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Author Topic: Comb by compass  (Read 542 times)

Offline Bee Happy

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Comb by compass
« on: April 02, 2011, 05:47:27 PM »
Ok, so, this is probably going to be considered a ridiculous question (only because there 'are no' stupid questions.)
but anyway, has anyone noticed, or done a study on whether bees will try to align their comb in line with magnetic north/south.
the reason I'm asking is the hives I'm not as fond of (not quite as gentle) have their entrances facing due south (by the compass)- and they build almost perfect comb.
My favorites for their exceptional gentleness face slightly south-south east and their comb is a little "funny" even with full foundation, they build the comb a little fatter toward the east on the north end of the hive, and a little fatter to the west on the south end - as if they were trying to align the comb with the compass.
I'll probably change the direction of the entrance to due south, to see if the frame alignment in keeping with the compass fixes the weird comb, but I was wondering if anyone else has ever made notes of it.
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Offline FRAMEshift

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Re: Comb by compass
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2011, 05:54:21 PM »
I have read some studies about bees orienting comb to magnetic field lines.  I think the conclusions were generally that yes, they do orient to the compass, and no... it doesn't make much difference as far as managing hives.  Nothing wrong with changing the hive direction as you suggest, but don't expect them to double their brood raising or honey production.   :-D
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Comb by compass
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2011, 11:28:34 PM »
What I have observed is that the entrance has more to do with what direction they prefer than the magnetic poles of the earth.  They like to put combs at an angle to the entrance.
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Offline Bee Happy

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Re: Comb by compass
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2011, 12:32:17 AM »
I have read some studies about bees orienting comb to magnetic field lines.  I think the conclusions were generally that yes, they do orient to the compass, and no... it doesn't make much difference as far as managing hives.  Nothing wrong with changing the hive direction as you suggest, but don't expect them to double their brood raising or honey production.   :-D
brood and honey have been about the same in both hives - except for the wonky comb in the very gentle hives.

What I have observed is that the entrance has more to do with what direction they prefer than the magnetic poles of the earth.  They like to put combs at an angle to the entrance.

The less gentle and very gentle bees both have langstroth hives though, so the frames are front to back in relation to the entrance


to both - thanks for the replies.


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