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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Barboursville, VA, USA
    Posts
    88

    Default Bees eating wax foundation

    I have been using wax foundation between foundationless frames and have found a couple times the wax foundation has large holes eaten in it, while the bees are drawing comb in the foundationless. Is this because of a dearth or just an easy way for the bees to get wax? Can they rework wax like that? They seem to always draw the foundationless if they have a choice. I was hoping to use the foundation for an extra guide since when I would put in just foundationless the bees made a mess. I also was using 5.1 cell to go toward smaller cell size. Not doing much good if they eat it! Any solutions to this 'bad' behavior? Thanks, Jim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,924

    Default Re: Bees eating wax foundation

    They do it when they need food or during dearth. They also do it to make room to move between frames and sometimes if they want to go through the middle, well they go through the middle. I think the common consensus is they do not re-work or cannot re-work existing wax but I don't see why they wouldn't be able too. Are you feeding to encourage comb drawing? My bees seem to really process the foundation down, even thinning it out before they actually draw it. Most of the edges get chewed back except for a few points and most of the edge where they attach to the frames is actually all natural comb they build from the frame out connecting back into the foundation. Also, did you spray the foundation with anything? Check your foundationless too, maybe they're drawing drone comb which is why they're favoring it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Bees eating wax foundation

    It happens in dearths. They can rework it, but if it gets too far gone, it will droop out of the frames. I try not to leave foundation in hives this time of year. Plastic stuff is okay though.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,924

    Default Re: Bees eating wax foundation

    Sol,

    If you're feeding can you leave it in? Or do they eat it for protein or something?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Bees eating wax foundation

    All I know is they eat it during dearths. If I had to make a guess, I'd say they use it for operational purposes in the hive when there's no incoming nectar with which to make wax. I imagine if they were being fed that they would build on it. But I don't feed during dearths so I don't know.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

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