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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Miami Beach, Florida, USA
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    49

    Default Preference for comb orientation

    How do feral bees normally orient the comb with respect to the entrance?
    The cold way, the warm way, on the diagonal, on the other diagonal...?

    What would you make of the claim that the orientation of the entrance influences the orientation of the comb?

    Seems a fellow named Meta Lengal presented some work on the question at a beekeeping conference in Prague a few years ago.
    But there's not much to go on... Check it out: http://www.sweb.cz/vitavydra/pragaagro.html#lengal

    What do you make of it? Anyone with experience?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Brazill, Indiana, U.S.
    Posts
    98

    Default

    Well, since feral bees don't live in hives like we want them, the entrance isn't always ideal. Normally they build in a tree and the comb runs vertically. As far as "cold" or "warm" I think it varies because the tree normally offers enough insulation that it really doesn't matter which way the comb is, as long as its is vertical.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Grifton, NC
    Posts
    1,302

    Default

    I've seen combs run parallel with the entrance, perpendicular and diagonally. I removed bees from a squirrel house where they had run the combs perpendicular to the front entrance. I don't know how they decide to do it.
    Banjos and bees... how sweet it is!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Default

    I can not recall ever seeing a comb that was parallel to the opening on either a gum, birdhouse, or building. They are usually arranged so that you can see between the combs from the opening. It probably gives them better traffic and air flow through the hive.
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,207

    Default

    I was going to say the opposite . Actually, thinking about my cutout, I have seen both. Stud bays usually have comb running on long diagonals no matter what the entrance. Joist bays will usually have the comb open on the end, running back into the bay.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Erie, PA
    Posts
    2,030

    Default

    This one was diagonal, sort of. The entrance was in the center of the opened area, and the comb curves forward. Comb to the right was nearly parallal with the outer wall.
    “The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” -Henry David Thoreau

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,207

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Erie, PA
    Posts
    2,030

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BULLSEYE BILL View Post
    I can not recall ever seeing a comb that was parallel to the opening on either a gum, birdhouse, or building. They are usually arranged so that you can see between the combs from the opening. It probably gives them better traffic and air flow through the hive.
    This makes me wonder... what about top bar hives?
    “The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” -Henry David Thoreau

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hobie View Post
    This makes me wonder... what about top bar hives?
    The alignment is laid out for them on the bars unlike them being able to align it as they will.

    I will take some pictures of gum openings and post them, I thought the original question was on the alignment in relation to the opening, not to the shape of the cavity.

    Most combs I see in cavities seem to run at a diagonal from the opening, only occasionally do they align at true right angles to the walls either short or long ways.
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Default

    My observations agree with Bullseye. They usually run diagonal to the entrance. Not true "warm" or "cold" way.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Helmetta, New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    99

    Default

    I've only done one cutout, and the comb was at about a 45 degree angle to the opening, with the opening side pointing away from the opening.

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