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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, we just found out that the swarm we installed in a 10 frames box 2 weeks ago, has started to built some burr comb on one side of a plastic frame. Should we remove it or leave them alone.It’s only on one side of one frame. Thank you for any advise. 925F4AFA-D9F6-40E2-9827-C565BEC4FAB6.jpg FD65DB8F-0A8F-43FF-B460-0F1838205C88.jpg ED6B98E2-3D11-4B2B-8A87-2A2D8B44604F.jpg 925F4AFA-D9F6-40E2-9827-C565BEC4FAB6.jpg FD65DB8F-0A8F-43FF-B460-0F1838205C88.jpg ED6B98E2-3D11-4B2B-8A87-2A2D8B44604F.jpg
 

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I scrape it off since it will cause problems with the adjacent frame comb development or bridging. It will only get worse, not better. Sometimes plastic that is a bit shy of wax coating turns the bees off and they get creative. They usually draw it out ok next time around. It is more likely to happen early in the season.

Maybe those tree bees just not house broken yet!:p
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I scrape it off since it will cause problems with the adjacent frame comb development or bridging. It will only get worse, not better. Sometimes plastic that is a bit shy of wax coating turns the bees off and they get creative. They usually draw it out ok next time around. It is more likely to happen early in the season.

Maybe those tree bees just not house broken yet!:p
Thanks for the advise.We’ll do that and... try not to lose the queen in the process🤞! That was our main concern actually!
 

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If you are concerned about loosing queen then shake/bang the frame hard on the frame rest to dislodge the queen and other bees but have enough space adjacent to the frame being shaken. You can scrape off the burr comb after the bees are off the frame. You can add an empty frame between the brood frames to draw it out correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If you are concerned about loosing queen then shake/bang the frame hard on the frame rest to dislodge the queen and other bees but have enough space adjacent to the frame being shaken. You can scrape off the burr comb after the bees are off the frame. You can add an empty frame between the brood frames to draw it out correctly.
Thank you for that! We just did it and happy to see the queen had not yet layed eggs on that comb!
Since yesterday, they had already started to draw some burr comb on two other plastic frames, though! Seems like they don’t like them so much...
Thanks again for all your inputs, over this forum.Very helpful and encouraging !
 

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You are welcome! You can paint some beeswax on the plastic foundation using foam brush or paint roller. The extra wax may help but you have to make sure you keep the hexagon profile edges sharp if you do this. Also keep the frames tight together since the extra space between frames will cause more burr combs.
 

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You are welcome! You can paint some beeswax on the plastic foundation using foam brush or paint roller. The extra wax may help but you have to make sure you keep the hexagon profile edges sharp if you do this. Also keep the frames tight together since the extra space between frames will cause more burr combs.
Exactly. Bees hate plastic. I'll melt some wax in an old slow cooker and use a small foam roller to put a nice coat on the frames. You can also use a nylon brush. In a pinch, I've used raw beeswax and heated an end with a heat gun and then rubbed the wax over the frame. Then lightly go over the frame with the heat gun and it forms perfectly to the frame ridges, too much heat and it will melt down into the cells.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Exactly. Bees hate plastic. I'll melt some wax in an old slow cooker and use a small foam roller to put a nice coat on the frames. You can also use a nylon brush. In a pinch, I've used raw beeswax and heated an end with a heat gun and then rubbed the wax over the frame. Then lightly go over the frame with the heat gun and it forms perfectly to the frame ridges, too much heat and it will melt down into the cells.
Thanks for the suggestion! Had tried to rub some melted wax over my plastic frame with a nylon brush, but it was filling the cells . Will try the heat gun next time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
We just did that and hope they “ understand”��! We are new to beekeeping, what is the difference between “ fins” and burr comb? Thanks
 

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We just did that and hope they “ understand”��! We are new to beekeeping, what is the difference between “ fins” and burr comb? Thanks
Burr comb or 'bridge" comb is built as a walkway from one area of the hive to the other. It's mostly seen between frame tops and between hive bodies so the bees have something to walk up, down, over, etc.

Fins are built as primary comb for use in brood rearing or honey storage. As they expand the next they should be building it on your foundation. Instead, they are going freestyle as they don't like the plastic or started a pattern they are continuing.
 

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Take that comb, melt it down and paint another frame with it so it's not wasted. It may not be much, but when you are starting out and have no drawn comb, every bit is valuable.
 

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After you scrape it, I don't know if it's smell or what, but even though it may look fully scraped to our eyes, the bees will often try to do it again. Good plan, put it next to a fully built comb so the bees feel there is not enough room to build burr comb again. A frame of capped brood, tight against the scraped frame is good.
 
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