you fix the issue by showing you how to separate and reattach the frames. With just a few simple steps, you can fix the problem and get your bee hive back in order.


  • A cross comb is a form of bee frame that consists of two or more frames that are stuck.
  • Putting on necessary protection and preparing supplies is the first step to take before fixing a cross comb.
  • After fixing the cross comb, inspect and examine the hive after 24 hours to make sure the bee frames are still separated.

Fixing Bee Frames Stuck Together

Cross-combing occurs when two frames of bees are stuck together. Here is a step-by-step process on how to fix it, and be sure to do it slowly and carefully to avoid disturbing the bees.

1. Put on protection and gather the necessary supplies.

Prepare the tools needed to fix a cross comb, including a beekeeper suit with a veil, gloves, a bee smoker, a bee brush, a hive tool, and a new frame.

A beekeeper suit with a veil is the first and most important tool needed to fix a cross comb or bee frame that is stuck together. Bees won't be able to sting you by staying away from your face and head thanks to the veil. The veil should be made of a strong material that will not easily tear.

Gloves are also important to protect your hands from stings. Choose gloves made of thick material that won’t easily tear.

A bee smoker is a tool used to calm bees before you start working with them. The smoke from the smoker masks the alarm pheromones that bees emit when they feel threatened.

Bees are gently brushed away from the frame using a bee brush. Bee brushes have soft bristles that will not sting bees.

A hive tool is an essential tool for removing frames that are stuck together. It has a curved end and a flat end that can be used to pry the frames apart.

Finally, you may need to replace the frames that are stuck together with new ones. Make sure to buy frames that are specifically designed for your hive.

2. Open the hive and remove the frames that are stuck together.

Put on your beekeeping suit and gloves before approaching the hive. Smoke the hive to calm the bees. Carefully remove the top cover of the hive to access the frames. Using your hive tool, gently pry the frames apart from one another. If the frames are stuck together due to propolis, use a warm cloth to help loosen the frames. Carefully remove the frames from the hive, one at a time.

3. Place the frames on a flat work surface, facing up.

Start by finding a flat work surface, such as a table or countertop. Place the frames on the surface, facing up. Take care not to damage the frames, as this can weaken them.

4. Carefully separate the frames by gently pulling them apart.

Once the frames are separated, the beekeeper should inspect them for any signs of cross-combing or other issues. If any cross-combing is discovered, the beekeeper can gently separate the frames and straighten them up using a hive tool or frame spacer.

5. If the frames are difficult to separate, use a hive tool to pry them apart.

The frames that are glued together should be gently separated by the beekeeper using a hive tool. Since using too much force can harm the frames and the bees inside of them, this should be done carefully.

6. Once the frames are separated, clean the bee wax and debris from the frames.

Cleaning the bee wax and debris from the frames of a cross comb or bee frames that are stuck together is a necessary step to getting them unstuck and back into proper placement. Using a soft-bristled brush, gently brush away any excess debris and wax that is present on the frames. Once the debris and wax are removed, use a damp cloth to wipe away any remaining wax and debris.

For stubborn wax and debris, you may need to use a chemical wax remover. Be sure to read and follow the instructions carefully before using this product, as it can be dangerous.

7. Reassemble the frames in the hive.

To horizontally align the two frames after separating them, carefully lift one frame and slide it over the other. Before pressing down forcefully, be certain that they are securely fastened and aligned and that the frame sides are flush with one another.

This should secure the frames in a cross-comb formation. If needed, you can add an extra piece of wax near the edges to further secure the frames. Finally, rotate the frames so that the comb is vertical, and the frames are back in their original orientations.

8. Close the hive and wait for the bees to settle.

After fixing a cross comb or bee frame that is stuck together, it is important to close the hive and wait for the bees to settle. This can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours, depending on the situation.

Before closing the hive, it is important to make sure that the bees are not too agitated. If they are, it is best to wait until they have calmed down before closing the hive. Once the bees have settled down, close the hive. Take care not to make any sudden movements, as this can agitate the bees and cause them to become defensive.

If necessary, place a thin layer of smoke between the top and bottom of the hive to further calm the bees. Finally, wait for the bees to settle. This can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. During this time, it is important to remain still and quiet to avoid agitating the bees.

9. Inspect the hive again after 24 hours.

After 24 hours, the hive should be examined and inspected again to make sure the frames are still in the correct orientation. If the frames are not in the correct orientation, then they will need to be adjusted.

Additionally, it is important to make sure that the cross comb and/or bee frames that were stuck together have not shifted and are still separated. If they are still stuck together, then additional steps may need to be taken to ensure that they are not stuck together.

The beekeeper should also make sure that the bee colonies have not created additional cross-comb or stuck frames. If they have, then they should be addressed and corrected as soon as possible. Additionally, the beekeeper should make sure that the bees have not created any new comb or cells in a way that interferes with the frames or other parts of the hive.

Finally, the beekeeper should also inspect the hive for pests and diseases. If any pests or diseases are found, then the beekeeper should take steps to address the issue immediately.

What Exactly is a Cross Comb

A form of bee frame called a cross comb consists of two or more frames that have been stuck. It is a typical issue in beekeeping, and the bees themselves are to blame since they adhere to the combs with wax and propolis.

Cross comb can cause multiple issues, such as making hive inspections difficult, making it harder for the bees to access pollen and honey, and causing inefficient use of space within the hive. Beekeepers must be aware of cross-comb and how to identify and prevent it.

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