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Thread: Why???

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Saucier,Ms
    Posts
    139

    Default Why???

    I caught this swarm last friday 4/12 I love the fact they are drwaing comb, just not happy with where they are doing it........why are they drawing it in different places like this and how do I fix it?


    one side at the top of the box


    other side at the bottom/floor of the box


    middle of frames and not on the one I had foundation in just a blank frame

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,195

    Default Re: Why???

    Bees often prefer NOT to use foundation. If you give them space where they can build comb without using foundation, they will often choose to avoid the foundation.

    It appears that you gave them some foundationless frames along with some foundation and they simply took advantage of the situation. A reference:

    Bees always prefer their own comb to drawing on foundation and will take every opportunity you give them to do so.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beespackages.htm#dontpostpone
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    320

    Default Re: Why???

    Also be sure your hive is completely level--looks like maybe it isn't. Generally best to alternate foundation with foundationless particularly in the first box so they "draw between the lines" so to speak.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Blacksburg, VA
    Posts
    444

    Default Re: Why???

    It looks like you are using frames with no foundation, and no guide on the top bar. If you don't want them to build anywhere they want to, you should provide foundation or some kind of guide on the bottom of the top bar. You can use any kind of wood strip in the groove on the bottom of the top bar, or put a narrow strip of foundation there to guide them. This works most of the time, but you should keep an eye on it in case they stray from the guides.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,872

    Default Re: Why???

    You gave a swarm foundationless frames with no guides or vertical supports. Leaving them a big void of space is typically not very smart, especially with a swarm. Did you not have the box full of frames either? I don't see why they would build horizontal comb like that unless you had that big space there, void of frames. Do you have any drawn comb you could provide them? If not, I'd get 4-5 frames of foundation, since the swarm doesn't look that big, reduce the box down to accomodate that and try to start over. They're building on the side of the box because there's too much room there as nothing is next to the wall to stop them.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    244

    Default Re: Why???

    I agree with JRG and rkereid - I caught a swarm last year in an 8 frame medium (with 4" tray underneath to make the cavity larger). One brood frame, 7 foundationless (but each had a wood starter strip sticking down about 1/8 - 3/16's of an inch). By the time I was able to get to the trap and retrieve them (the trap was 4 hour drive from where I live) - they had comb on all 7 frames, all perfect on the starter strips. Without any guides, the chances will go way down that they will do what you want them too.

    Tom

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,872

    Default Re: Why???

    Pa, you also had the broodframe to help guide them. foundation won't do that as well, especially if they ignore it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,213

    Default Re: Why???

    You shouldn't expect them to build the combs in the frames without comb guides...

    http://bushfarms.com/beesfoundationless.htm#combguide
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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