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Thread: Bottoms up!?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Brewster, NY USA
    Posts
    52

    Default Bottoms up!?

    I know people tend to build from the bottom up. But I thought bees always built from the top down?!?


    I'm doing an H3 hive with open frames. Actually, I'm doing 2 that way. Both colonies in one hive are doing great. Combs are just the way they should be. In the other hive, the colony on one side is doing great and the other built perfect comb in the bottom box. But when they go to the second box, they decided to build the comb at ~45 degrees to the frames. (did I mention I forgot to wax the starter strips in this hive?). So last week I cut the angled comb off and tied it on straight into a frame with a waxed starter strip. Also swapped out the other frames with waxed ones. This week I come back and it's even worse! In the next picture you can see the piece I tied on. But instead of building from that, they started building from the bottom at an angle.

    I should have taken a picture of the mess in the hive, but I didn't have my camera. It was way worse than what you see here.

    My solution was to remove all the frames and comb from the second box and replace it with foundation. I'll see next week if that works.

    Anybody seen this before? I've read a lot of books but haven't come across it yet. The common comment is "the bees just haven't read the books!". Personally I think they have and they just keep finding ways to screw with our heads.
    Whatever you believe you can or cannot do, you're right. - RusticElementBees.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    1,278

    Default

    Yes, I have had bee start to draw foundation from the bottom bar up. This was when the super of foundations was placed above the brood nest. My bees in Langstroth equipment have not read the books, or the Forums!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    1,398

    Default

    Is the hive level from side to side?
    De Colores,
    Ken

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Brewster, NY USA
    Posts
    52

    Default

    Yes, perfectly level. An H3 using open frames has to be level both directions.

    The problem isn't level related. The combs are built nicely vertical, just upside down and at a horizontal angle, not vertical angle. It's just weird them building from the bottom up.
    Whatever you believe you can or cannot do, you're right. - RusticElementBees.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
    Posts
    3,604

    Default The problem isn't level related.

    You might try placing you new frame between two fully drawn out combs to prevent natural comb.
    Good luck,
    Ernie
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,213

    Default

    Try moving the box below the one that is drawn. Bees, contrary to popular belief, like to work down from where they are. But they will work up if they have to. If you don't want to do that then pull some drawn comb up for a ladder.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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