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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I opened my "mutt" hive, and for the first time ever, I found the bees making comb cross-ways between the frames in columns. There are two things unusual about this hive. First, it was from a split I did (my first) last year. I had a frame from each of my 3 hives that had swarm cells on them, and an expert friend recommended instead of cutting the swarm cells out, place the frame they were on in a nuc, and do a split. I placed all 3 in the single nuc I had, and let them fight it out. The other thing is that I didn't have a second deep to add before winter, so I used a medium honey super that had drawn out comb for them to fill with stores for the winter. This spring the hive is going great, so I added another deep below the honey super with Pierco plastic frames. I also added a queen excluder between the brood boxes and the honey super to keep the queen from laying any more brood in there. Why aren't they building comb the right way? What did I do wrong, and how do I correct it?
 

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Is the comb white or is it a little more yellow and orange? Once a the main flow starts the bees should draw the comb correctly. If you are still having problems place drawn comb between the undrawn frames. This will help them draw the foundation correctly.
 

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I find that the bees draw out all kind of burr comb on the plastic foundation, so I quit using it. I am only using wired wax foundation now, and no problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks to everyone for your help! I think in the future I'm going with wired wax foundation. I'm also thinking of trying frames without foundation, or just a 1" strip at the top, and support wires. I also am going to try staggering the undrawn frames with the empty one's until I use up what I have assembled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I did cut it out as soon as I found it (Saturday), and already they started building it correctly when I opened it up today! Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Is the comb white or is it a little more yellow and orange? Once a the main flow starts the bees should draw the comb correctly. If you are still having problems place drawn comb between the undrawn frames. This will help them draw the foundation correctly.
The comb was white. I have seen the orange/yellow comb between the space made by the upper and lower hive bodies. Never in a column from the top to bottom of a frame. I like your idea of staggering the empty frames with the full one's. They told us in the beginner's course to place the empty supers on top of the full one's as they fill them up.
 

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I actually prefer the pierco plastic frames over all the others. I guess the biggest reason is they are ready to go right out of the box, no assembly needed. I also like them because they are basically recyclable when the time comes to get rid of old comb. Dip them into some hot water and the wax comes off. However they can be a pain to get drawn correctly when the conditions aren't correct.
 
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