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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Waynesville, Missouri
    Posts
    206

    Question Swarms building comb in trees??

    I caught several swarms last year and never saw this but this year the last three swarms I've caught had quite a bit of comb bulit on the tree. I've got three the last two weeks off of Ft. Wood and all had lots of comb. One was noticed on a Thursday and I got the call on monday that they were still there. I got another yesterday I don't know how long it was there but it was large and had apparently been moving up and down the trunk of the tree b/c there was a three foot span of comb in different places plus a 6 inch long piece where the majority was. Is building comb like this normal behavior for them? I didn't get any last year like that and the first one I got this year didn't have a bit of wax where they were.
    Human natural selection= just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
    Posts
    2,240

    Default Re: Swarms building comb in trees??

    if they cant find a suitable home quick enough, the urge to make comb overcomes them,some faster than others. urban developement has removed a lot of trees with cavities, this may play a part in your local area-however, i have seen it here (hundreds of acres of woods), i think because storms and logging have reduced hollow trees.
    good luck,mike
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    1,403

    Default Re: Swarms building comb in trees??

    Had 2 like that last year. Both were small swarms and neither made it.
    De Colores,
    Ken

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    1,031

    Default Re: Swarms building comb in trees??

    Got a call yesterday from downtown Fort Wayne. Said bees were on the sidewalk. When I got there comb was splattered under a tree. We had some pretty severe thunderstorms the night before and it was blown out of the tree. Several combs but only 6-8 inches in length. Must have been there for a little while because there was capped brood. Rubber banded into empty frames and cut the rest out of the tree. Left box there until dark (risking my ladder disappearing and my life going down after dark in this part of town). Didn't see the queen and seemed like a small number of bees so wondering if the majority took off after all the commotion. Will try and nurse what is left back to health or combine with a small swarm.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    9,550

    Default Re: Swarms building comb in trees??

    It is happening more the last few years. Technically once they draw comb they are a feral colony. This is only important in their behavior changes with a new exposed home to defend. I have collected many true swarms in shorts and t-shirt without veil. That is a sure way to increase your desensitivity with additional stings working a feral colony. The reason is they leave the old hive loaded with honey. The girls cannot hold it long without wax scales forming on their abdomens. When there are wax scales they build comb.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Waynesville, Missouri
    Posts
    206

    Default Re: Swarms building comb in trees??

    [QUOTE=The girls cannot hold it long without wax scales forming on their abdomens. When there are wax scales they build comb.[/QUOTE]

    I did not know this! I just learned something new! Thanks!
    Human natural selection= just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Waynesville, Missouri
    Posts
    206

    Default Re: Swarms building comb in trees??

    Something I apparently have not learned....how to use the quote function....
    Human natural selection= just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    9,550

    Default Re: Swarms building comb in trees??

    That is why we feed copious sugar or put new supers on during a flow. They will take the sugar and they will make wax. It is not a conscious decision.

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