Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HI,

Is this normal? They are building cells (and laying in them) from the top of the lower box frames to the bottom of the upper box frames. If I try to lift an upper frame the cells on the bottom, attached to the lower frames are destroyed.

thanks
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,162 Posts
Yes this is normal, it is called burr comb. For some reason the "bee space" has been compromised just a little. Anything over 3/8" and they will build comb in and less than 3/8" they will plug with propolis. Not much to do but scrape it out of the way and carry on, or figure out why you have too big of a gap between the bottom and top frames and correct it. If you are using plastic or even wax foundation, in the spring it is a good place for them to raise drone brood since the cells are larger.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,683 Posts
I have always been told it was a sign you didnt have enough supers on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,487 Posts
It is normal and since it is quite typically laid up in drone brood it is an excellent place to do spot checks for varroa mites. The varroa shows up real nicely on white pupae.

Old beekeepers thought at least one task of being an adequate beekeeper (vs a bee haver) was to scrape the burr comb off anytime you did a full inspection. Some folks would even go to the trouble of caring around a little pail, catching the burr comb and rending what remained after the girls had cleaned up the mess into wax. One of my old mentors did this religiously one summer (he was perhaps 12 or so) and with the gathering bought himself his first bicycle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,399 Posts
Personally, I don't remove the burr comb unless it either breaks off, or is somehow really in the way. I figure they will just build it back, so why bother?

I've heard others on this forum say that the drone brood that gets torn out makes great bait, if you are a fisherman.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
840 Posts
This problem is why I almost always break the super on top from the super below. That way I break the burr comb between the supers. Which makes getting the frames out of the upper super more easy.

This burr comb is a real good place to look for varroa mites, because you are going to break open some of the cells anyway.

I have never really looked, but I believe that burr comb between boxes is almost always drone or honey. I'll have to pay better attention.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top