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An old man I know that had bees for one year, 25 years ago, told me that if you scrape burr comb or any wax off in the hive and put it on the outside-front of the hive that the bees would take it into the hive and reuse it. I have never heard of anything like this before and I told the old man he was full of it! Does anyone have any information on this? Of course he is always trying to give me advice on my hives. Like he told me to boil my sugar water really good before you give it to them, it kills bacteria he said. (ahhh yeah then it kills the bees). And he also told me when I install packages to close them up in the hive for a week so they don't abscond(ahhh yeah right, that makes good sense) lol But anyways if you all know anything about the wax let me know.


Thanks
Dan
 

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There is some logic to the statement, when no nectar is available they will chew up comb on the outside of the brood nest and relocate it to areas of need. As far as leaving it on the landing board. I avoid this along with throwing it on the ground around the hive. It encourages other insects and animals like raccoons and skunks to molest the hive. And could promote robbing.
 

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Boiling the sugar syrup does help dissolve the granulated sugar and kill bacteria that causes mold and other problems. Of course you let it cool before you give to to the bees. Most of us just use the hottest water out of the tap though. Along with a little bit of bleach or hbh.
Regards,
Steven
 

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Discussion Starter #5
There is some logic to the statement, when no nectar is available they will chew up comb on the outside of the brood nest and relocate it to areas of need. As far as leaving it on the landing board. I avoid this along with throwing it on the ground around the hive. It encourages other insects and animals like raccoons and skunks to molest the hive. And could promote robbing.
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Bees will recycle and reuse propolis. Bees may work burr comb scrapings to any propolis, and it might appear they are trying to reuse the wax.
 

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I've never seen them use any significant amount of wax. I have left out cappings, put the cappings in the hive, left out old combs etc. Yes, they collect propolis off of the old hives, but not much wax if any.
 

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I leave the scrapings inside the hive for the bees to salvage whatever goodies it contains. Lifting off the top parts onto the inverted cover and placing them at an angle leaves a corner of the cover to clean the hive tool. The scrapings are the last thing to go in the hive before the cover goes on. The wax disappears. So, I assume that they are reusing it.

MB is right - they don't retrieve wax away from the hive, and wax on the landing board stays there for a while. Maybe it eventually goes inside.

Walt
 

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Well that wasn't my question, but anyways. I read in Beekeeping for dummies that boiling sugar water causes the sugars to caramelize which can be toxic to the bees. Is the book wrong? Boiling the heck out of the sugar water would help with my feeding chore.
Yes, boiling the SUGAR water will carmelize it if you let it got hot enough. Instead, boil the WATER, turn off the heat, then add the sugar. Won't be hot enough to carmelize the sugar, but will kill bacteria and aid in dissolving the sugar. Keep it at or under 212 degrees F and it won't caramelize.
 

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I quit going to local bee club meetings because of all the old men like that. Too much mis-information.
 

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Ok, here's my take on it as a newbie. Knowing that bees will reuse wax on the frames which has been damaged during the harvest and will simply repair the comb and redraw with the same wax, why not just press some into empty frames that are going back in to be reworked?
 

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Well that wasn't my question, but anyways. I read in Beekeeping for dummies that boiling sugar water causes the sugars to caramelize which can be toxic to the bees. Is the book wrong? Boiling the heck out of the sugar water would help with my feeding chore.

So do you know anything about the wax?

You bring the water to a boil and mix in the sugar, your not cooking it down like you would for maple syrup!
 

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It's a waste of time to boil the water to try and sterilize it before feeding it to the bees. Sugar water is going to naturally grow airborne bacteria and yeast. Bee's aren't so touchy that they're going to die from drinking your water unless you're on city water with chlorine in it in which case I would use a dechlorinator that is safe for aquarium's and allow the water to sit open (without the sugar in it) exposed to oxygen for 24 hours. This is what we tell people at the reptile rescue I work with and reptiles have EXTREMELY sensitive systems.
 

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Well contrary to popular beliefs, yes bees will reuse wax and propolis.

I have watched them for days working it on my porch. They will chew it up into very small pieces and pack it into their pollen baskets. I had an inner cover that had propolis and burr comb on it and they cleaned it all off. It was just a few bees that were always there, not like an open feeder.

Question for the doubters..........what happens to the foundation in frames when you set them on a hive too late in the year?? They get chewed up sometimes, what happens to all of that wax??

Not sure if it has anything to do with the different strain of bees or what.

G3
 
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