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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
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    Tucson, Arizona, United States
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    Post

    Hi,

    This positioning method for alignment for a more harmonious internal frame placement is called "Housel Positioning".

    At your option, you may either accept or reject, but it does seem to relieve a great deal of stress inside of beehives, so that in itself can only help our honeybees.

    What else it does in the future I can only write about as no one has really done it in mass enough to see and understand within today's domesticated colonies.

    I sure I will be writing much here in the future talking about things we are seeing and for others to maybe want to try and see also.

    Regards,

    Dee A. Lusby

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
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    971

    Post

    Hi Dee,

    I have the positioning done in the bees for approx. 2 months or so now to the second brood chamber but not the third as they were packed 100% with honey and couldn't see the cells at all(and my back started hurting from all that lifting). I haven't drawn any combs yet with this positioning so can't comment. I did seem to have an effect on bulging combs as they filled in with honey in the second deep. Also the bees were located centered in the hives instead of off positioned. I cannot comment on the other things yet as I haven't had a chance to look. But will in the spring. I wonder if the positioning will have an effect of wintering clusters that drift off to the side? Possible TM stress causing split clusters and such? Will be interesting to see.

    Clay

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Post

    Could someone please explain or direct me to an expanaion on "Housel Positioning"?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
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    971

    Post

    Hi,

    Could someone please explain or direct me to an expanaion on "Housel Positioning"?

    reply:

    On the home page on beesource.com under, in the news, click on the link.

    regards,

    Clay

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Post

    Sorry, I went looking and found it easily. I have a shortcut to the forum and didn't see it. Thanks.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Post

    I am a bit confused by the "Housel Positioning" concept. I understand that there is a right and left to the natural comb and to the foundation. I do NOT understand how it is geometricly possible to have a comb with both of the "Y"s inverted. Since the "Y" you see is just the walls of the cell on the opposite side, I don't think it's possible to have them both inverted or both noninverted. One has to be one way and the other side has to be the other way, because that's how it works geometricly when you put a vertex of one hex in the middle of the hex on the opposite side.

    The only way I can see, to make both sides the same would be to line the hex on one side up with the walls of the hex on the other side, and there would be no "Y" at all and the end of the cell would be flat, instead of "domed".

    Maybe the bees could build the ends of these lined up hexes so they are thick enough to make the dome on the ends and therfore create an inverted "Y" shape by a different means altogether, instead of it being the walls from the opposite side.

    Maybe this is irrelavant since we have no way with foundation to create this center piece of comb.

    Does anyone have an illustration to show what a center feral comb actually looks like in 3 dimensions? Next time I tear into a feral hive I will be looking for this, but if the combs are full, it will be difficult to tell what way they go.

    I admit it is a very tempting theory which explains a lot of bee behaviour we have all observed. Combs that the bees don't want to draw, etc.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
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    397

    Post

    Michael

    You wrote:
    The only way I can see, to make both sides the same would be to line the hex on one side up with the walls of the hex on the other side, and there would be no "Y" at all and the end of the cell would be flat, instead of "domed".

    Maybe the bees could build the ends of these lined up hexes so they are thick enough to make the dome on the ends and therfore create an inverted "Y" shape by a different means altogether, instead of it being the walls from the opposite side.

    Reply:
    I just don't know enough here Michael and I have been looking at feral cutouts for over 20 years or more. I never keyed into the positioning until talking with Michael Housel who also monitors and works with a lot of them down in Florida.

    But it does raise questions on positioning.Namely in my mind, if the outside combs end up with the Y up facing out to protect the hanging combs and the Y down facing in on each of the sides, then at some place within they have to MAKE THE TURN, but how would be the big question.

    Do they just reverse and start cold turkey, or gradually make the turn over one or two frames, or like said to me have a central frame. Just how is that turn made. I can see maybe a thicker comb or one that is reoriented with age to have both sides the same, but how to the bees make the change.

    I am looking at this closely now, but we just had a drought year and not many swarms and comb. But we got an El Nino this coming one and many swarms coming, so I will indeed be looking hard to find out.

    You forther wrote:
    Maybe this is irrelavant since we have no way with foundation to create this center piece of comb.

    reply:
    Well, indeed it does seems to be ierelavant in domestic colonies when we repositioned and drew an imaginary one. The bees keyed in just fine!

    You continued:
    Does anyone have an illustration to show what a center feral comb actually looks like in 3 dimensions? Next time I tear into a feral hive I will be looking for this, but if the combs are full, it will be difficult to tell what way they go.

    Reply:
    No, because this line of questioning and reason has never been brought up before, nor the fact that there is maybe a proper way to position combs for reducing stress, positioned after the way the bees do it.How it got overlooked all these years is beyond me with all us beekeepers!

    You finished writing:
    I admit it is a very tempting theory which explains a lot of bee behaviour we have all observed. Combs that the bees don't want to draw, etc.

    Reply:
    Well, we went ahead and repositioned with an imaginary center line and all Y down facing towards center. It stopped most all nuisance stress problems it seems within our colonies. And here all these years we thought we knew bees well, moving frames as we saw and found problems to correct them.
    Sidewise or as last resort turning them around.

    Now we just look at the bottom of cell and position according to the Y and it is done, and beforehand now set up.

    Cannot wait for our first whole active season to really observe the differences. So far it is amazing at the benefits to be gained.

    Also to watch and study with the coming season, all the feral combs especially in the open hanging now, I can get my hands on for sure.

    What a great learning experience! Just how do the bees make the turn? There has to be one if in large outside hives the outside at both ends are Y up for protection. But how have the bees solved the problem?

    Well, we studied the math for years to get the bottoms for manufacturer. Now, I guess we study the positioning to position by Housel Positioning, for relief of stress, etc.

    Regards,

    Dee A. Lusby



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Post

    >I said: Maybe this is irrelavant since we have no way with foundation to create this center piece of comb.
    Acutally you could put two peices of foundation in the same frame and face them oppisite directions but I don't know that it's a good idea.

    >No, because this line of questioning and reason has never been brought up before, nor the fact that there is maybe a proper way to position combs for reducing stress, positioned after the way the bees do it.How it got overlooked all these years is beyond me with all us beekeepers!

    I remember well the first time I put in foundation and being concerned that there was a right side up or up side down. I saw that there was a right and left but the significance of that seemed irrelevant, it was just how the geometry works out when you reinforce the comb by putting the vertices of the opposite side in the center. And of course none of my reading indicated that it mattered.

    >And here all these years we thought we knew bees well, moving frames as we saw and found problems to correct them.
    Sidewise or as last resort turning them around.

    Looking back I new realize how many times I resolved problems like that by turning the frames around, but it was not because of my perception of orientation, but just an attemtp to get things back on track with a drawn comb next to one that was not going right.


    >Now we just look at the bottom of cell and position according to the Y and it is done, and beforehand now set up.

    Do you mark the ends of the frames or something to keep them straight after they are drawn, filled and possibly capped and the "Y is no longer visible?

    >Also to watch and study with the coming season, all the feral combs especially in the open hanging now, I can get my hands on for sure.

    I'm thinking of starting a domestic one in the spring with a blank sheet of starter on the frames and see what the bees build. Then if I can steal the center frame, extract it and fill it full of plaster I should be able to see how it's made.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
    Posts
    397

    Post

    Michael,

    You wrote:
    >Now we just look at the bottom of cell and position according to the Y and it is done, and beforehand now set up.

    Do you mark the ends of the frames or something to keep them straight after they are drawn, filled and possibly capped and the "Y is no longer visible?

    reply:
    So far no, trying to get into habit of holding up fast to sky to see those few cells available to identify position, and then back into colonies. However, probably should mark with < open to center facing for future reference before combs get any older and I get blind.

    You also wrote:
    I'm thinking of starting a domestic one in the spring with a blank sheet of starter on the frames and see what the bees build. Then if I can steal the center frame, extract it and fill it full of plaster I should be able to see how it's made.

    Reply:
    Only problem is if in confined area I don't think they will position and align like on solid limb out in open on tree. This is scenario Housel and I were chatting about that got us to change our frames around to fine tune them.

    So far this week found with ranches help now 5 wild swarms to cut out of cavities to check light alignment against the position of the combs as I cut out.

    Still waiting to have ranchers help me find some good hangers with comb outside with light all around to cut down and check. Need several to do to see what I find.

    How you for swarms in your area for checking outside?

    Regards,

    Dee A. Lusby



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    >So far no, trying to get into habit of holding up fast to sky to see those few cells available to identify position, and then back into colonies. However, probably should mark with < open to center facing for future reference before combs get any older and I get blind.

    It would be nice if "we beekeepers" came up with a convention of marking so we could all keep it straight. a < open to the cneter facing out seems like as good as any. I was also considering putting it on the right end so I don't even have to look at the direction. Then a hive full of properly aligned frames would have the first five frames marked on my right and the last five on the left.

    >Only problem is if in confined area I don't think they will position and align like on solid limb out in open on tree. This is scenario Housel and I were chatting about that got us to change our frames around to fine tune them.

    If the bees prefer to have a center comb, I wouldn't think it would matter to the bees what they are in. I've raised them in all kinds of boxes and they never seem to care. I was just going to make a blank sheet for the starter comb. I suppose I could put a single frame in a observation hive with a blank strip and see if they draw it facing both ways. That way it IS the center.

    >How you for swarms in your area for checking outside?

    All the swarms around here have been from my hives.

    BTW I have had a few of those wild black bees (three of them to be exact) move into my observation hive. Now that I can study them and move them around in the light, I can see the dark reddish black band on them. I'm intrigued that they seem to be the same in such diverse locations.

    I am thinking of trying to locate their hive. I'm guessing I have a general idea where they must be based on the direction they fly and the only woods within a mile in that direction.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Casper, Wy, USA
    Posts
    804

    Post

    Hello Everyone,

    I just checked my backyard hive which has been reorganized to reflect Housel postioning.

    The bees have centered the broodnest and any new laying on the projected center of the hive. Normally they move to the warm side at this time of year.

    Dennis

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Drums, PA, USA
    Posts
    331

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    I find this positioning most interesting. Its late here in PA, but I recently removed a hive from a barn, and I checked some of the combs that I removed, by piecing them together, and the theory proves correct. I know, I was told years ago, that if the bees did not draw out comb right just to turn the frame around, but never knew why. In the spring, I am going to mark all the frames with a "Y" and an "I" that I put together, and see how it works. Will be interesting to see.

    ------------------
    Dale Richards
    Dal-Col Apiaries
    Drums, PA

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
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    751

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    I just mark mine by sticking a drawing pin in the side of the top bar which should face inwards. I already use drawing pins for marking the year the foundation is drawn, and the few plastic combs I have, so its an extension of what I was already doing.

    ------------------
    Regards,

    Robert Brenchley

    RSBrenchley@aol.com
    Birmingham UK

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    I would assume by the context that a "drawing pin" is something we silly Americans might call a thumb tack? Is it colored on the end? Is it flat? That's my best guess, so you use different colors to represent years? Like the standard ones for queen marking? I am marking mine to keep track of if it was a starter strip or a full frame of foundation and if it was a first regression or a second. I suppose I could represent all of that with a couple of thumb tacks. Sounds like a good idea.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
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    Post

    Hi all

    Thought I'd say since it came up on the OrganicBeekeepers list that when positioning feral combs into swarm ketching frames to remember that there is a Y up and a Y down side as well as a top and bottom or up and down side to note also.

    So make sure the cell walls lay sloping up and not down.

    Regards,

    Dee A. Lusby

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
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    Post

    A drawing pin is probably a thumb tack. It's a nail about 1/2 inch long with a big head so you can push it in with your thumb; it's used to put things on notice boards and the like. I colour the heads with queen marking paint to show the year; you can get coloured ones but I don't bother.

    ------------------
    Regards,

    Robert Brenchley

    RSBrenchley@aol.com
    Birmingham UK

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
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    Post

    Hi Michael, Robert, Hook and all:

    Well, I've found my first two center combs on different cut-outs from containers and still have word out to the ranchers to find me more cutouts/cutdowns to hive and look at while mounting on swarm ketching frames.

    I Put the one in the freezer (2nd one I saw) to preserve 3-4 inches of the combs hanging down from the lid until I can now get my video camera set up in spare time to document the inside of the cells to show. Figured I cannot lay combs on scanner for anyone can lay combs on scanner and take pictures. I cannot just shot a photo with regular camera as three combs would have different distances. So I guess I got to get the old video camera out and shoot all three frames at once and then zero in on the center comb and the bottom of the cells to show the positioning.

    Believe it or not it is a non-directional setup with both sides being the same and lets bees orientate to the light from all angles and sides. The bees are so smart. Another hint of them being intelligent building combs this way.

    Once I start videoing I can then try to get as many cut outs as I can rounded up, feeling at least 6 are needed to prove point that there is indeed a center. So far I got two and feel quite comfortable I will find more now as the looking goes on with ranchers help. Have all fall and winter to play with this.

    Also once documentated, then I can update the talk and paper I did when I was just getting going and we were repositioning our combs in our domestic colonies to the Housel Positioning Michael recommended for use in domestic colonies.

    So far domestic colonies are doing great and I see no reason not to continue, now seeing the non-directional center combs the bees are building.

    It's a perfect way to manage domestic colonies for a living, breathing, pulsating, broodnest, that moves up and down with the active beekeeping season for production of honey and pollen.

    Will keep you all posted.

    Regards,

    Dee A. Lusby


    [This message has been edited by Dee A. Lusby (edited October 15, 2002).]

  18. #18
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    The only way I can see it can be non-directional is if the vertecies of the other sides line up instead of being in the center of the cell on the opposite side. Then there would be no "Y" upside down or otherwise. Is this the case?

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    Question

    Hi Dee -

    Can you explain more exactly what type of enclosure these combs were from? You say "cut-outs from containers." Are you referring to your paper-pulp bait hives that are used all around Tucson as swarm traps which get dropped off to you?

    I remember watching you do a cut-out when I was there http://www.beesource.com/pov/lusby/trip/35.htm and noticed that these lids have queen pheromone lures attached to the center of them. Might this not have an influence on the bees and how they build their combs/nest? Could it effect where the bees determine center? Could the partial combs that are left on the lids for bait have an influence?

    Regards,
    Barry

    [This message has been edited by Barry (edited October 15, 2002).]

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
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    Post

    To Michael Bush and Barry Birkey

    Answer for Michael:

    No!

    Answers for Barry:

    No!

    Comb and lid in freezer. Come on down and see. I will video all from here on out and store in freezer the evidence where necessary.

    This lid perfect, no precomb hanging down with new white comb in this case built. It is not old comb but brand new.

    As I get over I would say 6 cases or more as I have only two now I will probably get more serious then what I am now. already showed to many locally.

    Have a few coming in to see from out-of-state to see also from here in USA.

    The one sample lid in freezer is "Perfect" non-directional and yes Ys are on both sides.

    ONce I get over 6 on video with pattern emerging with bees I will go into more detail. Right now though any one coming in person can see.

    Getting plenty of cutout calls now on ranches. Shall be a full winter filming, and yes Barry, I will send you a copy when I get over 6 on film and since I got 2 out of 2 now with luck it shouldn't be too long.

    Got a cut out tomorrow in hedge with light all around. Shall be interesting to see.

    Now I know what to look for I can go back through swarm ketching frames already mounted to see what already on hand and not melted down waiting for melting pot.

    Regards,

    Dee

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