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Author Topic: Comb Building  (Read 1684 times)
Brother Dave
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« on: April 14, 2014, 11:09:54 AM »

I am trying to determine factors that slow comb building.
here are a few of my Ideas.

hive temperature.
Bee health.
nutrition.
population
bee race.
My hives seem healthy I have treated for mites last fall. My bees are not building comb yet.   

Any suggestions. or am I just trying to fix something that is not broke. I am using all foundation-less  frames.

thanks
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Spear
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« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2014, 02:25:30 PM »

Give them time. They will build as they need/can. My bees tend to build comb everywhere except where I want them to build - they have even built in the space between the excluder and the top of their brood frames! LOL
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hjon71
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« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2014, 05:43:32 PM »

This is only my second year as a beek, but I find that feeding 1:1 syrup gets comb drawn quicker. I start as soon as the highs are above 55-60.
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drlonzo
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« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2014, 07:27:50 PM »

Dave - Feed them 1:1 sugar water.  But make sure it is 1:1 only.  If it is anything stronger it doesn't stimulate them to pull wax.  Instead anything heavier will only put them into storage mode and they will store it away and ripen as honey inside of the brood nest. 

In spring stimulation with 1:1 will cause the new bees to start pulling wax.  However, if there is a problem such as queenlessness it will be the same as heavier mixes and they won't draw wax till it is required to store more honey. 

So with that said if you are queen right, 1:1 mix by the pound - 8.63 pounds sugar to 1 gallon water.  Creates about 2 gallons of mix.  Should stimulate them to pull wax, if you are into using essential oils or a good brood builder like honey b healthy don't forget to mix it in too.
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Brother Dave
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« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2014, 10:37:33 AM »

I broke out the food scale today. I have been feeding to concentrated syrup. I have been putting 3 cups of sugar into a quart jar then filling to top with my food scale i determined that 2 1/2 cups of sugar into 2 1/4 cups of water should make about 1 quart of feed.
Thanks for the tip.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2014, 07:04:11 PM »

...and bee age...
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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
drlonzo
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« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2014, 11:29:09 PM »

...and bee age...


Very true!  Older the bee the less they like to pull comb.  The typical bees that do the wax building are the young bees.  The older the bees get they change jobs in the hive.  Old bees don't like to pull wax at all.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2014, 06:22:04 AM »

>Old bees don't like to pull wax at all.

That's exactly right.  They can, but they don't have the enthusiasm for the work and will only do it if necessary.  You get a lot of young bees going on comb building and they don't seem to want to quit...
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
drlonzo
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« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2014, 08:41:27 PM »

>Old bees don't like to pull wax at all.

That's exactly right.  They can, but they don't have the enthusiasm for the work and will only do it if necessary.  You get a lot of young bees going on comb building and they don't seem to want to quit...

Michael - This is sort of off topic, however it's on my mind with the whole comb building process.  Anyhow, when you get a package of bees, we all know there is an assortment of ages of bees, but is there a possibility that a package could contain mostly older bees?
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