bees deconstructing foundation

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Papakeith, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. Papakeith

    Papakeith New Member

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    615comb damage.jpg
    I found that my bees had eaten/removed/deconstructed a good portion of the outermost frame. Why would they do this? Is it something I can correct?
     
  2. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Are you feeding them? Looks like they are hungry. On the other hand, I have a few frames where they made a hole to what simply appears they needed a shortcut to the other side...
     

  3. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    It looks like your bee are using the materials at hand to use elsewhere. Are you in a dearth there? If so, feeding might be an option.
     
  4. Papakeith

    Papakeith New Member

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    I got these colonies as packages on april 28th. I was feeding 1:1
    I removed their feeders about 2 weeks ago. They weren't ignoring the syrup, but they weren't taking it in great gulps like they were when I first got them.
    I've got the second deep hive bodies installed. The hive with the frame I showed in my first post hasn't really started filling in more than two frames so far where the sister hive has at least 4 frames drawn in the second deep.

    The odd thing is that they carved these holes in the foundation and then built burr comb on the hive body wall adjacent to the holes.
     
  5. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    I notice wired foundation was installed using only split pins to hold it straight and no cross wiring. If the area eaten away was either too tight or too loose for correct bee space between it and adjacent surfaces, perhaps the bees made an executive decision!
     
  6. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    looks like the girls had started to draw out the foundation, but since was almost %100 bees wax, excluding the support wires, and few pins, they are using it elsewhere assuming to expand the brood nest in 1st brood chamber at the expense of the upper brood chamber. If you get them sugar syrup and really fed them up 1 to 1 solution simulates what nectar is, they will draw out foundation, the damaged foundation may also be drawn out and repaired in a fashion, chewed out areas will probably me remade into drone comb. Again if there is a nectar flow on they will be slow taking up the syrup.
    Barry
     
  7. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    I think they got rid of a big section of worker sized foundation purposely to make room so that they could build some nice drone comb on the side of the box right there in that spot. When bees feel a need for some drones they will have some! If you want to avoid this in the future consider giving them one frame of foundationless or of drone size foundation, and let them raise a few drones. Then they won't be desperately creating burr comb in weird places just to raise a few drones. I have a dedicated drone frame in every 20-frame hive and I have had no burr comb at all in 3 years in any of them.
     
  8. Papakeith

    Papakeith New Member

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    I know nothing of cross wiring. aren't the vertical wires enough?

    Should I replace the damaged foundation or just let them make what they want out of that frame?

    I mixed up a gallon of 1-1 I guess we'll see if they wanted it or not the next time I check on them.

    Barry, this frame was an outside frame from the bottom brood chamber. still, they must have decided they needed it more somewhere else. it was the last frame they had left to draw out in the bottom deep.
     
  9. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I would set it in about 2 frames and let them work it.
     
  10. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    Papakeith, sometimes the vertical wires have spring to them that makes them want to curve. Without cross wiring that spring may want to take the sheet of foundation into a curve. Some batches are quite neutral and other not. Have a look at the wires in the stripped area and see if they are fairly centered in the frame. If they are the bees will rebuild the empty spots but more guaranteed if you push it in between two other drawn frames as suggested. They may knit it up as drone but that will become honey storage come fall anyways.

    What I am suggesting may not have been the problem in your case but it can be a problem.
     
  11. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    looks more like a melt down to me... did the hive get hot?
     
  12. Papakeith

    Papakeith New Member

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    negative, the hive did not get hot. I wish I had take a picture of the comb they built on the hive body. It was almost like they tore down the sections only to rebuild them on the wall. Kinda like a one of those 3D diarama :)

    I'll move it inwards tomorrow and see what happens.

    I didn't notice any type of bowing, but I'll give it a closer look when I move it.

    I did take a peek to see how much syrup they had taken. I was kinda shocked. They've sucked down at least a quart today.
     
  13. Papakeith

    Papakeith New Member

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    I moved the frame in one space. I would have gone two but the Third frame in was full of capped brood. So we'll try this and see what happens.
    Thanks everyone for the input.
     
  14. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    That will be fine. The first and second usually contain honey and pollen. Check the hive for growing space and add a box if needed.