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I just completed an inspection of a hive to check the girls progress and this is what I found. I have gone with foundationless on this hive and they are building comb from the bottom up! Has anyone heard of this before? I don't see it as a problem, just curious as to why? If you have experienced this before or if you know why please let me know.
 

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My bees have done that a few times. The only time it has been a problem is with deep frames, for me. Once we pulled a deep frame that was built from the bottom up. It was pulled out about 1/2 way. We did not realize it right away, and it fell over. The bees went from gentle to mean in a split second.

Shane
 

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my bees seem to do this for the first couple foundationless frames when i put a new box ontop but once one is drawn to the top they do the rest top to bottom, the upside down frame is not always straight and can make a mess sometimes.
 

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Have reported on these pages before that the colony CAN build comb upwards. Against there natural instincts, but bees are famously adaptable.

The colony typically only does constructive work within the warmed cluster area. With a large open space above, what choice do they have?

Walt
 

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From the look of it the bees have drawn frames below them. If that is truly the case then why would they make a gap and draw from the top going down? When they have foundation its no issue. Never in my life have i seen bees draw comb from two directions ( without foundation) and join the two in a up/down manner. Expecting them to do to so with over supering as opposed to under supering in this case is illogical in my bee book!!
 

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Yes, I have seen it here these last couple of years since I've gone foundationless. They don't do it if I give them a frame or two already drawn as bait frames in the added box.
 

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If you are supering and foundationless it is best to provide "ladders" for the bees to move up to the top of the box or this often happens.
Basically is a vertical starter strip 1 inch thick running the full depth. You only need this in the two middle frames. Alternatively, when you super move couple of frames up for the box underneath, provided the boxes are the same size of course.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Pictured are two deeps. I could add a couple of drawn frames next time, but I can't see where the direction matters, it is not causing me any problems and if that is the way they want to go, so be it. Thanks everyone for all the responses.
 

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I may have this wrong but it my understanding that the reason bees festoon when wax building is to provide the heat required. Building down from the top is also more efficient for heat retention for the colony as it doesn't leave a large vacuum above them where heat can be lost.
 

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It does matter and it will end up in a big mess. If you don't address this early you will regret it.

Pictured are two deeps. I could add a couple of drawn frames next time, but I can't see where the direction matters, it is not causing me any problems and if that is the way they want to go, so be it. Thanks everyone for all the responses.
 

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Because it is unsupported, is getting taller, and has bees hanging off of it, it will start to flop 9 very before getting attached to the top.

The bees will shore things up by building supports at 90° to the comb. Then they make the supports taller to support the taller comb, it flops over anyways and the bees keep building on this collapsed mess.

Deknow
 

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The "way the bees want to go" is to start at the top and work down. You've added extra space above after they started from the top. This has to do with your manipulations, not what the bees want.

Deknow
 

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Because it is unsupported, is getting taller, and has bees hanging off of it, it will start to flop 9 very before getting attached to the top.

The bees will shore things up by building supports at 90° to the comb. Then they make the supports taller to support the taller comb, it flops over anyways and the bees keep building on this collapsed mess.

Deknow
So, what should one do when this happens? Take out what they have built and put it in an empty frame or what?
 

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Cross-wire your frames, this will go a long way toward keeping the comb from falling over. Fresh warm comb is very fragile, and unlike beekeepers (and state inspectors!) bees don't care if the comb goes all crazy.

Otherwise, don't add space before they can fill it, and provide ladders for them so they can start at the top.

Foundation wasn't invented to help the bees, it was invented to help the beekeeper.

Peter
 

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Always put at least one drawn frame in a box of foundation less frames. I say at least one, but 2 is the least I would tend to do....the bees want to be between combs, not just on them, and if there aren't 2 active combs you can move to the new box, then the bees probably won't draw comb anyways because they probably don't need it.
 

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What they have started to build will turn into a mess. The longer you leave it, the more resources will go into making a mess that you will have to clean up anyways.

When you are done watching the train wreck, you can put that box upside down on the bottom of the stack and let any brood emerge and honey get moved up.

Deknow
 

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deknow does know. Move some drawn frames up. The bee that is under that comb when it falls may be your queen.

It is not so uncommon that it is special to watch.
 
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