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The nurse bees cover organic matter with propolis and strengthen the comb with propolis.
I've never heard that one before. Where did you get that information? If that's true, why does the brood comb turn dark black, but the super comb stay light?

Dr. Tarpy from the North Carolina State University Apiculture Department told me that bees wax is porous, and ends up absorbing a small amount of material over time. Bees don't wipe their feet when they enter the hive, so the small amount of dirt, sap, and god knows what else is attached to their feet end up sticking to the wax, and eventually get absorbed all the way through.

Brood comb has many more bees hanging out on the comb, walking over it, and passing over it on their way to the supers. They don't spend nearly as much time hanging out on the super comb. In the same way that the carpet right by your front door and in your living room gets dirtier than the carpet at the end of your hallway (where you don't walk).
 

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same reason we vaccum the door mats more then we do under our beds !!!!!

kinda like the corner wall that always gets black all though you dont remember ever touching it

even honey capping starts out bright white and turns brown after a few weeks in the summer - just foot traffic
 

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The nurse bees cover organic matter with propolis and strengthen the comb with propolis.
This one is correct. They varnish the hive and combs with propolis. It isn't dirty. Bees may be many things but they aren't poor housekeepers. Everything is cleaned, polished, and sealed with propolis which has antiseptic properties. It is one method of combating disease. Like everything in life, it is not perfect nor foolproof. Honey bees still get sick. But they are healthier than bumble bees, whose living habits are a little more lax
 

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In a study of Acaricides in Honey, Beeswax and Propolis, Swiss Bee Research Center,
The Fluvalinate residue level in the honey combs of the same colony was on the average 5 times lower than in the brood combs.
The Folbex residue level in the honey combs of the same colony was on the average 12 times lower than in the brood combs.
The Perizin residue level in the honey combs of the same colony was on the average 10 times lower than in the brood combs.


So you think they are both made of the same material or dirty from traffic. On upper entrance hives, are the honey comb lighter because they track in snow?
 

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In a study of Acaricides in Honey, Beeswax and Propolis, Swiss Bee Research Center,
The Fluvalinate residue level in the honey combs of the same colony was on the average 5 times lower than in the brood combs.
The Folbex residue level in the honey combs of the same colony was on the average 12 times lower than in the brood combs.
The Perizin residue level in the honey combs of the same colony was on the average 10 times lower than in the brood combs.


So you think they are both made of the same material or dirty from traffic. On upper entrance hives, are the honey comb lighter because they track in snow?
Where did you get the study from?

I have never had an upper entrance hive, so I wouldn't be able to tell you.

This one is correct. They varnish the hive and combs with propolis. It isn't dirty.
I mean no offense when I say this, but I'll always stick with what an individual with a PhD in Entomology has told me to my face over what I read on the internet.

At least before I'm scientifically proven wrong (or at least shown studies).
 

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I mean no offense when I say this, but I'll always stick with what an individual with a PhD in Entomology has told me to my face over what I read on the internet.
Actually, I know Dave Tarpy and have met and talked with him lots of times. I would definitely go with what he says in most cases. But the world is big enough for differing opinions. I am sure that some of the staining is from the fecal material, some from the cocoons, some from stuff dragged in, but bees obviously paint everything in the hive with propolis so without doing a highly sensitive analysis we can hardly be certain of the proportions of each

Oh, by the way, the fact that we are communicating "on the internet" does not mean we are communicating in some inferior way. Communicating via printed words has gone on for centuries, and this is not different from that, except that it is immediate. Back in the 1800s there were weekly bee journals published and people carried on back and forth conversations such as this one. I'm only sorry that Dave isn't in on this one. By the way, he never dismissed my opinions because I don't have a PhD, ask him.
 

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They have PhDs. Hard to argue with scientific research.
http://www.moraybeekeepers.co.uk/downloads/Acaricides_e.pdf
Top entrance hives are about 150 years old, dating back to L L Langstroth. Upper entrance keeps snow from suffocating the hive and drastically reduces frost in the hive. I noticed a lot of posts about lost hives this winter. Small hive beetle uses the lower entrance to drop to the ground and to pupate. So upper entrances are not as common as they were 150 years ago and the bees are dying at increasing rate, go figure.
 

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Working in the scientific profession, you recognize the same compound does not absorb substances at substantiially different rates for multiple compounds. If brood comb melts or dissolves in different environments than honey comb they cannot be the same. Several beekeeping books like ABC&XYZ of Bee Culture mention rendering comb and even a reference here and there to what worker bees do the first weeks of their life like cleaning out brood cells and preparing the cells for eggs.
 

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Is activated charcoal, or something similar, used in the process of rendering comb for wax foundation in order to remove acaricides?

One would think that if there is no way to 'sink' the concentrations of these acaricides (and other pesticides) found in bees wax, that they would reach a saturation level very quickly.
 

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Oh, by the way, the fact that we are communicating "on the internet" does not mean we are communicating in some inferior way. Communicating via printed words has gone on for centuries, and this is not different from that, except that it is immediate. Back in the 1800s there were weekly bee journals published and people carried on back and forth conversations such as this one. I'm only sorry that Dave isn't in on this one. By the way, he never dismissed my opinions because I don't have a PhD, ask him.
I was in no way attempting to claim the internet is an inferior way of communicating. Just that it's easy for everyone to put an opinion forth without checking it, verifying it, and assuring that it's correct (not the case here, just generally speaking).

I'm also not considering in any way that you need a PhD to be correct, or to have an idea or opinion. I'm just saying, all things considered equal, I will give greater weight to information given when the source is an individual with a PhD (and the information is within the field of the PhD) and someone that I have worked with, over someone who doesn't have one (or that I don't know has one) and does not provide citations to their information (again, not in this case).

It's just like when people quote Wikipedia as a source. It's not. Much of the information on there is correct, but anyone can edit it, add information, or delete information. You don't actually need to know what you are talking about in order to write there.
 

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Seems that I have read that basically the older the brood comb, the less wax it contains. It's the pupa residue and cleaning up the cells that causes this. Since I am not a bee I don't know if they use Pledge, Pine-Sol or propolis to do the cleaning and polishing.
 
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