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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
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    Belluno, Italy
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    6

    Default Housel positioning - how to get it right?

    Hello,
    I am trying to figure out exactly how Housel positioning of the combs work.
    Unluckily I have not yet found any feral beehive and so I don't really understand how the combs are positioned in nature.
    What I do not understand is this: If I look at a comb against a source of light, I can see a "Y" shape or an "inverted Y" shape at the bottom of each cell, and thant's ok, but which side should be facing where?
    Housel positioning theory asserts that there is some kind of rule that bees put in practice when building the hive, so that from the center to the sides we should see always the same pattern.

    Let's imagine we are standing behind a hive (for instance a 10-comb hive) and we extract vertically a comb from the LEFT 5 combs. Friend "A" stands on the RIGHT of the hive -that is on our right- and looks at the comb (which has not been turned or flipped or anything, just raised up) while friend "B" stands at the left of the hive, so he is on our left, and looks at the comb. I have trouble understanding what they shoud see if the combs are Housel positioned, so I'm asking you which of the following is correct:

    1) A should see a "Y" and B should see an "inverted Y"
    2) A should see an "inverted Y" and "B" should see a "Y"

    My brain is just tangled by now....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    9,456

    Default Re: Housel positioning - how to get it right?

    There are some diagrams at this page by Dee Lusby that you may find useful:
    http://beesource.com/point-of-view/d...to-beekeeping/



    FYI, I'm providing a link to an article. That does not imply endorsement of the material at that link.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3

    Default Re: Housel positioning - how to get it right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    FYI, I'm providing a link to an article. [IMG]file:///C:\Users\Dan\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\cl ip_image001.gif[/IMG] That does not imply endorsement of the material at that link. [IMG]file:///C:\Users\Dan\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\cl ip_image002.gif[/IMG]
    Pretty much sums up my thinking on the subject.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Rib Lake WI
    Posts
    948

    Default Re: Housel positioning - how to get it right?

    Ha ha ha!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
    Posts
    3,489

    Default Re: Housel positioning - how to get it right?

    My original bees were all cut out of long-occupied wall cavities, so I started beekeeping with continuous combs that were 2 feet wide and 10 feet high. I nearly went blind, or crazy, trying to reconcile what I saw on those completely natural combs with the theory of Housel positioning.

    At one point I had a dozen square yards of comb spread on every table in my house trying to figure this out.

    I still have half of a chest freezer filled with these combs. Bet I couldn't figure it out now, either.

    Enj.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Germany, BW
    Posts
    771

    Default Re: Housel positioning - how to get it right?

    I do the housel position ( with foundations) but you canīt imitate the natural arrangements in a hive with this, because the central comb is missing.

    With the outer combs the Y points into different directions after some time, because the bees always work on combs and the combs which are sometimes heavier, sometimes lighter change their structure all the time.

    They say, that the bees are less defensive and will not swarm as often if you use this arrangement. I have not observed this in two years, the colonies differ among themselves in this behavior. This has to do with genetics.

    They say that a new queen will start laying on the center comb ( or combs). My new queens did not. I donīt know their priorities, but it may be the pollen store areas which influence this.

    As long as I will use foundations I will keep it up though because it makes me more sensitive to the broodnest arrangements. I like not to disturb the brood nests much and this helps.
    Listen to good advice, then.... make your own decision. fusion_power
    www.vivabiene.de

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    7,177

    Default Re: Housel positioning - how to get it right?

    The Housel positioning of foundation assumes that there is a central comb which is different that the other combs in the cavity. The Y's are aligned "properly" against the central comb. Years ago, a commercial beekeeper in Scotland offered $10,000 to anyone sending him a central comb, or a photo of a central comb. Needless to say, a central comb hasn't materialized.

    The Housel position, according to Lusby, has the Y's facing down when toward that central comb. This Y creates a shelf that faces up, and when an egg is laid on that shelf, the egg is facing up...and that's how it should be. If the foundation is reversed, and the Y's face up, that creates a shelf that faces down, and the colony supersedes. But, remember that if the Y's...which are really only where 3 cells meet on the other side of the foundation...face up on one side of the frame, they face down on the other. So, does that mean that the bees supersede only on one side of the comb?

    Housel Position = Bogus

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Germany, BW
    Posts
    771

    Default Re: Housel positioning - how to get it right?

    I have to watch this, very interesting point. So far i have seen no context. The superseding cells were on both sides.
    Michael, how is it with natural comb?
    How do beekeepers arrange the foundations? Just put them in, no matter how? And do they change the sides while working or do they put the frames back like they were arranged before?
    Thatīs what I learned in bee class ( natural comb used).

    Here a link where the Lusby`s points are explained again. S.Braun claims the success.

    http://www.resistantbees.com/anordnung_e.html

    Oh, I just saw itīs the same as Rider Sidetrack posted.
    Listen to good advice, then.... make your own decision. fusion_power
    www.vivabiene.de

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    2,251

    Default Re: Housel positioning - how to get it right?

    The three years I tried small cell colonies I also incorporated Housel Positioning in the brood nest. I saw none of the benefits claimed by Lusby. I have read comments on other web sites that stated Housel himself never claimed any benefits from the comb position. He just said that he had found a "central comb" around which the brood nest was built that had certain characteristics.
    40 years - 25 colonies, 32 Nucs - IPM disciple - Naturally Skeptic

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Morro Bay, California, USA
    Posts
    1,995

    Default Re: Housel positioning - how to get it right?

    "Housel" is a case study in the sociology of belief groups. An abstruse, gnostic practice that is used to define in-group membership, and exclude the non-believers.

    The practice is all about how human social groups define their "hive" to include only the select.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
    Posts
    698

    Default Re: Housel positioning - how to get it right?

    I use wired foundation with hooks, so if the manufacturer of the foundation doesn't have it right, I guess I'm

    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
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    6,758

    Default Re: Housel positioning - how to get it right?

    Quote Originally Posted by JWChesnut View Post
    "Housel" is a case study in the sociology of belief groups. An abstruse, gnostic practice that is used to define in-group membership, and exclude the non-believers.

    The practice is all about how human social groups define their "hive" to include only the select.
    We who are about to die, Salute You! Now that is logic and wordsmanship!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    7,567

    Default Re: Housel positioning - how to get it right?

    Quote Originally Posted by JWChesnut View Post
    The practice is all about how human social groups define their "hive" to include only the select.
    that is what appears to be happening on certain forums and facebook pages.

    with respect to housel i'm thinking it's just an artifact of how each new comb is progressively started and drawn from the first, i.e. it's likely that the cells facing the existing comb are drawn first at the top and the cells on the other side come next and are started a half row down.

    i'm moving combs around all the time without regard to their prior position and there's been no harm done as far as i can see.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Housel positioning - how to get it right?

    I probably move combs a bit less than SP, and I am careful about their orientation vis a vis the center of the nest, i.e I try to keep the inward-facing surface consistent, even if I turn them around 180 degrees and insert them on the opposite side of the centerline.

    I make more effort to do this if it is a brood comb, but I am much less rigid if I am, say, inserting a frame of honey or stores towards the outside of a box. Sometimes, though, practical management issues make this impossible.

    Most of my frames have a began-use-date marked on one end of the top surface so I am aware when I look at the top of the box which way is which. I can't imagine trying to do this without some kind of mark.

    Enj.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Champaign, Illinois
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    1,845

    Default Re: Housel positioning - how to get it right?

    Quote Originally Posted by JWChesnut View Post
    "Housel" is a case study in the sociology of belief groups. An abstruse, gnostic practice that is used to define in-group membership, and exclude the non-believers.

    The practice is all about how human social groups define their "hive" to include only the select.
    Where's the "like" button?
    Internet credibility is an oxymoron

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    Somerset, NJ
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    193

    Default Re: Housel positioning - how to get it right?

    Quote Originally Posted by aunt betty View Post
    Where's the "like" button?
    Try this:

    ..and here's one from me!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Germany, BW
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    771

    Default Re: Housel positioning - how to get it right?

    Quote Originally Posted by enjambres View Post
    I probably move combs a bit less than SP, and I am careful about their orientation vis a vis the center of the nest, i.e I try to keep the inward-facing surface consistent, even if I turn them around 180 degrees and insert them on the opposite side of the centerline.

    I make more effort to do this if it is a brood comb, but I am much less rigid if I am, say, inserting a frame of honey or stores towards the outside of a box. Sometimes, though, practical management issues make this impossible.

    Most of my frames have a began-use-date marked on one end of the top surface so I am aware when I look at the top of the box which way is which. I can't imagine trying to do this without some kind of mark.

    Enj.
    Thanks enjambres.

    I like constructive thinking. I treat the combs just like that. And Housel taught me to be aware of this, even without me believing in the arrangement.
    Listen to good advice, then.... make your own decision. fusion_power
    www.vivabiene.de

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chardon, Ohio
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    454

    Default Re: Housel positioning - how to get it right?

    It is always a curiosity to me how such things as this develop a life and following when even a mild observation of the real world facts would end the idea forever. In this case once a larva or two is reared in a cell the bottom becomes a spherical shape and the Y is long gone due to accumulated wax, propolis and cocoons. Perhaps if you use wax foundation enough light could come thru so you could see the cell walls on the other side and delude your self into thinking you were seeing something on the bottom of the cell I suppose. I have looked at hundreds of cell bottoms carefully while grafting and have yet to see a single one where I could see a Y at all on plastic foundation unless I happened to pull the cocoon and wax off the bottom of the cell. Yet that foundation starts life with the Y just like wax foundation.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
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    6,266

    Default Re: Housel positioning - how to get it right?

    But of course most hive interiors are dark anyway and the whole premise is that somehow bees can see and will react differently to the position of the "Y" on the opposite side. There is also a school of thought out there that maintains bees will draw out black tinted plastic foundation better than lighter colors. Go figure.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    San Mateo, CA
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    Default Re: Housel positioning - how to get it right?

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    But of course most hive interiors are dark anyway and the whole premise is that somehow bees can see and will react differently to the position of the "Y" on the opposite side.
    Of course Jim, bees can't see in the dark. They feel out the up or down Y with their antennae, like a blind person reading Braille.

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