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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Cache, Utah, USA
    Posts
    61

    Default They are now building lumpy comb and not as rapidly as before.

    When I first hived the swarm on 6/12 I gave them 5 frames of old comb I got from a friend. Since then they filled out the other 4 with uniform comb. I fed them for 10 days and they completely filled everything up (it was during a flow I realized). I got worried about space so I installed a second deep on day 10 and moved #3 and #7 frames up to the middle of the top deep and replaced them with new foundation. They have since filled 2 more frames with good comb but are just playing on 3 more frames with crazy lumpy comb. I pulled 2 more frames from the bottom again Saturday and moved to the top. They have drawn the crazy comb on the new foundation in the bottom deep as well. What do I do? Should I start to feed them again as I think the flow is over. Do I need to scrape off the crazy comb? I've been doing some reading and I read that from age 12 to 17 the bees job is to produce wax. Older bees can but are not as efficient. I am at day 26 after hiving the swarm and day 20 from first notice of eggs. I have noticed a decline in bees. could it be that they are not drawing comb because of the old bees and should I start feeding when I estimate I have 12 day old bees? Isthe crazy lumpy comb due to older bees?
    https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resi...N5SEmC75qMygag

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Cache, Utah, USA
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: They are now building lumpy comb and not as rapidly as before.

    Anybody? this is my first hive and I don't know what to expect.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Belews Creek, NC, USA
    Posts
    328

    Default Re: They are now building lumpy comb and not as rapidly as before.

    Any way you can post your picture where it can be viewed? I can't access it. I've seen frames with foundation the bees don't like. The result was not as uniform as normal. Sometimes not having your frames butt up tight or leaving an uneven gap between the frames will result in uneven comb (yes, I know people running 9 or 8 frames leave a big gap). I think a picture might help.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Cache, Utah, USA
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: They are now building lumpy comb and not as rapidly as before.

    IMG_1782.jpg IMG_1789.jpg IMG_1787.jpg

    Are you able to see these? Thanks for your reply. Yes I make sure that I push all the frames together in the middle. The Bottom Deep only had 9 frames because my that is what my friend does and he gave me 5 frames of old comb. I couldn't fit the 10th one in. The Top deep has 10 frames in. What is interesting is they made good comb at first but have started making this lumpy comb since I placed the Top deep on. I sprayed the foundation with sugar water when I placed the top deep.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,881

    Default Re: They are now building lumpy comb and not as rapidly as before.

    Your "crazy lumpy comb" is what I would call "fins". They don't like the plastic and they are building at right angles to it. Having the frames tight together helps. I would scrape all of the "fins" off and smear the wax around on the plastic... and let them try again.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Johnson County, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: They are now building lumpy comb and not as rapidly as before.

    I've recently had the same problem, so thanks for posting and thanks to Michael for a solution. By the way, Talvez, it looks like you live in a beautiful place!
    Once the bee is inside, Mr. Veil is no longer your friend.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Cache, Utah, USA
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: They are now building lumpy comb and not as rapidly as before.

    Thanks Michael! I've noticed you are always really helpful on this forum. Just a thought, but your helpfullness encourages me to buy your book, keep it up. Is there any merit to my thoughts on an older population and decreased or crappy comb building? I'm not sure but I think our flow is ending so should I start feeding again to get comb production going again?

    khicks12: Let me know how it works for you and I'll do the same. Yes it is beautiful but we can get snow or freezing temps during parts of 8 months! I'm looking into Carnolians when I requeen.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Belews Creek, NC, USA
    Posts
    328

    Default Re: They are now building lumpy comb and not as rapidly as before.

    I assume you have only one hive? If it were me I'd replace the plastic foundation with wired wax foundation. With only a brood box or two, the cost would be minimal and your problem will go away. Your girls will draw normal comb. You may want to replace the worst cases first and let them draw out so your queen will have plenty of room to lay.
    I'm not sure why anyone would run 8 or 9 frames in their brood box...seems like the extra comb would cause problems when pulling frames for an inspection. A lot of beeks run 8 or 9 frames in their supers. Makes them easier to uncap and I hear you get a higher honey yield (although I'd like to see the numbers on this). I would run 10 frames in my brood boxes and keep them tight together. A full box of bees is enough to deal with without the hassel of dealing with wild comb.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Cache, Utah, USA
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: They are now building lumpy comb and not as rapidly as before.

    Yes one hive only. I agree with you onthe10 frames and have 10 in the top deep. Just can't make 10 work in thebottom with the donated frames. I followed Michael's advice and took all the fin comb and smeared it around the foundation. That's the most worked up I've ever seen those girls!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,881

    Default Re: They are now building lumpy comb and not as rapidly as before.

    > thanks to Michael for a solution

    I'm not sure it is a solution per se. They may build the fins again... but hopefully not. Having the frames tightly together will help too.

    > Is there any merit to my thoughts on an older population and decreased or crappy comb building?

    Not that I've noticed. Some bees seem to be better at parallel combs that others and I think it's genetic. Some bees mess up any kind of foundation. Others build perfect combs all the time.

    >I'm not sure but I think our flow is ending so should I start feeding again to get comb production going again?

    What do they have for comb? Stores? etc.? If they don't have enough combs to store honey for winter, probably you should. If they do have enough drawn combs, you could wait to feed them until later when you see if the fall flow fills things out.

    >I'm not sure why anyone would run 8 or 9 frames in their brood box...seems like the extra comb would cause problems when pulling frames for an inspection.

    Yes, wider spacing does. It also contributes to things like fins and extra combs between and those combs parallel but out from the surface of the foundation... I get the least amount of these kinds of things with narrow spacing and 9 frames in an 8 frame box or 11 in a 10 frame box.

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

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Cache, Utah, USA
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: They are now building lumpy comb and not as rapidly as before.

    Thanks again! I read about the 11 frames in a 10 frame box on your website. It makes sense. A little worried about space to get frames out. 10 frames give me plenty of space to pull frames though. Next hive I will try 11. I don't know how I could pull all these frames now and shave them down. As for stores. I am told I need 2 full deeps for winter (thats 10 frame boxes) around here. I have 10 of 19 frames drawn so I think I will start feeding here in a week to coinicide with the new bees reaching 12 days. I am also worried about robbing as I can visibly see a drop in my population over the last week. Should start to pick up with the new shift coming on line.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,162

    Default Re: They are now building lumpy comb and not as rapidly as before.

    I've had some hives do this even during a flow, when I put plastic between frames of brood. I have tried a few foundationless frames with good results. Will be using more using more foundationless and less plastic in the future.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,881

    Default Re: They are now building lumpy comb and not as rapidly as before.

    > A little worried about space to get frames out.

    If you shave the end bars to 1 1/4" you have the same space left over:

    11 * 1.25 = 13.75
    10 * 1.375 = 13.75
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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