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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good morning,
I have a question, when I’m doing my hive inspections I’m finding a lot of burr comb on top of the frames of the bottom brood box and on the bottom frames of the top brood box. What should I do clean it off every time I inspect or just leave it? Seems like a lot of bees would be crushed if it is left and I put the boxes back together?

Any thoughts

Thanks

Jay T
 

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I have seen people do both but I always try to clean it off. If you clean it off you can ad it to your wax supply to melt down and it also helps make it easier when inspecting when there isnt comb attaching everything together. JMO = Big T
 

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I alwas scrap off at least the top of the frames. The bees like to build drone comb in this area. A lot of the time it will have larva in it.
 

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Clean it off. It may indicate two things for you. 1) the bee space between the top of the frames in the bottom box, and the bottom of the frames in the top box is too wide. Take some calipers, or a ruler, and measure if you can. Shouldn't be more than 3/8 inch. If it is, try to remedy that.
2) It may indicate they need more space, so add another super.
or, of course there's always the reality that they may just like to annoy you by building burr comb. :lpf: (Hey, it annoys me too!)
Regards,
Steven
 

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Leave it alone. Don't scrape it off.

The bees put the burr comb there for a reason. If you scrape it off, they will just build more.

It acts as a ladder to help them climb from the bottom box to the box above it. Bees actually prefer large combs that run from the top of the hive to the bottom with no gaps in between comb sections. Building burr comb between boxes is the bees way of trying to get large comb sections. Queens prefer to lay in large comb sections too.

A puff of smoke across the bars will drive the bees back between the frames, so when you put the boxes back together you don't have to worry about crushing bees.
 

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I vote for scrape it off also. I always do, and they usually do not rebuild it. I tend to see burr comb after a heavy flow and have found that once started they will continue to add more and more. Being in my hives quite often for inspections, splits, etc burr comb can really slow things down. And for those that are not in the habit of checking frequently the burr comb can completely lock the frames together and become quite a sticky mess to scrape off between the honey and drone brood they put there.
 

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I'm a new beekeeper, so take my advice with a large grain of salt. But in my defense, I've been reading not only about beekeeping, but about bee biology and behavior in preparation for my first hive.

My first instinct is to leave the burr comb. The bees, who have been around a lot longer than humanity, know what they are doing. It takes the hubris of a human to say "hey, I know better - I'm going to rip that out". So my advice, leave it alone. The bees did it for a reason, and we may figure it out - we may not, but nature doesn't typically waste energy on fruitless causes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Keybeeper
Good point but is the beehive we putting bees in a natural environment????

Thanks for all the great input

Jay T
 

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How natural is a hive that is not 15 to 20 feet off the ground? Surviving natural hives have a very small opening also. I use 5/16 gap bottom board opening year round and it is more than enough. How natural is that 3/4 inch opening bottom board? Bees reuse comb for honey and do not crush or destroy it every time they want honey. I never saw a queen/honey excluder in a feral hive either. There was no brood in the honey stores. The latest fads in beekeeping are nothing that was not around 150 years ago like foundationless and horizontal hives. I am waiting to read about the first skep or gum hive resistant to all the pests, parasites and diseases brought over since our last 88 years in genetic isolation.
 

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I have 2 langstroth stand up hives both with new package bees and they both build burr comb every where....The first inspection a few weeks ago i cut it all out...Today i inspect and i see burr comb in the "Same exact areas"...hahaha...Plus i seen eggs & larva by the way...:D But this time i just cut the little bit of burr comb they had on top and said there you go have at it....hahahaha My TBH didnt have any burr comb at all and thats the one i assumed i would have the most issues with but they fooled me again...hahaha
 
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