Irregular comb

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jregester
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:18 pm

Irregular comb

Post by jregester » Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:06 pm

We just started our hives last weekend and, while it is mostly going great, we have noticed that our bees have built a strange-looking comb on one of the frames. They don't seem to mind, but we don't know what to do about it.
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Wally
Guard bee
Posts: 1659
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 2:35 pm
Location: Randleman

Re: Irregular comb

Post by Wally » Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:09 am

It is called burr comb and does no harm, but does no good either, so should be avoided if easily done.

Just center all frames tightly in the center of the box, leaving any space to the outside.

Jacobs
Guard bee
Posts: 1279
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Irregular comb

Post by Jacobs » Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:19 am

You need to make sure your queen is not on that extra comb and remove the comb before the bees build much more of it. Make sure your frames are touching and that any extra space is on the sides of the super. If you do not do this, the bees will continue to build comb off of the side of that frame and you will have a large area that you will not be able to inspect. Your frames were too far apart, and bees being bees, they began filling the empty space with comb at about 3/8ths of an inch from the comb beside it. I have been seeing some of this in new beekeepers' hives when doing inspections/mentoring. Langstroth understood the significance of bee space. We have to remember the significance and pay attention as we place/replace the frames in our hives. The bees don't much care what we do with our frames--they will build based on "bee space." The frames make it possible for us to inspect hives, move resources between hives, add space to a hive. . . . . . .

jregester
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:18 pm

Re: Irregular comb

Post by jregester » Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:08 pm

Wally wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:09 am
It is called burr comb and does no harm, but does no good either, so should be avoided if easily done.

Just center all frames tightly in the center of the box, leaving any space to the outside.
Thanks! We also noticed several ants in our top feeder today. What is the best way to deal with that?

Jacobs
Guard bee
Posts: 1279
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Irregular comb

Post by Jacobs » Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:43 pm

I would not worry about them. It is almost impossible to keep them from bumming a free meal. In places with aggressive ants, some beekeepers place their hives on stands with legs that sit in cans holding oil or some other substance to keep ants out--usually making a mess and generally not necessary around here.

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