Bees eating Wax Foundation?
Hello, I have a newbie question about my bees. This is my first year of raising honeybees and we have two hives. One hive is drawing out their honey super great on wax foundation (it's almost 80% full), but the other hive has yet to draw out hardly any of the foundation in their super and have started eating holes in it. Why would bees be eating holes in the wax foundation that I have in the honey super?
It happens all the time. Are you feeding?
You just figured out something that most old-timers and commercial guys will never agree with. That bees move wax from one part of the hive to another, all the time. Makes you think about chems that have suggestions about "treat with no supers on" or "wait 30 days after treatment for adding supers".
I never realized how stuff like wax (and honey) was moved around inside a hive until I got an observation hive. They move honey from below (treated and tainted honey with chems) and store it above all the time. They are also good at moving wax later in the season when there is little flow, and they are trying to conserve resources by utilizing every amount of wax without making new.
It plays right into the old question and comments about "what would they find if the USDA or anyone else really started testing honey". That's a can of worms that nobody wants opened. So for now, SHHHHHH! Don't let anyone know about such thing as bees moving wax within a hive. Somebody may actually put two and two together. It's just better to group this with "crazy" ideas as "illegal chems being used". Did you not hear....Honey is pure (as long as nobody tests) and nobody uses illegal chems in the hive (Until they want their comb tested for CCD as they scratch their heads with expressions of stupidity!)
Here is a frame of foundation that shows how bees chew on the wax. Some have suggested in the past that bees merely chew on wax out of "boredom". That's not correct. They chew on the wax and reuse it in times of a dearth. And they chew and redistribute wax from the brood chamber just as well as foundation.
If you notice, they started to draw this frame out, but stopped when the dearth started, then proceeded to chew it out.
Originally Posted by BjornBee
I plan to use chemicals as an absolute last resort for exactly the reasons you mentioned. So far I have found nothing that does not have a mechanical solution or biological one.
Thank you everyone so much for the quick replies.
Ross, to answer your question about feeding. No, I am not, but I was getting ready to start feeding this hive, just to see if they would draw out the comb. For now I'm not worried to much about getting any honey from either of the hives, being as it is our first year with them and I'm just trying to build them up and have enough stores for the winter. Thanks again.
BjornBee, Your reply hit the nail on the head and have answered my question and made me feel quite better. I really did not know if I had something wrong or not. The picture in the link is not quite as bad as what the bees in ours has done, but it is very similar. Thank you again for the great replies.
Thank you again,