drawing thier own foundation suspended over installed foundation????

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by barry42001, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    I have never seen anything like it. I have of course supplied the bees with plastic, wax coated foundation to draw out. In most the frames they have done exactly what was expected and drew out the foundation in the normal fashion. On a few others they started drawing new coomb from the top bar of the frame, across the existing foundation, suspending over it? There is space the bees can travel through between the plastic cell foundation, and the new comb they built, can't see if there are cells on the back side as would be expected, but would seem too close to the plastic cell foundation to have the cells on both sides of the freshly drawn comb. Anyone else seen this, and a possible explaination??? Not enough wax on the plastic cell?
    Barry
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I have seen it on both plastic and wax foundation. The frames were not pushed tightly together and the bee space was too large.
     

  3. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    actually the last thing I do before closing the hive up, is to use the hive tool and wedge the frames as closely as possible, preferring to have a bit more space at either end rather in the frames in between They do build brace comb between foundation from one frame to another, I chalk that up to overly enthusastic bees. but I leave no space between the top bars in frames 1-10 only the ends
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    without knowing if you are talking about duracomb or platicell I myself would think your last question in your post is something to consider.

    as another consideration timing (relative to a flow at your location) sometimes answers these kinds of questions. bees will scavenge wax (typically at a time after the main flow has passed) from other parts of the hive removing wax from foundation at the outer edges of the brood nest*. once the wax is remove then random bits of comb are often built in the fashion I think you are describing.

    *I assume here that the hive is not producing enough wax for capping brood so they are obtaining it wherever it can be found.
     
  5. indypartridge

    indypartridge New Member

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    Yes, I've seen them do this. No explanation other than bees just being bees and doing what they want instead of what I want them to do. Cut it out, tell them to try again. :)
     
  6. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    can't do that ( cut it out and try again ), already sealed brood and not a few, queen certainly doing her job lol would not want to lose all that worker brood, were it drone brood would be more inclined to agree with you Indy,
    Tec, at the moment there is tons of pollen, but little nectar, I do have a hive top feeder on ( * note to self make more syrup ) as for possibility of not enough wax, or the bees stripping it off the plastic base that's always a possibility, seen that before. as for capping the brood, believe I have fed them enough to accomplish that.
    Barry
     
  7. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    I have seen exactly what is described but did not notice it at the time it was pulled to see if there was a twisted frame next to it. The space at the top bar can be correct but a twisted frame or one that is pulled one way or the other by dragging on burr comb between upper and lower frames can make incorrect space toward the bottoms of frames. I have seen frames levered out of plumb when being pushed together. Correct bee space everywhere really is important. Cupped or curved foundation on a frame can also result in problems on itself and its immediate neighbours.
     
  8. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    was given an Idea, to wait for them to fully draw out the comb, then pop out the plasticel foundation they will then correctly work the backside of the errant comb.
    Barry
     
  9. Pilotbeekeeper

    Pilotbeekeeper New Member

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    Good to know. as a newbie getting started i had noticed with 10 frames of new foundation in the deeps,there seemed to be an excessive gap at the end when all frames are pushed together (approx 1 full inch). i had been spacing the 10 frames out evenly to eliminate the space at the ends, but appears i should do the opposite based on this. Boxes were ordered through Brushy Mountain.

     
  10. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    I've read that once the bees have stripped the thin wax coating off of plastic foundation to use eleswhere, they will no longer build on that bare plastic. Makes sense that they would then try to build natural comb in any space they could find there, without attaching it to the plastic. Hence the layer of 'floating' comb hovering over the bare plastic foundation.
     
  11. melrose

    melrose New Member

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    While spinning this weekend, we did notice that same thing, but on plastic frames. They built what looks like a bridge tying two frames together, packed it full of honey, then an entire frame had comb built 'off' of the foundation. They did in fact store honey and produced brood on both sides where space allowed. It was pretty impressive to see both sides and the flat 'base of the comb (picture a rolled candle made of comb foundation)
     
  12. melrose

    melrose New Member

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    Omie... your girls were out making orientation flights yesterday, Temps were mid 40s finally. A few came over to investigate the kids and did see them out in the yard buzzing around. :thumbsup:

    Didn't here the tell tale buzzing of a queen-less hive, so we must have gotten both. :razz:
     
  13. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    i think you have a good point omie, and i don't know if this is the case or not. i use waxed pierco foundation (like it). i have experienced some similar events with the bees removing the bits of wax, then ignoring it, and also building errant comb on deep frames. spraying the frames with sugar syrup didn’t solve the problem either, they just licked it clean and went on their merry way ignoring the frame, or building comb on one side and not the other. seems they took wax from one side and used it on the other side.

    i looked at my extra frames. some of the wax coating was a little thinner than others, but didn’t think it mattered, (maybe the bees think so). also, the foundation didn’t quite smell as ‘pretty’ from beeswax as when the frame was first constructed. (maybe the bees thought so?).

    i melted some beeswax and lightly recoated and replaced the frame(s) that were ignored. PITA, but it worked. some bees are pickier than others, some hives will draw the plastic foundation and on rare occasions i have one that doesn’t. i pull the frame and recoat it, seems to work.
     
  14. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    This makes me very happy! :grin:

    I suspect they won't like the plastic foundation much, having been used to deciding and making their own comb sized to suit themselves (and plus, they were previously small-cell bees before that), but hopefully they will adapt ok for you. They are good girls!...even though they came from 'Wayward Girls Apiary'. =8-* lol!
     
  15. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    I had this same problem with Durgilt foundation. I bought it my first year of beekeeping. Didnt take long to rid myself of that stuff
     
  16. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    riverrat,
    funny you say that about duragilt, i have heard that as well, and when i switched to waxed plastic foundation, my supplier steered me towards the pierco, didn't ask why though.