Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings, I am a first time beekeeper in Alaska.

Problem: My bees do not seem to want to build their comb on the Duragilt foundation. When speaking to another beekeeper he told me that I should remove one frame from each brood chamber and evenly space the frames... Problem is that my bees decided to not make comb on the foundation, but built their own comb on the bottom of the frames. So they are actually crawling between the foundation and their comb. It is very large and elaborate and full of brood. In order for me to inspect their handy work I have break up large sections of comb to pull out individual frames as the comb is largely built in between the frames and connected.

Question #1: Should I end their creative comb party and remove the comb and not give them extra space by removing a frame? I feel like they are wasting a lot of energy on building the comb in between, and should be focusing on building up the foundation. But would that be ultimately detrimental to the colony?

Question #2: Am I supposed to wait for the bees to fully draw out all the comb in the brood chamber before I add the honey supers?

My setup is:
- Qty 2 Deep Brood Chambers (7 frames in bottom, and 9 Frames in Top.
- two frame feeder in bottom Brood Chamber
- Have not put any honey supers on yet
- Duragilt foundation
- Wooden Frames

- Bees: 5 lb box of Italian Bees. They tend to only hang out in the middle of my hive where their wacky comb has been built and ignore all other frames.

Thanks for any input! -Mark
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,711 Posts
"When speaking to another beekeeper he told me that I should remove one frame from each brood chamber and evenly space the frames.."

Did you tell the beekeeper you were using Duragilt? Proabably the worst advice when using Duragilt, or any other foundation actually. It's better to have the frames pushed tight together in the center until they are drawn out. A full number of frames in a box also. Choosing to use one less frame in a brood box for easier inspection is OK. after they have been drawn out. Using one less frame [evenly spaced] for honey supers is done so the bees draw out the comb thicker for easier uncapping.

How long ago was the hive set up? Is there a beekeeper that can help you salvage some of the comb that has brood. You may be able to rubber band or tie some of the comb into an empty frame after cutting it away. You may just have to cut away the comb, push the frames together and hope they draw out the foundation properly. I don't relish this kind of problem to deal with. It has rarely [1-3 frames] happened for me.

Why do you have the feeder in the bottom box? You can put it in the top and it will be easier to refill. The bees will get to it fine.

Question #2 >>70%--80% drawn out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,144 Posts
I had used Duragilt foundation and the double combed a frame in both hives that i started....My first inspection i took it off for them to correct but only to come back a few weeks later on the next inspection to find double comb! I had a choice either to tear it back out only for them to built it back the same way, or tear it out and repair it some how if it didnt fall apart or lrt them be bees...I left them be bees but for my second deep hive body when that time comes, i DO NOT have Duragilt Foundation. Gonna try something different!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
Wow you have a mess on your hands but its totally fixable. They have to much space between frames. You violated the "bee-space" prime directive. I would end their creative comb building now before the whole hive ends up that way. You may need to find an experienced Beekeeper to help you. Cut those free built combs out and rubber-band them into some empty frames. I have never used the Duraguilt foundation but if your bees are not liking it perhaps change out those type with regular plastic/wax coated or even pure wax foundations. I think its mainly a spacing issue though. Clean off all the leftover burr comb so they don't get any ideas to rebuild. Put all the frames back in along with your rubber-banded combs, push them altogether and center in the hive body. After a week check to see if the bees are repairing the rubber-band combs and attaching to the frames etc. They should be. Then you can start thinking about moving some untouched frames towards the center to get them to draw out those better. Keep those frames pushed together. Here's a youtube video showing beekeepers doing a cutout and rubber-banding comb into regular frames. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yG-shO1M8A8&playnext_from=TL&videos=WL0ykgS0fPs
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the advice, and video everyone. I am going to go ahead and try to remove the wacky comb and and rubber band it into an empty frame... This is going to make the girls mad, after all their hard creative work. I will post pictures when done.

Is there something like wax paper that I could staple to the under side of the top bar of the frame to make it harder for them to draw comb on the top bar of the frame?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Greetings back. I'm a first time beekeeper in SW Michigan.

My Italian Banded bee have built comb not on the frames but on the inner cover and on the 'outside' of the frames in bottom super. I have 8 frame medium supers, but started with only 6 frames in the super. I've been told the bees have scented the inner cover and I need to put in a new one, and take their comb and tie it to the frames. My frames have wire supported beeswax foundations. Apparently the girls didn't like the scent of this foundation.

Will give this remedy a try. I hate to 'ruin' their comb again, as I did when lifting the inner cover to see how things were progressing. I hope they don't leave home.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
722 Posts
I went to a class and they said that bees are not to fond of those artificial foundations and the trick is to get them to accept it. I have plasticell with wax covering in wooden frames. Brand new stuff when I installed it. In the class they said that it is a good idea to spray them with sugar syrup. The bees will crawl all over them getting the sugar and leave their own scent on the foundation while doing it. That seems to be the acceptance thing for them. I'm still new to bee keeping, but I did just that and have wonderful comb. I did have a little bit burr comb in one hive, but I did not put the frames close together. I spaced them equally. I simply took it off, but kept the frames spaced out. It has been fine since. I use 8 frame boxes with 8 frames each.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top