Help defining "drawing out comb"

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by markles, May 29, 2013.

  1. markles

    markles New Member

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    Hello all. Sorry if this question is one of those that's been discussed many times - I have tried a search and am none the wiser.

    I still use wax foundation starter strips on occasion but have mostly moved over to using masonite strips instead. One of our standard masonite widths is 3.2 mm which is exactly the same as most saw blades so they fit nicely in the top bar slot. Anyways, I'm not wanting to get into the foundation/foundationless debate I'm just curious to know how the bees use the wax from foundation. Does the term "draw out wax" mean that the bees physically use the wax in the foundation to build the walls of the comb or do they merely use the foundation as a base for the comb and build on top of it.

    Thanks :razz:

    Mark
     
  2. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    Nice to see you again. How about a post as to how you are getting on with your scuts ?
     

  3. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Good question Mark----to the best of my understanding, (which could definitely be wrong) it depends on the thickness of the foundation. On the thin foundation sheets, they probzbly just add their own self-produced wax and build cells, whereas on the thicker ones, they "pull it out" to some small extent before adding their own wax for completing the cells.
    Either way, if nectar (or syrup) isn't coming in, they won't build, no matter how thick the foundation sheet is.
    ​What I see as most important in the foundation sheets is that it "forces" the bees to build worker sized cells---even when conditions in the hive would lead to building larger drone sized cells (for storage).
     
  4. bamabww

    bamabww New Member

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    This is what I think of when I use or hear the phrase "draw out wax / comb.
     
  5. Daniel Y

    Daniel Y New Member

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    They do both. I am not sure they actually start with the cell impression and actually draw out the wax of the foundation from their. but they will remove the foundation at time. I cannot say if they are moving it and making comb elsewhere or if they are disposing of it. Btu I do have bees that chewed nearly every square inch out of some frames and then started drawing comb on the little tags that where left between wires.

    In other cases even on thick wax foundation they simply added their own wax. I know this because this last saturday I had to scrape comb from wax foundation. the foundation is still under the comb.
     
  6. markles

    markles New Member

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    Daniel Y said
    That's interesting, I don't suppose you have any pictures?
     
  7. Daniel Y

    Daniel Y New Member

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    Sorry, No I don't we have not gotten photo taking into our work program very well. Not much of an excuse for that given we have lots of bodies all with cell phones, but nobody thinks to snap a picture of anything.

    In all the cells simply knocked right off the underlying wax foundation. just like they would if it was plastic. we just had to be careful not to poke holes in it. I sitll hate to thik of the bees having to redraw all that comb though.

    Good news is we got 61 lbs of honey.