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Author Topic: Bees using wax supplied by bee keeper  (Read 1386 times)
scottw1
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« on: November 27, 2008, 04:56:56 PM »

If I provide a new package of bees with beeswax in their hive body will they use the wax to form combs.  I am trying to accelerate hive growth during the winter months in order to be prepared for spring
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2008, 05:08:24 PM »

If I provide a new package of bees with beeswax in their hive body will they use the wax to form combs.  I am trying to accelerate hive growth during the winter months in order to be prepared for spring

Bees will sometimes move wax on the comb around on the comb to dress it up, repair it, or add to it, but I've never known bees to use wax that has hit the floor (cappings) for anything.  They toss it out.  They will rob the cappings or crushed wax of honey after extracting but will not re-use the wax. 
If the wax is not part of the comb the bees have no use for it and will make new wax.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2008, 05:31:52 PM »

Pretty much the bees ignore wax.  In the form of foundation they will use it, but only if there are no spaces where they can just build their own instead.
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scottw1
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« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2008, 09:41:01 PM »

thank you for the information.
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BjornBee
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« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2008, 10:49:10 PM »

I have never seen them reuse wax for comb. I have seen them reuse wax late in the season, probably too late for wax production, while capping off a late flow or late feeding.

And no matter whether you provide wax or not, they are not going to build comb without a flow happening.
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Cindi
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« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2008, 10:57:24 PM »

And no matter whether you provide wax or not, they are not going to build comb without a flow happening.

I think that has been a very hard concept for me to learn through learning of the bees.  No clue why, but it has taken a long time for me to fully understand that the bees DO NOT build an awful lot of comb, unless there is that flow; whether it is "real" or "artificial" (sugar syrup), i.e., that extra food that can stimulate wax production.  Beautiful life, day, great health.  Cindi
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« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2008, 12:24:44 AM »

Early this year I had some old combs I was clearing out of frames and extracted some honey (crush and strain) Then I put the whole mess in a big container outside for the bees to clean up. I witnessed several times throughout Spring, Summer and Autumn a few bees would scrape the old used comb off and pack it on their legs and head home.
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« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2008, 06:25:34 AM »

I see them collect more from old equipment laying around than from cappings ect. but neither amounts to much.
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« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2008, 08:27:53 AM »

Once the wax is cleaned of any stickiness from the honey, do they really have any way of carrying it?
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BjornBee
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« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2008, 08:36:51 AM »

Once the wax is cleaned of any stickiness from the honey, do they really have any way of carrying it?

I have seen bees on old stored boxes or equipment setting out. The bees will collect from my observations, not just wax, but propolis also. And I have seen this stored in their pollen baskets. I think it's a low priority, and probably not very efficient. For all the opportunities they have to collect from boxes sitting out, I see just a few bees from time to time. It's not like they do it on any large scale.

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« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2008, 09:01:14 AM »

Off topic a little, but bees definitely and without a doubt in my mind are huge gatherers of already gathered and worked propolis.  The summer before last I had some supers sitting outside in the warm, warm sun.  I had removed these supers (for whatever the reason, can't remember) and they were just there.  The bees had that field day ripping off that propolis, I got some good pictures of them hard at work.  Beautiful day, life and health.  Cindi



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« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2008, 09:10:00 AM »

Nice Pics!  grin
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« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2008, 10:06:16 AM »

I have seen them go for the propolis more when it has been out in the sun and softened up.
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