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Discussion Starter #1
I last posted about swarming behavior. Here is the update.
The bees vacated the trap after four days and then came back in a week with a large swarm. Only second swarm for me. I moved the trap 6 miles from origin and let them settle for a day. The trap is 40 liters and so there was a lot of room below the five frames which had foundation in them except for one or two frames. When I went to move the swarm to the hive I realized that the bees had built their comb from the bottom of the frame to the bottom of the trap without building comb on the frames. I was not prepared for that and so cut off the comb below the frames and shook the bees into the hive hoping for the best. Don't know if I lost the queen in the process. I am heartsick. What should I have done differently for the future? What do I do with that beautiful comb they drew? :(
 

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Search for posts on rubber banding or tying comb into frames. Watch a couple of "cut out" videos.

Rubber banding 3 20170507_110957.jpg Rubber banding 4 20170513_113750.jpg
 

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Thank you will do. Is there anything that can be done to discourage them from building comb anywhere else except on the frames?
Let me assume - you had plastic foundation in the frames.

Yes/no?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Let me assume - you had plastic foundation in the frames.

Yes/no?
Yep, never again! There were two empty frames but they were ignored.
Will go with empty frames with starter strip from now on. Also will carry rubber bands from now on. Went to check the hive again yesterday abd they seemed to have transitioned well. Now drawing out the frames. Feeding heavy with 1:1 syrup. Will check in a week or two to make sure I still have my Queen. Lesson learned.
Thanks
 

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If you're going foundationless except for the starter strip, you might consider wiring your frames. Also, get in the habit of only rotating your frames on their ends, never turn the frame to lay horizonal.


Place a little twine and/or painter's tape with your rubber bands, sometimes you'll need a little help in keeping the comb against the top bar.

Stringing 2 20170522_124822.jpg
 

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Yep, never again! There were two empty frames but they were ignored.
Will go with empty frames with starter strip from now on. Also will carry rubber bands from now on. Went to check the hive again yesterday abd they seemed to have transitioned well. Now drawing out the frames. Feeding heavy with 1:1 syrup. Will check in a week or two to make sure I still have my Queen. Lesson learned.
Thanks
You see - bees really don't like plastic, especially IF never used (maybe even hate it).
The only way to use plastic - force them onto it by checker-boarding and/or leave no other choices.

Of course a swarm will use empty space vs. plastic when have a choice.
I do have swarms latching into a plastic frame - only because it has been well used and has pre-built combs on it and smells great (the only reason I have this exactly ONE plastic frame rotating around in and out of traps).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If you're going foundationless except for the starter strip, you might consider wiring your frames. Also, get in the habit of only rotating your frames on their ends, never turn the frame to lay horizonal.


Place a little twine and/or painter's tape with your rubber bands, sometimes you'll need a little help in keeping the comb against the top bar.

View attachment 50355
Thanks
So mistake #2. I just rubber banded the comb in. Not attached to the topbar. Can't wait to see what they do with that mess.
Sometimes really hate learning as you go but thank God the bees are usually forgiving.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have only been doing this two years now but have noticed that waxed plastic foundation is usually their last choice.
I have had better luck with wax foundation.
 
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