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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    407

    Post

    I checked a hive the other day onto which I had placed a second deep with alternated drawn comb and undrawn foundation. I checked the foundation to see the progress on drawing them out and on one of the foundations the bee's were drawing comb out at 90 degrees near the base of the frame...in effect making several "bridges" to the next frame. Why might they be doing this? Should I cut off these combs, or might the bee's tear them down and make them right on their own?
    Thanks
    Barry
    Barry
    KC9TER

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    1,525

    Post

    Cut em. You need to be able topull out each frame with out extra attrachments. Actually that might be the law. It needs to be able to stand inspection. No they won't clean it up on their own.

    Hawk
    KC0YXI

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Milford, MI
    Posts
    328

    Post

    Why might they be doing this?
    It has been suggested that some of the cross combing may be due in part to a violation of the natural structure and configuration of the brood nest, or what we referr to as "Housel Positioning" Housel Positioning
    Should I cut off these combs?
    Yes, scrape them back down to the foundation again.
    Might the bee's tear them down and make them right on their own?
    No, they will use the existing cross combed mess until you remove it.

    Some colonies are more apt to cross comb than others, and those frames I've discovered were due in part to a violation of Housel's theory or the bees drawing the comb were too large to know what to do with the small cell foundation, in which case I replaced the frame with one containing only a starter strip and they could build the comb to suit their needs.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    chatsworth, calif usa
    Posts
    405

    Post

    Had cross-comb once in a foundationless nuc. Removed the comb and turned the whole thing 90 degrees or so and they changed up and drew the whole thing out just fine. Not sure if it has any actual significance or if i was just lucky.
    jim
    My Mom's other kids are smarter than me, but i'm not nearly as nice.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Winnipeg Manitoba
    Posts
    311

    Post

    Theres a theory that they will cross comb to develop more efficient air flow though their hives.
    That and their tendancy to do things they way they like, and not we like.
    Little buggers....


    J.R.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Milford, MI
    Posts
    328

    Post

    Had cross-comb once in a foundationless nuc.
    This is quite common when there is nothing to guide them. By simply inserting one sheet of foundation or a starter strip in the middle of the box, gets the girls started in the right direction.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,949

    Post

    The most common cause I see is when people put 9 undrawn frames in a box or they space out 10 frames evenly. Clean it off and crowd them together. With 11 frames (which requires trimming the end bars) I get even less of it.

    Definitely some bees will just build perfect combs no matter how much you mess it up. Others will mess it up no matter how perfectly you do it. It must be genetics.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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