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Author Topic: Burr comb and hot bees make for sore hands  (Read 2485 times)
tejas
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« on: August 07, 2005, 07:40:01 PM »

I have two hives with Italian bees in both hives. I have a problem with one hive building burr comb doesn’t seem to matter how much room they have either. When I first put on the second super earlier this spring they immediately filled up the gap between the hive top feeder and the frames. They also will tie the frames of the suppers together, which make it very difficult to do inspections. I was doing an inspection today and when I pride the supers apart all hell broke loose and I receive countless stings on my hands. OUCH! The only difference in the two hives is the one that is getting all the burr comb has pierco all plastic frames verses wooden frames with plastic foundation in the other hive. Could this be the difference? One other thing I cannot figure out is why would bee keeping suppliers sell protective gloves that bees can sting through doesn’t make sense.
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manowar422
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« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2005, 08:16:20 PM »

Quote
I was doing an inspection today and when I pride the supers apart all hell broke loose and I receive countless stings on my hands. OUCH!


Could our CHANGES EVERY FIVE MINUTES Texas weather have
been a factor? (overcast today, with rain in forcast)

My bees have been building a little burr comb in 10 deep frames
of black one piece Piercos.

I havn't looked in that box for some time, but I know it's very heavy
with honey.

Sorry about your hands Sad
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thegolfpsycho
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« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2005, 08:58:38 PM »

I have a theory about the burr comb, but someone will probably disagree.  I think that when they are making honey, or storing nectar (or syrup),  I don't know if they have control over how much wax they produce, but with the plastic foundations, and drawn plastic frames, they make more than they need, so they use it.  Especially since until it's drawn, they don't really care for the plastic.  If your in a heavy flow, they jump on it but you still get the burr comb.  I tried some permadent foundations, and that colony is burred up pretty bad.  Of course, some bees just make alot of burr comb.  If thats a trait that colony has, I would give them a shot at some section honey next year.  Nice white wax is a great presentation.  Try to make their habits work for you.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2005, 09:35:23 PM »

CC Miller observed back in the 1800s that thick top bars are what prevents burr comb between the boxes and on the top.  Pierco has almost NO top bar to speak of and hence has a lot of burr comb.  I just don't worry about it.  The up sides are that the bridges make it easy for the queen to move from box to box, the burr gives the bees a chance to make drones and the frames have more honey in them because there is less room spent on top bars.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Joseph Clemens
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« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2005, 09:37:16 PM »

Many, one piece all-plastic frame and foundations, have top bars and bottom bars that are too thin. This seems to inspire the bees to connect together the bottoms and tops of combs with these thin top and bottom bars.
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Joseph Clemens
Beekeeping since 1964
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No chemicals -- no treatments of any kind, EVER.
Horns Pure Honey
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« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2005, 05:47:15 PM »

I know a guy with 33 hives and he gets rid of burr comb by picking up the box with the comb and turning it a full 180 and puts it back on. The bees clean up the wax and you have a clean hive again. Cheesy
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Ryan Horn
thegolfpsycho
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« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2005, 11:28:37 PM »

Clearly beespace infringement, or larger gaps, would cause alot of burr comb, and very little in a topbar style hive where there is no space.  I use wedge type wooden frames.  It just appears to me that they build structure into every nook and cranny before they work on the plastic.  And I'm not saying they don't use the plastic.  Those frames were jam packed with honey.  Bees are bees, and they do bee stuff.  But I make enough of a mess in my high tech, hand cranked,  extracting room.. er... kitchen.  The less honey dripping out before I am ready, the better I like it.   Its not as big a problem for me, as it is for my housekeeper.  Oh... wait... I AM the housekeeper.  bahahahahahahahah
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tatonka
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« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2005, 02:19:49 AM »

I have one hive that always waxes the frames to the top....I've been using a piece of .025  wire to gently saw the lid off.  
Seems to upset them a lot less.  

Any one else have some ideas.  

Is there anything I can put on the tops of the frame or lid to stop this??

Eric
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Joseph Clemens
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« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2005, 02:47:26 AM »

I use a wood framed queen excluder or inner cover, sometimes both. This seriously reduces the amount of burr comb the bees build on the tops of the frames.

Once the main flow is on I use the excluder on top of the third medium super limiting the queen to those three lowest supers and put my honey supers on top of the excluder, then I put the inner cover and migratory cover or just a migratory cover on the top-most super.
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" border=0
alt="Click for Marana, Arizona Forecast" height=50 width=150>[/url]
Joseph Clemens
Beekeeping since 1964
10+ years in Tucson, Arizona
12+ hives and 15+ nucs
No chemicals -- no treatments of any kind, EVER.
Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2005, 11:22:01 AM »

>Is there anything I can put on the tops of the frame or lid to stop this??

Go to the pharmacy and buy mineral oil laxitive.  The first time scrape it off well.  Paint the tops of the bars with it everytime you open up the hive.

That said, I don't bother.  Smiley
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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