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58 Posts
Discussion Starter #1

I didn't find any thread on the forum about the use of what is called "the building-frame" in the Storch book "At the hive entrance"

I found Some french-speaking pages (google translation is a false friend!)
here on Lang sized hives and here

and one in a Warré hive

In french it's called "cadre-témoin" , what may be translated something like "control-frame " or "inspection-frame"

It is used tho observe the hive evolution during the year, anticipate the swarm fever, and as a varroa mite bait or trap as it produces mainly drone cells in season.

Does any body has a report or another reference ?

58 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
That french site is pretty interesting. Its basically some sort of observation hive.You can monitor one tiny custom frame.
it looks to be very instuctive about the life into the hive:

Storch "At the hive entrance" said:
We have also thought it useful to complete the observations made at the hive entrance and on the bottom board cover, with those interesting observations that one can make at the building frame and which we have taken from the book "Der Baurahmen" written by the inventor and promotor M.E. PASCHKE.
So it is that we can present our readers with a set of observations, all of which can be made by the beekeeper without him having to open or work within the colony. All these observations are very interesting, but only useful if they are understood and correctly interpreted.
This is the aim of this work.
After the cleansing flight the window must be reversed, the building frame is positioned with a starter strip of comb foundation, and then the window-glass outside. Usually after this operation one is settled until the end of summer, except of course for the periodic removal of the building frame which must be cut once a week, even if it is not fully built up. The operation only takes a couple of minutes and is not upsetting for the colony.
Badly disturbed colonies gradually cease all activity. =This is always the case when one works in the brood nest. (removal of brood frames, larvae for rearing, queen cells, etc ... ). The young bees stop their many activities such as feeding the open brood, fanning, keeping guard, etc ... The foragers returning with pollen run anxiously on the combs, many bees visit the honey cells to fill their crops. The queen loses interest, stops egg laying and the bees stop feeding her. Several hours pass before the colony resumes its normal activity. If this happens on a day of nectar flow, these disturbances cause, as we have already mentioned elsewhere, the loss of many hundreds of grams of nectar. Beekeepers who fiddle in their colonies, often without good reason, should always keep these considerations in mind. Certain manipulations such as removing the building frames, adding frames or working without touching the nest, are not considered great disturbances which can cause bad results.

A colony is not working at the building frame. =The colony is not in order. One must check whether there is a queen and a sufficient quantity of bees. The colony can eventually be strenghthened with bees found on the building frame of well populated hives.

The colony builds up its building frame within a week. = All is in order. One must enlarge the colonies that have built up the building frame in a week or less.

The work on the building frame has ceased in all of the colonies. = Either it is raining or it is a time with no nectar flow.

A single colony ceases to work on the building frame. = Swarming fever is affecting the colony.

A colony has built only a small heartshape at the building frame with acorn cups at the bottom. = A sure sign of swarming, which will take place in about a fortnight's time -or the colony is queenless.

The edges of the building frame cells are very much thicker than usual. = There are not enough frames in the hive. A foundation frame should be given.

The colony builds up its building frame entirely with worker cells. = There is no longer any danger of swarming for this particular year or else the queen has been replaced without swarming.

Bees are building combs everywhere paying no attention to the building frame foundation. = The building frame has been badly replaced and the distance between it and the frames of the brood nest is greater than 10 mm.

The bees have withdrawn from the window and occupy the beeways at the bottom of the frames.= The beekeeper has made an error. The glass pane of the window has been badly replaced and lets air in or the pane is too thin and allows heat to escape.

The colony is building wax nets on the window pane of the building frame.= This is a good quality colony.

A colony changes quickly from building combs of large cells to building combs of worker cells. = This is a quality colony and it will not have swarming fever.

The building frame is built up in a single day and is completely filled with eggs. = Main flow. There is no longer any room in the brood nest to satisfy the egg laying queen, wax foundations should be given otherwise there is risk of swarming.

The building frame is built up in a single day and is full of liquid honey. = Main flow; remove that which is capped, give one or more frames of foundation otherwise there is risk of swarming.

Agitation (running around) on the window of the building frame. = The first few hours of queenlessness. Look at the hive entrance; the bees are agitated and appear to be looking for something.

Males are present at the building frame window. = They have become useless and will soon be chased from the hive.

Although there is no starter strip of comb foundation, the bees begin to build worker cells. = This comb must not be cut, one must wait for it to be strip of comb foundation, the full of honey and capped. Use it as honey comb. It could be that this is a prime swarm headed by a virgin queen.
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