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 05:23 PM.
20+ years, raise my own queens, feed when needed, I treat but have not perfected varroa management yet.