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Offline Acebird

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More dumb questions...
« on: December 09, 2010, 03:53:14 PM »
I read somewhere or someone said if you leave uncapped comb in the hive the bees will chew it up and use it somewhere else.  If bees can recycle the wax can I leave my cappings out by the hive for them to recycle into a new foundation?  I know I can but will it work?  If so how big a chunk can they use?  I assume they have small teeth. :-D
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Offline Yuleluder

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Re: More dumb questions...
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2010, 07:15:45 PM »
I'm fairly positive the bees are not going to gather the cappings from outside the hive and bring them inside.  If you were able to place the wax into the hive then I would think they would use it when they needed it.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: More dumb questions...
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2010, 08:47:13 AM »
I have not had them reuse any cappings I've left anywhere to any extent that is noticeable.  They will just haul it out of the hive as trash and make their own.  Bees have little interest in wax.  They will move some comb around by tearing down and rebuilding, but they don't gather wax to any noticeable extent.

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Offline Acebird

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Re: More dumb questions...
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2010, 09:37:28 AM »
I have not had them reuse any cappings I've left anywhere to any extent that is noticeable.  They will just haul it out of the hive as trash and make their own.  Bees have little interest in wax.  They will move some comb around by tearing down and rebuilding, but they don't gather wax to any noticeable extent.



I was wondering how someone would know what the bees did with wax.  It is easy to see that they tear it down and make new but that doesn't prove that the old was used for the new.

OK so my next question:
I have these capping's saved with a mixture of honey that I intend to let the bees feed off the honey in the spring which should clean off the wax.  What is the best way to do that?
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Offline Robo

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Re: More dumb questions...
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2010, 09:57:08 AM »
I was wondering how someone would know what the bees did with wax.  It is easy to see that they tear it down and make new but that doesn't prove that the old was used for the new.
When the weather is not advantageous for wax production and comb/foundation is torn down and comb is built in other places is a good indication they are reusing it.     I have seen bees collect propolis off of unused equipment and reuse it, but not wax.

Quote
OK so my next question:
I have these capping's saved with a mixture of honey that I intend to let the bees feed off the honey in the spring which should clean off the wax.  What is the best way to do that?

Either on top of the inner cover with an empty hive body (this helps eliminate the danger of starting robbing,  and it also guarantees the honey goes into your hive and not to other insects/hives) or far away from your hives to prevent robbing.

BTW,  don't be surprised if it goes ignored.  If there is a good nectar flow,  the bees prefer nectar than honey.
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Offline Acebird

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Re: More dumb questions...
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2010, 11:02:00 AM »
I was thinking underneath the inner cover in the empty box space.  There is not much nectar flow up here when there is still snow on the ground.
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Offline D Coates

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Re: More dumb questions...
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2010, 04:14:30 PM »
I have these capping's saved with a mixture of honey that I intend to let the bees feed off the honey in the spring which should clean off the wax.  What is the best way to do that?[/quote]

What I do for that is have a 2 inch shim (like a really short empty super) and put it on the inner cover.  I pour the capping mixture on there (not over the hole) and put the outer cover on top of the shim.  The bees will come up and remove the honey.  They might haul off the wax as trash though so if you want the wax I'd recommend getting out as much of the wax as you can before you do this.  Sometimes they'll form it into bur comb too.
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Offline Acebird

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Re: More dumb questions...
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2010, 05:14:41 PM »
Quote
They might haul off the wax as trash though so if you want the wax I'd recommend getting out as much of the wax as you can before you do this.

I don't need the wax.  I was hoping they could reuse it to draw new comb on new foundation.  Someone told me it takes 10 pounds of nectar to produce the drawn comb.  I am not sure if I got that right but if reuse could help they can have it back.

I got to look up bur comb.
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Offline edward

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Re: More dumb questions...
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2010, 06:32:00 PM »
10kg of honey to make 1kg of wax !

The best way to help your bees to draw new comb is to reduce ventilation in the hive so it is warmer and they start to sweat/secret wax.
This will only happen if they have space to build , and a steady flow of nectar or sugar or syrup.

mvh edward  :-P

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: More dumb questions...
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2010, 09:54:17 PM »
Considering the bees attitude toward cappings wax I've offered them, I think the bees disagree with the "10 or 8 or 16 pounds"  rules so often quoted.  They seem to prefer to make new wax.
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Offline Acebird

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Re: More dumb questions...
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2010, 11:43:25 AM »
10kg of honey to make 1kg of wax !

The best way to help your bees to draw new comb is to reduce ventilation in the hive so it is warmer and they start to sweat/secret wax.
This will only happen if they have space to build , and a steady flow of nectar or sugar or syrup.

mvh edward  :-P

Is this for real?  I am not saying you are wrong but after loosing our hive to moisture we propped up the cover for the whole season and they didn't have an issue building out the frames from clean foundation.  We are gunshy about closing up the ventilation.  Sugar or syrup is not an option for us.
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Offline Robo

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Re: More dumb questions...
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2010, 12:12:33 PM »
It is a fact that it takes heat to make wax/comb.  Now whether it is natural heat or the added consumption of nectar to create heat that makes it impossible to say x amount of nectar needed to make y wax. How many feral hives have you seen with abundant ventilation?   I've seen none (other than the occasional open air nest which is not the norm for this area).   

It is also a fact that it takes heat to raise brood.  Give the queen a warm spot in the hive and she will lay there.

I understand your desire to be "all natural",  but on one hand you will not assist them with supplemental feed, but on the other,  you are not allowing them to retain their heat causing the added consumption of feed.  Are you really helping them or stressing them?
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Offline Acebird

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Re: More dumb questions...
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2010, 12:49:39 PM »
Quote
I understand your desire to be "all natural",  but on one hand you will not assist them with supplemental feed, but on the other,  you are not allowing them to retain their heat causing the added consumption of feed.  Are you really helping them or stressing them?

I don't know the answer to that. :(

If you can define a way for me to tell I am all ears.  As a new bee keeper you know nothing so you join a club and listen to all the varied ways to do things.  When you ask questions even the most prominent bee keepers will say, " well this is what I do".  It isn't long before some of the "this is what I do" becomes conflicting.  And it isn't any different on this forum.  I am here with eyes and ears wide open.  I will listen to everyone and then I got to make a choice and see what happens.  We lost a hive all ready.  I suspect we will lose another one sooner or later.  Eventually we will learn the ropes.

I am sorry for the bees that don't make it because of what we have done or not done.  We what to be their friends.
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Offline edward

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Re: More dumb questions...
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2010, 09:08:15 PM »
10kg of honey to make 1kg of wax !The best way to help your bees to draw new comb is to reduce ventilation in the hive so it is warmer and they start to sweat/secret wax.This will only happen if they have space to build , and a steady flow of nectar or sugar or syrup.mvh edward  :-P

Is this for real?  I am not saying you are wrong but after loosing our hive to moisture we propped up the cover for the whole season and they didn't have an issue building out the frames from clean foundation.  We are gunshy about closing up the ventilation.  Sugar or syrup is not an option for us.
As I am expanding my bee hives so I have a shortage of drawn out comb , You can buy bees , bee hives but it is hard to find anyone who is willing to sell drawn out comb.
If you do find someone , the price is usually horrendous or there are no guarantees that the wax is free from disease .

I have gone from 7 hives to 35 this year , drawn out comb = gold !!
10kg to 1kg well known fact

Ventilation , I suppose it depends on your climate , temp ? humidity.?

Also the style of bee keeping , On your side of the pond I understand that lots of ventilation is popular
 
On my side we like to keep them warm on top in the winter with a draft over the floor , helps ventilate out moisture , also our winters are very dry , lots of snow but dry air.

By seasoned bee keeper(S) I was recommended to reduce the ventilation under spring and summer = brood and egg laying can start earlier , also it takes less energy/bees to warm the hive = easier to sweat wax.

But come winter , the need to ventilate  moisture is key to survival .

until we can ask the bees how they would like to have it we will have to keep guessing  :roll:

mvh edward  :-P

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: More dumb questions...
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2010, 10:44:48 PM »
You can have ventilation and still preserve heat.  It's a matter of how big the openings are and convection.  Obviously if you have large openings and a lot of convection (both top and bottom openings  of large size) then the bees may have trouble maintaining the temperature.  If you have no convection and only a small opening at the bottom then moisture tends to accumulate at the top, especially when the bees are in a cluster and therefore have less control over the ventilation.  In hot weather there would be a lot of bees working on ventilation.  In cold weather they are trying to stay warm instead.  It only takes a small top and bottom opening to allow moisture out.  Any larger is causing more stress with more heat required.
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Offline edward

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Re: More dumb questions...
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2010, 03:03:02 AM »
You can have ventilation and still preserve heat.  It's a matter of how big the openings are and convection.  Obviously if you have large openings and a lot of convection (both top and bottom openings  of large size) then the bees may have trouble maintaining the temperature.  If you have no convection and only a small opening at the bottom then moisture tends to accumulate at the top, especially when the bees are in a cluster and therefore have less control over the ventilation.  In hot weather there would be a lot of bees working on ventilation.  In cold weather they are trying to stay warm instead.  It only takes a small top and bottom opening to allow moisture out.  Any larger is causing more stress with more heat required.

Interesting !

How big or small is your summer/winter ventilation ?  Width , height ,, diameter ?

I would assume that if you had a small ventilation hole/gap in the roof area , and if the bees din not think it was a good idea they would fill it with propolis.

Most of the bee keepers I know have no ventilation up top and a lot of ventilation in the bottom in wintertime.

Under their active season the bees should bee able to ventilate the hive to the climate they seem fit.

When they have gone into winter hibernation  and are in a cluster it is not possible for them to adjust there in hive climate as effectively.

mvh edward  :-P

Offline Robo

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Re: More dumb questions...
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2010, 11:03:48 AM »
If you can define a way for me to tell I am all ears.  As a new bee keeper you know nothing so you join a club and listen to all the varied ways to do things.  When you ask questions even the most prominent bee keepers will say, " well this is what I do".  It isn't long before some of the "this is what I do" becomes conflicting.  And it isn't any different on this forum.  I am here with eyes and ears wide open.  I will listen to everyone and then I got to make a choice and see what happens.  We lost a hive all ready.  I suspect we will lose another one sooner or later.  Eventually we will learn the ropes.

Welcome to the lovely art of beekeeping.  Ask 10 beekeepers a question and you will get 11 answers.  There are a lot of variables involved, and there is no perfect answer.  Climate is a big factor that is often forgotten about when talking on the forum.  Bees are also very adaptable,  so not everything that we do that appears to work, may be in the best interest of the bees.  My advice is to keep researching and seeking knowledge for others, but you need to analyze and determine which is best for you and your bees.  Never stop evaluating your own methods and also keep in mind that what works for others may not work for you and vice versa.  We see far to many folks telling others that they are wrong, when in reality, it all comes down to what works best for you. There is a difference between sharing ones opinions/methods/experiences for others to evaluate and being abstinent that your method is "the way".  You will quickly learn who fits in each category.

Personally,  I do a lot of feral removals and take note of what bees do when they are entirely in control. 

I know you are struggling with ventilation concerns.  There is a short book by Ed Clark called "Constructive Beekeeping" that gives a total different perspective on it and goes through the mathematics that shows bees can not rely on evaporation but more likely rely on condensation.  It is in total opposition to today's norm of the more ventilation the better.   Once again, take it for what it is worth,  but I still struggle getting past the fact that every feral colony I find has all the cracks and crevices sealed up with propolis.

I also know there is the old wives tale that cold doesn't kill bees, moisture does.  That may be true,  but heat sure does help them and they do prefer it.  I have done some experiments with heat,  and the queens will move right to the heat source to lay her eggs and raise brood.
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Offline Acebird

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Re: More dumb questions...
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2010, 05:38:41 PM »
Quote
I have gone from 7 hives to 35 this year , drawn out comb = gold !!
10kg to 1kg well known fact
This is the automation engineer talking now.
Aside from contamination in the wax there is no reason why the comb could not be mass-produced.  You could even mold a plastic comb and spray coat it with wax like the foundation is.

Quote
Ventilation , I suppose it depends on your climate , temp ? humidity.?
Yes, winter here is the driest but never is it dry.  We can get 2 inches or rain or 3 feet of snow on a weekend.  What we lack is sun.  There have been years where we have only seen the sun for 70 days out of 365.


Quote
It only takes a small top and bottom opening to allow moisture out.


That is what we had and it was decided that it wasn’t enough.

So now I am going to ask more questions.  How exactly does the moisture kill the bees?  It’s obvious to me how the cold can do it but short of creating a mold condition it is not clear to me how the moisture kills the bees.
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Offline Bee-Bop

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Re: More dumb questions...
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2010, 06:08:38 PM »
Damp, humid and cold, is Pneumonia weather for humans, also has it's affect on bees !

That's what mama taught any way.

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Offline VolunteerK9

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Re: More dumb questions...
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2010, 10:45:16 PM »


  Sugar or syrup is not an option for us.

I'm about afraid to ask, but why is sugar or syrup not an option?