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Author Topic: I have retarded bees  (Read 1709 times)
shaux
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« on: June 05, 2009, 12:11:16 PM »

OK so went and opened up my hives yesterday and checked how they were doing. Saw eggs, larva, and capped brood in both so I was pleased about that.  Also found both queens.  But in one of my hives they will not attach the comb to the foundation.  There is one frame that was built on the foundation and that was taken from the other hive.  What is going on? I've got the frames packed together.

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iddee
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« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2009, 12:35:54 PM »

Is it plastic foundation? If so, there lies your problem. It isn't retarded BEES that think beeswax is made of plastic.
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« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2009, 01:10:56 PM »

The bees sometimes have problems with plastic, sounds like your other hive is doing better with it.  If the bees cell size is bigger than the foundation imprint, then this can cause the same problem as well.

If the other hive has some other frames started but not layed up with eggs yet, you may want to use some of that to get the retarded hive started.  One other thing that can help is to brush melted beeswax(if you have any) on to the plastic foundation (even though it may already be coated).

Contrary to popular belief, bees don't create straight perfect combs.  Although some bees do better than others, and some do a lot worse.

Rick

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Rick
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« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2009, 02:02:16 PM »

I have a hive that keeps doing the same thing on wax foundation in the 2nd hive body.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2009, 02:03:45 PM »

Not unusual with plastic foundation.  Especially 5.4mm plastic foundation.  I HAVE had good luck with the 4.95mm Mann Lake PF100 series.
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Michael Bush
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Hethen57
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« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2009, 02:30:40 PM »

Looking at the picture, it appears that they put propolis and wax on the side of the frame where it should have been pushed up tight against the other frame...are you sure they were tight?  I have found some gaps in mine where I thought they were tight...which I can't explain...so I am careful now to make sure they are pushed together before closing the hive.  

I use the same type of foundation and it seems to work pretty good.  If I had something like that going on, I would probably try to remedy it sooner, rather than later.  If you could take that comb and put into one of those swarm comb frames or wire up a frame like you were going to install wax foundation and push it into place, that would probably be a way to salvage it...but I think you are going to have to clean it up, to get them on the right track.
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« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2009, 02:38:35 PM »

Not unusual with plastic foundation.  Especially 5.4mm plastic foundation.  I HAVE had good luck with the 4.95mm Mann Lake PF100 series.

I actually had the problem the other way around...  rolleyes

But if they won't straighten out you can give them wax foundation in wooden frames (that is what iddee was saying), and then give the plastic foundation to the hive that does better with them.
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shaux
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« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2009, 03:08:09 PM »

These were old frames of mine that had a slight propolis build up.  But they are tight.  They just don't like the plastic I take it.  Should I try it without foundation?
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shaux
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« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2009, 03:14:16 PM »

Also will they repair this ever or do I need to tear it out and let them start over?
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iddee
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« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2009, 03:17:39 PM »

If you go without foundation, at least give them some starter strips and some "good" drawn comb to guide them.

No, they will never repair that. To them, it is correct and doesn't need repairing. You will have to remove it and let them begin over.
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« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2009, 03:22:38 PM »

I'm having the same "problem" with one hive not liking the wax foundation - if I took a pic it would look just like that. I'm not bothering them about it because they are building on the frame, and they appear to be chewing the foundation out - I'm just gonna laisez faire and let them be bees.
I actually find it a little encouraging that they are rejecting the foundation.
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theriverhawk
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« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2009, 03:32:35 PM »

I have solid plastic frames, wood frames with plastic foundations and wood frames with wax foundation in my hives.  They are spread out among brood chambers and supers.  One super actually has 9 solid plastic frames.  

Results:
Plastic frames: I put an extra layer of wax.  No problems in any hives building out
Wood frame w/plastic foundation:  Racks with extra layer of wax built out well.  A couple of racks that came with one nuc that did not have extra wax is NOT built out or looks like yours.
Wood frame w/wax foundation:  Built out well.

If I continue to use the solid plastic frames and/or the plastic foundation, I will always cover it with an extra layer of bees wax.  It's cheap and easy to do.  (I do have to admit that I will not purchase any additional solid plastic frames.  My rack grabbers just don't grip them well and I find myself almost dropping a rack every once in a while.)
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jason58104
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« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2009, 05:43:37 PM »

I have been using plastic foundation for years.  the best bet is to scrape off any comb that is not the way you like it and let them start over.  It will be drawn straight by the end of the season!
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shaux
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« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2009, 08:55:45 PM »

I've never had problems with this before.  Oh well guess I'll just have to tear it out and see if they'll get it right.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2009, 09:15:22 PM »

If only you used foundation they wouldn't mess up your comb.  Wait.  I guess you did.  Wink  Yes, they will mess up plastic, they will mess up wax, they will even mess up foundationless.  In the end they do what they want.  Some bees are worse than others about this.  It seems to be partly genetic partly how you space your frames and partly their dislike for plastic.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfaqs.htm#messedupcomb
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfaqs.htm#framespacing

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Michael Bush
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shaux
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« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2009, 09:31:20 PM »

I sense a little bit of sarcasm there Michael.  I'm trying foundationless in my third hive, a captured swarm.  When I last checked them they were building comb fine from what I saw.  Put popsicle sticks in the tops of the frames as guides.  Now if I only I could just get this other hive to do what I want.  You are correct though, they will do what they want. 
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2009, 09:55:20 AM »

>I sense a little bit of sarcasm there Michael.

Yes.  Funny if they mess up foundation it's the bees, but if they mess up foundationless it's because you didn't use foundation.  Smiley

> I'm trying foundationless in my third hive, a captured swarm.  When I last checked them they were building comb fine from what I saw.  Put popsicle sticks in the tops of the frames as guides.  Now if I only I could just get this other hive to do what I want.  You are correct though, they will do what they want.

All in all, I have better luck getting good comb without foundation.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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