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Thread: Wax Builders

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Default Wax Builders

    Probably really basic, but is there one race of bees that builds wax much faster or more aggressively than others, when a strong flow is on. Or maybe does better when there is only feed on.

    As a new bee tender, can you set up a hive with a top having a nuc size opening with a nuc on and allow them to build out frames in the nuc and steal them for helping other hives.

    Just wondering about the best way to get foundation filled frames perhaps a little faster.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    McClure, OH
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    Default Re: Wax Builders

    All races build wax when a strong flow is on or when you are feeding.

    You can set up the hive just as you described. Alternatively, you can set up a full-sized box on top of a strong hive, which will give you more frames.

    Stronger hives draw out frames faster than weaker hives. Pretty much anything will work as long as you have a strong hive on a flow or you are feeding them.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Wax Builders

    Ok, thank you

  4. #4
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    Jun 2011
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    Santa Clara, California, USA
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    Default Re: Wax Builders

    Caucasian bees are know for building wax to the point they over build and working the hive can be difficult when the hive is sealed with proprolis.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Wax Builders

    Quote Originally Posted by marshmasterpat View Post
    one race of bees that builds wax much faster or more aggressively than others....
    Not certain race plays a big role, but certainly those that just swarmed are really fantastic wax builders
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  6. #6
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    Jun 2008
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    Sacramento,California,USA
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    Default Re: Wax Builders

    Swarms are great at building wax. They leave their old hive with bellies full of honey so that when they arrive at their new hive location, they can start building wax right away. Hiving a swarm on foundation or foundationless frames only, with no drawn comb, gets them drawing wax right away. Add a syrup feeder to keep them drawing strong. If you give them a drawn comb or two when you hive them, then they won't draw wax right away but deposit their belly loads into the drawn comb you have given them.

    You can do a simulated swarm, called a shook swarm, to get bees to draw out comb right away. I take all the combs out of the hive, shaking all of the bees off into a box of nothing but foundation frames. I give the shaken bee-less combs to other hives in the bee yard. I find the queen during the shaking process and cage her with marshmellow in the cage hole, so that the bees can release her. I do this to keep them from absconding, just in case they might try to leave from the loss of all comb and brood. The shooken swarm I have created starts drawing comb right away. I've done this at the start of a strong flow, and added a super of foundation frames on top, over a queen excluder. It gives me a shook swarm that starts drawing wax right away and I get a box of comb honey above the excluder. If not in a flow, then be sure to add syrup feeder so they have energy to draw comb.

    I do not think the race of bees is as important as the situation or configuration of the hive, and flow conditions or feeding conditions.
    Last edited by RayMarler; 11-08-2013 at 04:23 PM. Reason: grammar
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Wax Builders

    Great technique Ray. I'll be doing it this spring.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Jefferson Co, TX
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    Default Re: Wax Builders

    Ray - Tips like that for us new bee keepers is worth a lot. Many thanks

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbell River, BC, CA
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    Default Re: Wax Builders

    I've read a few times about shook swarms, and never really understood the _why_ of the exercise.

    Thanks for that explanation Ray, now it suddenly makes more sense to me.

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