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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    San Diego, CA USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Bees not building where they are supposed to

    OK. So I'm a total noob and this is my first hive. Please don't beat me up too much, but I need help. I captured a swarm by a dumpster and let them live in a cardboard box with a hole in it for entry/ exit while feeding them raw honey for a week while my hive was in the mail. I managed to get them into the hive after a week of living in the box with little issue. (They were NOT happy) I put all of the comb they made in the bottom of the hive so they could still have the larvae in the comb. It seemed like a good idea at the time. There was a lot more comb in the cardboard box than I imagined would be in there.

    The bees just keep adding to the comb at the bottom of the hive instead of building on the bars. My boyfriend has the idea that we should let them stalagmite the comb up to the bars, then cut off the bottom part. I think that will take too long, but I don't have any better idea about how to get them to build from the top bars. My hive has a window so I keep glaring at them from time to time but that doesn't help either.

    Any suggestions on what to do now? As a bug person, I really don't want to kill any larvae if I don't have to.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,256

    Default Re: Bees not building where they are supposed to

    I'm no expert, but I don't think they'll build straight comb unless you help them. One way people do cut-outs of wild hives to top bar hives is to tie cheap dimestore hair clips to the bars, and use those clips to attach the wild comb to the bars. It doesn't have to be perfect, because the bees will repair the damage you do cutting the combs apart. I think it'll just turn into a bigger mess if you leave them alone.

    You can Google "top bars" and "cut outs" to see a video of someone doing this.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    San Diego, CA USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Bees not building where they are supposed to

    That's a great idea!

    I feel retarded now, because I suspected they were only building on the bottom because the comb was there and they were just adding to what was there and not thinking about it. I didn't think it would be possible to fasten comb to the top with out making the bees angry that you damaged it.

    Thanks!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, California
    Posts
    142

    Default Re: Bees not building where they are supposed to

    rubber bands can also be used to hold the comb in empty frames. the bees will attach it to the frame and then chew the rubber bands off and carry them out.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,256

    Default Re: Bees not building where they are supposed to

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeTech View Post
    rubber bands can also be used to hold the comb in empty frames. the bees will attach it to the frame and then chew the rubber bands off and carry them out.
    I had the impression this was a top bar hive.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    San Diego, CA USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Bees not building where they are supposed to

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    I had the impression this was a top bar hive.
    It is. Being a noob I didn't want to have to buy a centrifuge. Plus my hive is so cute I don't think the neighbor will know what it is unless he sees me open it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Landing, NJ, USA
    Posts
    211

    Default Re: Bees not building where they are supposed to

    It seems from reading here that anything you do to get the comb flying in formation with the top bar and right side up will be repaired by the bees. String, rubber bands, zip ties, chicken wire, I may have even seen mention of use of a piece of badminton net. Some of the more durable things will have to be removed later, The things like rubber bands and string will probably be removed by the bees.
    Bill

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