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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi I'm new to the forum and new to bees. Last year I got my first hive and rescued a swarm to start out. They did really well over the winter and are growing in size I have them in 2 deeps and 1 honey. Now here's my question they are starting to build comb in the opposite direction of what they are suppose to. I mean between the frames rather then on the frame. Most of the frames are drawn out correctly and then all of a sudden there will be a patch where they built the comb going in the opposite direction. Any ideals why they would do this? I thought that's why frames are specially spaced apart to keep them from doing this? They are also building on the bottom of the frames between the 2 deeps and attaching them together. Also I just noticed in the honey box they are ignoring the frames and building their own comb right beside the actual plastic frame instead of drawing it out. I asked the company that I bought the beehive and frames from and they said the frames are already lightly coated in wax and the bees just draw it out (they do smell like wax to me). Well it seems they only like some the frames. Any ideal why they would do this? I know it's a strong hive, tonnes of brood and when you open the hive they like "bubble over" like water. Any help would be great! :scratch:
 

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They do that, sometimes, when there is not a good enough coating of wax on the plastic. What I do is to rub a block of beeswax onto the plastic so that it leaves wax on all the cell wall tops, on the foundation. That has always worked for me, to get them to draw the frames out more on the plastic, and not just hanging off to the side. Melting down the wax and painting the plastic with wax might work better, that's how other's posting in here have done it. The way I do it works for me with less mess I think.

I think the key is the company makes up the frames "lightly coated in wax". The key word here is "lightly". I think some frames don't get coated heavily enough. Actually, I don't think they coat any of the frames heavily enough, but the bees seem to draw some of them out ok when in a strong flow.
 

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Springrain- This is what makes beekeeping so much fun! If you are using 10 frame boxes, do you have 10 frames in them and pushed tightly together: leaving any extra room on each side?
- Or 8 frames in an eight frame box.

-sometimes the bees just do not know what you want them to do.

-next time you go through the frames, pull out the ones with bad comb and remove the bad part with your hive tool. This will let the bees try to do it right.

-really, it does not hurt the bees any to have the messed up comb (just like in a natural hive). but the cross comb makes it hard on you when trying to remove the frames.
Charlie
 

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As for why they do it, the simple answer is because they want to.....I yell at them everytime I do it but they don't always listen. When they build wonky comb like that I just scrape it off with my hive took and take a piece of the comb I just scrapped off and rub it down then try to move it between two straight combs that they aren't filling with honey because if you do that they will just extend the comb they are filling into the negative space you just created.
 

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Get them to build the comb right. This way you can manage them better. Poorly built comb is a headache if you let it go. Inspecting the hive will cause any poorly placed comb to break and if it has honey in it can start a robbing riot. In addition to this crooked comb can be a good hiding place for SHB. I don't know if you have them in your local but they are to be kept at bay at all costs.
If there is large chunk of comb maybe tie it into frames with bird netting? Discard drone size though and often this crooked comb is, guess what? Yup, I drone comb.
Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi cdevier I'm using a 10 frame and I make sure the frames are all pushed together.
ok I did remove most of the "wonky" comb, just scrapped it off with my tool. There was some brood in the wonky comb as well, felt kind bad taking it out but I didn't want to leave it there.
challenger what does SHB stand for?
 

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I've seen a bunch of times were the bees will draw down several tongues of comb at once and on a strong flow they will extend from one and not connect it to the adjoining comb. But this is pretty easy to fix with a knife and some rubber bands, and a week later you can't really tell they did that.
 

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A lot of people report what you have with plastic foundation. I use only wax foundation or foundationless frames, much less hassle around here.

On a strong flow they usually do OK with plastic foundation, but are prone to building comb between the frames instead of drawing out plastic when there is not.

Some bees like it better than others, and if they don't like it, as your's appear not to, I'd switch to wax foundation. Only occasionally do we get wonky comb with wax, and they draw it much faster than plastic, at least here.

Peter
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
ok I'll look into wax foundation I know where I bought my equipment from just said plastic frames were easier and cleaner for a beginner.

Thanks tlefire we don't have small hive beetle in our area YET although it was detected a few hours south of us last year so no one is allowed to transfer bees in from that area. They are hoping with the real cold weather we had this winter that it will keep it at bay.

Thanks again everyone!!:)
 

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I had some of that last year. I simply pulled the frames and gave them different ones to try. A mentor told me that he takes those wonky frames and turns the messed up side in to a nice brood frame in the middle and they will draw it right nearly every time. I haven't tried that yet. I started running some foundationless frames and have been able to get them drawn with great success.
 
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