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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    pensacola, Florida
    Posts
    19

    Question Building comb on top of frames

    I started a hive in early July and things seem to be going well. I opened the hive yesterday and they are building comb on top of the frame. They only have 4 frames filled with brood and honey. Why would they not be moving to the other frames?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
    Posts
    2,240

    Default Re: Building comb on top of frames

    If you have more than one box on they like to build in a chimney fashion straight up the center
    If you mix and match boxes and frames from different company's they sometimes have to much space that they fill with comb
    It helps to rotate the undrawn frames into the center one at a time
    Good Luck, Mike
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Washington, AR, USA
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Building comb on top of frames

    If you are using foundation, they might be using the space on top of the frame to put some drone. It happens sometimes, ignore it as long as you can and scrap it once it really begins to get in the way. They will also build "ladder comb" that they will use to climb into the next frame above. Likewise, ignore it. The suggestion by Mike Haney to rotate undrawn frames into the center one at a time is a good one, but wait until each is drawn before rotating in another. Also, in the spring, make sure you don't break up the brood area too soon and end up with chill brood.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    pensacola, Florida
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Building comb on top of frames

    Thankyou Mike and Mark. I will rotate an empty frame.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Bolton, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    268

    Default Re: Building comb on top of frames

    If it is between boxes, the bees put comb there to join the top of the frames with the bottom of the frames in the box above. they use it as a ladder to get from one box to the next.
    It's called ladder comb.

    Glen

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Walker, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    868

    Default Re: Building comb on top of frames

    Sometimes they build comb because the "bee space" is off. Bees build comb anywhere there is too much space and plug anything too small with propolis. Sometimes the space is off if you use boxes from different manufacturers or if the frames are from one manufacturer and the boxes from another. Bee space is commonly considered to be about 3/8" so anything less than 1/4" will likely get filled with propolis or or more than 1/2" will likely encourage comb production.

    JMO

    Rusty
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper & Rusty's Bees ( LC and T)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    pensacola, Florida
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Building comb on top of frames

    Thaks Rusty, that might be the problem.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    1,245

    Default Re: Building comb on top of frames

    By any chance are you using the all plastic frames? The bees will build above them when they will not on the wooden frame. It has to do with the thin area above where the comb ends to the top of the frame.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    pensacola, Florida
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Building comb on top of frames

    I went back into the hive today to see if what I suspected was what was happening and I was right, thanks again Rusty. I had the screened top upside down so there was a lot more space at the top and they were building comb all the way up. Also, the empty frame I inserted between two full frames was fully drawn, both sides with eggs being laid. Also got to see my queen for the first time since I introduced her. Thanks to everyone for your help here. I appreciate it so much.

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