Bees chewing wood on frames

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by letitbee, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. letitbee

    letitbee New Member

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    Why would my bees be chewing into the wood on the frames in the honey super? I have seen them on the ground in front of the hive doing what looks like eating dirt. They have tons of stores and we have a good flow going on right now..flowers everywhere you look. Stumped again! :D
     
  2. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Both of my statements are not much more than guesses. It really does sound strange.

    Inside the hive, MAYBE they are in the early stages of building burr comb. Do they have enough space (with foundation) for normal building?

    As to those on the ground, MAYBE they are feeding on dropped pellets of pollen. :roll:
     

  3. letitbee

    letitbee New Member

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    I put on a honey super about 13 days ago of brand new foundation. I maintain normal bee spacing between the frames. They had two deeps completely drawn out so I added the super to give them more room. They are chewing the heck out of the frames in the super. Its only a few bees doing this as well as foraging on the gound in front of the hive. The hive is heavy with stores and we have a good flow going on so I am at a loss as to whats going on.
     
  4. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Give then (more) time. When they need the combs, they'll build them. :amen:
     
  5. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I think it might bean optical illusion. What you think you are seeing may not truly be what is happening. I would be more prone to think they were preparing the wood for wax adhesion, and the ones on the ground may be gathering dew. "water"
     
  6. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Pictures would be very helpful. Just throwing one more possibility out there since I don't know how long you've been keeping bees-
    wax moths will chew and damage wooden parts inside the hive too. Damage from wax moths has a distinctive and recognizable look to it, like this:
    [​IMG]
     
  7. letitbee

    letitbee New Member

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    It doesn't look like that, I have actually seen the bees doing it. I just went out and looked and they aren't chewing it today. I watched them for awhile and everything seems "normal" . I ask these questions because this is my first year with bees and I am planning for more hives next year and need to learn as much as I can as fast as I can. Next year with 10 or more hives, I know for sure I'll have a million goofy questions :lol:
     
  8. Omie

    Omie New Member

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  9. letitbee

    letitbee New Member

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    Omie...no, I watched the video link you posted and I have seen them doing that. Pretty comical to watch them do that. I have heard that bees will chew right through plastic foundation to create communication holes. I wish I could geta picture for you but my camera and computer are not getting along these days. They have chewed a divot in the top bar of a frame about a quarter of an inch deep. You can see the wood fibers sticking up...its like there was something in the wood that they really wanted to have. Its only on two center frames that they are doing this..I guess its not important but I am facinated by bees and their behavior and just had to ask. :)
     
  10. Larus

    Larus New Member

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    What you say makes me think of an interesting hypothesis that may explain this. The top bars of your frames are made of white pine, I assume. What if a pine bark beetle larva (or a similar wood-boring bug) got trapped in that wood when they dried the boards at the lumber mill? The bees may smell the odor of dead larvae through the wood, and you know how determined bees are to clean out dead larvae.
     
  11. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip..
    I have seen them on the ground in front of the hive doing what looks like eating dirt.

    tecumseh:
    propolis?

    sounds perhaps like the bees are extremely hygienic although I have never seen bee chew on wood inside the hive.