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Author Topic: larvae in burr comb...sigh  (Read 2150 times)
saritacoleman
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« on: June 20, 2010, 01:17:27 AM »

We have a little burr comb...we are new and had a lot to do in the inspection (our 3rd). I do take photos just so I can look back to see where we could do better. When I can I scrape it off.

Troublesome burr comb is on the bottom of the frame(s)...and yes..there is larvae in there. I hate to remove the babies. The nurse bees hang on to them and it just a bad day all around for us when we have to remove it from the hive.

Not much burr comb...just enough to be a worry...I could put up pics if ya want to see.

Next question..methods...getting the nurse bees off of the burr comb...they don't seem willing to leave it in the grass once removed. The last time we took a brush and helped them back into the hive.

This seems ruthless and terrible.

So I need someone to tell me to man up about the larvae burr comb and get it out or let it be and scrape it off with ruthless disregard later.

Decisions...decisions.

Hope all is well with ya'll and you are staying cool.
It's as hot as a son of a gun up here in KY.

Best,
Sarita
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contactme_11
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« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2010, 04:50:17 AM »

Pull it out and brush off the bees, but take a frame without foundation and cut the comb to fit it. Attach it in place with rubber bands. Within a week or two the bees will attach the comb to the frame and remove the rubber bands. This way you can save most if not all that brood.
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« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2010, 06:10:54 AM »

It is most likely drones, so I wouldn't worry about saving it if you cut it off.  With foundation,  they have to improvise to raise drones and that is why they will burr comb off the bottom of a frame.

If it is just on the bottom hive body,  and they aren't attaching it to the bottom board,  I would just leave it.   If it is between two hive bodies and they are attaching it between 2 frames (upper and lower) then I would check the bee space between the two hive bodies if there is a lot of the burr comb.
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iddee
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« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2010, 07:31:37 AM »

Ditto what Robo said. Correct your bee space and the burr comb will be at a minimum. Also, start putting the burr comb in a container and take it to the house. Dropping it in the grass will attract SHB, ants, and other vermin you don't want in your hive.
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« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2010, 09:53:44 AM »

Ditto to what Rob and Iddee said. No offense contactme but if burr comb as described is on underside of frames it is minimal and most likely drone comb. Not enough there to transfer.

Sarita, your sensitivity in not wanting to kill off the drone larvae is commendable but not warranted in this case. This is one of those things in bee keeping you just have to grin and bare.

Ever heard of Insect politics?

It doesn't exist!

My point being, the bees won't care either way, they just keep on keeping on. If they don't like their current queen, they supersede her, kill her and move on.

Harsh, but true in their world.

We are the emotional ones, if they could, they'd probably laugh at us for being so sentimental. grin If they only knew how we really felt about them, they likely would never sting us or perhaps even more so!  shocked


...JP


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Dr. B in Wisconsin
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« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2010, 10:34:17 AM »

Hello
I just did an inspection the other day, (last inspection was about 12 days earlier) and noticed alot of burr comb with larva in them also. There was none at the earlier insp. It was alittle hard to remove with one hand holding and one scraping. The burr comb was between the upper and lower deep only. I had just added a honey super with a queen excluder at the earlier insp. There was little work done on the fresh foundations in the honey supper so I just removed that yesterday. They must have thought it was more fun making a mess that moving up to the honey super and beeing busy making new comb there. One thing that I thought was rather strange was that the bees were apparently eating the larva that was laying next the the hive while I completed the insp. One earlier post mentioned that the space may be incorrect, but, how can that be? The box design should have that figured in.

Brian
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saritacoleman
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« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2010, 11:04:50 AM »

"We are the emotional ones, if they could, they'd probably laugh at us for being so sentimental. grin If they only knew how we really felt about them, they likely would never sting us or perhaps even more so!"

Very funny and I'm sure true.

We always clean up the site after inspection for housekeeping reasons. The last time we had burr comb with larvae I put it in a ziploc bag with the intentions to give it to a curious 10 year old that loves bugs across the street. They were not home for awhile and I tossed it because it was making us sad.

I feel much better knowing that the burr comb at the bottom of the frame is more than likely drones. They will be removed on the next inspection.

Toughening up already.

Thanks a milliion!

Sarita
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Dr. B in Wisconsin
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« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2010, 11:16:44 AM »

http://img153.imageshack.us/img153/478/dsc00048w.jpg

This may be a picture of the comb, first time loading a picture.
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Dr. B in Wisconsin
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« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2010, 11:34:37 AM »

http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/9720/dsc00048fe.jpg

The first picture was small, this may be bigger.
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Dr. B in Wisconsin
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« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2010, 11:39:41 AM »

After about 1/2 hour finally got the picture loaded and noticed if you click on it, the picture will zoom in and you can see the larva.

Brian ( Dr. B )
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HomeBru
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« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2010, 04:30:12 PM »

http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/9720/dsc00048fe.jpg

The first picture was small, this may be bigger.


From my VERY limited experience, it looks like you have a LOT of extra space between the tops of those frames and whatever is above them so the bees are filling it up. It's what they do.

In the back of your pic I see a ventilated cover, how much space is there between the bottom of the cover "box" and the cover "panel"? Did you screen over the hole in the panel? If you don't the bees will fill in that ventilated cover too!
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Dr. B in Wisconsin
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« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2010, 05:24:47 PM »

The box right above the pictured box is the upper deep. I did not modify anything during assembly. I probably could put a shim under the frame hanging area in the lower deep if this happens again, to raise the frames up a little, that would decrease the space between the lower and upper deeps. The vented cover I just bought (screens were already assembled) and there is no problem with that. I feel its working well, time will tell.
Thanks for your interest, HoneyBru.
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« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2010, 06:25:32 PM »

You should have 3/8" between frames,  any more and they will build a lot of burr comb.  From the looks of the burr you show, it appears you have excess.   Different manufactures layout the space differently,  some will put it all above the frames, some will split it top and bottom.  This can lead to issues when using different manufactures.  I assume you bought it all from the same place, so I would measure it and then talk with them.

Same goes with the vent box or inner cover.  Anything more than 3/8 will cause headaches.  As far as screen on the center hole, I would highly suggest removing it.  Without the bees being able to patrol that area, all kinds of spiders, ants, earwigs, cockroaches will take up home in there.   You have to really cramp the bees for space before they will build comb up there.  The restriction is too small and breaks up the nest to them,  so they will resist it as long as possible.   I been using them for many years and have never had comb build in one.
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iddee
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« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2010, 07:16:10 PM »

When putting on an excluder, only drawn comb goes above it. When using foundation, put the excluder on only after they are drawing out the foundation. Otherwise, study up on comb honey production. It's a whole new ballgame.
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« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2010, 08:09:52 PM »

I hate to remove the babies. The nurse bees hang on to them and it just a bad day all around for us when we have to remove it from the hive.
Best,
Sarita
It helps me to think of the hive as a single organism.  The bees make collective decisions and they live their lives for the good of the hive (individual workers don't reproduce so their genes are only preserved by the reproductive success of the hive as a whole).  That means that individual bees are just a part of a larger entity.  If the hive is analogous to your pet dog, removing individual bees is like trimming your dogs nails when they are too long.  As long as what you are doing is helping the hive carry out its business... making honey and more hives.... then you are doing the right thing.
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Dr. B in Wisconsin
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« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2010, 09:41:18 PM »

When putting on an excluder, only drawn comb goes above it. When using foundation, put the excluder on only after they are drawing out the foundation. Otherwise, study up on comb honey production. It's a whole new ballgame.

Thanks iddee
I did not know that, a follow up question, once the comb is drawn out, would the second honey super go above or below, I am thinking below?? and once the second super is drawn out then the excluder??
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saritacoleman
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« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2010, 09:46:39 PM »

"The bees make collective decisions and they live their lives for the good of the hive"

We should be so lucky. Lots to learn from the bees.

Thanks!
Sarita
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iddee
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« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2010, 10:02:39 PM »

Once the bees know there is hive area above the excluder and they are used to going through it, you can add the second super with foundation with no problem. Some beeks bottom super, some top super. You can decide what you want to do. I don't think it makes a big difference either way.
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« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2010, 11:00:55 AM »

I ran across the same issue when adding a frame to a super. I'd ran out of foundation and decided to leave some empty space which was full of burr comb by the time my order arrived. I pulled the burr comb which had both uncapped honey and developed larvae. To save the bees some work and recover the brood, I left the burr comb in front of the hive as an experiment.

Sure enough, the next day all the cells were empty. The bees recovered all the honey, and at least put the larvae somewhere. Bees routinely remove dead larvae, cocoons or debris from empty cells, so I know they're at least capable of pulling the brood. I'm guessing that they recovered the brood, or threw them out somewhere.  huh
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« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2010, 11:34:54 AM »

"The bees make collective decisions and they live their lives for the good of the hive"

We should be so lucky. Lots to learn from the bees.

Thanks!
Sarita

They also dump their old people out to die, die if they get in one fight but fight readily,  kill their leader on a whim, and dump their guys out on their ear to freeze to death all lonely....

As imperfect as it is, I think I'll keep our way   grin grin
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Rick
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« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2010, 02:15:52 PM »

sounds like what B.O. wants for us!
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