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Conventional understanding says that when given 1:1 sugar syrup, honeybees will build comb -- at least in spring. (And maybe summer?).

So, my question is, what is the driver of that comb building. Is it that the bees are energized by the sugar, and are thus more capable of building comb faster, or is it that they have this enormous bounty of sugar, and they need someplace to store it?

While the answer may be, "both," my observations over recent months lead me to believe that the comb building is inspired primarily by the need for a place to store the sugar syrup.

What do you folks think?


Mig
 

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I'm a total newbie, but i THINK that the gorged bellies causes them to secrete more wax. I know that when I went to change the sugar water the girl sitting on my finger eating sugar water had white scales coming out of her abdomen. :eek: At first I worried that these were some sort of parasite, but then I realized that they were wax flakes. VERY COOL to see.
 

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Probably a combination of both. Also, a strong desire/instinct to reproduce and perpetuate their species.

"When Honey Bees swarm they gorge themselves with honey before leaving the hive..."

They need honey [energy] stored in their honey sacs in order to start building comb and raise brood as quickly as possible after finding a new home.

"..comb building is inspired primarily by the need for a place to store the sugar syrup."


One sign of a good nectar flow is for new or "white wax" being built around the top bars.
 

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Fuel is needed to produce wax. Wax is needed to build comb. Comb is needed to raise brood and for stores. If they need space and have the fuel, they'll make comb.
 

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Here in the mid-atlantic the necter flow is pretty much over. Also the hives are packed with bees that can build comb. So right now I'm feeding my bees with a 1:1 sugar water and trying to trick them into thinking there is a necter flow occuring so they will draw comb and the queen will continue her laying cycle thus insuring that they have enough bees and room for winter stores when they get 2:1 sugar water in the fall.
 
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