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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    San Rafael, CA
    Posts
    26

    Exclamation Very Strange Comb Building - I've never seen this before.

    Hello,

    I inspected a hive yesterday and was looking at the new Deep I added on the top a month ago. I wish I had taken pictures but I made an image to explain what I saw.

    The deep had 10 frames, wood with plastic foundation. The bees built the comb at a 90 degree angle to the foundation (please see the attached image). Inside of the comb the queen had layed a lot of drones and they were storing honey. I've never seen anything like this before, and at first thought maybe the queen needs to be replaced or they don't like plastic foundation.



    Has anyone seen this before? and what do you think may have caused it?

    Thank you,

    Ben

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,940

    Default Re: Very Strange Comb Building - I've never seen this before.

    they bridged them to build drone comb. Is it wax coated? I haven't found bees that like plastic so much yet.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Wausau, WI, USA
    Posts
    212

    Default Re: Very Strange Comb Building - I've never seen this before.

    Yes, this is not that uncommon when starting with a full box of foundation. This is brace comb. No worries. Remove each frame and scrape it off back to the plastic foundation. That's the nice thing about plastic. When you reinstall make sure all 10 frames are packed together and not spaced out. Center the cluster of frames in the box. Building brace comb usually results from too much space between the frames. any honey can be fed back to the bees. Hope this helps.

    Wisnewbee
    Honey Luv Farm
    Last edited by Wisnewbee; 04-22-2013 at 03:40 PM. Reason: clarification

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    San Rafael, CA
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Very Strange Comb Building - I've never seen this before.

    Thanks for the feedback, yes the foundation was wax coated and I made sure the 10 frames were packed together. I'll clean the comb off and let them at it again.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Wausau, WI, USA
    Posts
    212

    Default Re: Very Strange Comb Building - I've never seen this before.

    I love plastic foundation. If the girls draw it out into to much drome comb, I just scrape and they redrawn in worker usually. Good Luck

    Wisnewbee
    Honey Luv Farm

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Very Strange Comb Building - I've never seen this before.

    Just turn the box 90 DEG....!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Arlee MT USA
    Posts
    548

    Default Re: Very Strange Comb Building - I've never seen this before.

    Interesting. Just goes to show that even when you give them foundation they can still do their own thing.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,518

    Default Re: Very Strange Comb Building - I've never seen this before.

    My bees once made 45 degree comb... I reattach it to the frames with hair clips and all comb is straight. It was foundationless.
    Серёжа, Sergey

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    3,083

    Default Re: Very Strange Comb Building - I've never seen this before.

    My bees are doing this in a few spots. To much space due to to much empty foundation. They will also draw comb from one frame to far into the space for the next frame. This is actually more of a problem than the brace comb.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,770

    Default Re: Very Strange Comb Building - I've never seen this before.

    Quote Originally Posted by bsteineman View Post
    Has anyone seen this before? and what do you think may have caused it?

    Thank you,

    Ben
    Sure. A common experience. Bees being bees. Foundation is a suggestion. Also, perhaps, had there been more bees and a strong nectar flow they wouldn't have done what you illustrate quite as much. Though, I have seen the same thing in some of my hives this Spring. I put two Pierco frames in the brood box when I make Spring Nucs. Quite a lot of which has been well drawn.

    The frames of comb facing those frames does often become deeper, extending into the space of the Pierco frames. You'll have to ask the bees why.
    Mark Berninghausen To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: Very Strange Comb Building - I've never seen this before.

    Is the hive facing East/West or North/South?

    I usually put them North/South.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,384

    Default Re: Very Strange Comb Building - I've never seen this before.

    Often on plastic...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Very Strange Comb Building - I've never seen this before.

    Just had that with plastic. It was in a setup with square boxes and the frames were perpendicular to the ones below. Probably not relevant, but it happened.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

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