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Author Topic: What condition will bees produce wax?  (Read 1306 times)
adamhickman
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« on: November 10, 2012, 09:28:51 PM »

I've been looking around to find details about wax production, but can't find too much on the topic.

Will bees produce wax only when the nectar flow is on?

Is wax produced when it is warm outside?

Is nectar/honey needed to produce wax?
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Vance G
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« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2012, 10:11:48 PM »

These are my observation not science so are what I think.  Bees produce wax best on a heavy flow as the bees are processing a lot of nectar and I think  bees of the right age are producing wax pretty much all the time when ingesting and then storing and manipulating all that nectar.   These flakes are harvested and comb is built to store the bounty.  Bees produce wax when they need it.  I had thirty starts contract AFB off the old dark used comb I purchased and started them on.  Heres MY SIGN!!!!   In August in a drought on an endless supply of sugar syrup, they pretty quickly rebuilt boxes of comb because they needed it for brood and to store winter rations.   Many times I feed bees using gallon ziplocks in a three inch feeder rim.  The bees start building comb around that baggie if they run out of room below.   Now, if they don't need the room for brood or stores and you are not feeding, absolutely nothing is going to happen except they eat your foundation for repairs elsewhere
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rdy-b
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« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2012, 10:22:53 PM »

Heres a cool pic of bees secreting wax.....                                                                http://www.webanswers.com/post-images/5/5E/4B5D12B1-8A4F-4537-A6B3E76C51178F07.jpg
  cheesy RDY-B
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Finski
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« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2012, 02:09:59 AM »


  Bees produce wax when they need it. 

This is the best advice we can get.

I has bee amazed about this: When beekeepers buy package bees to Alaska in April, they have not there any flowers or pollen.
Package bees draw foundations with sugar ...in some limit.
I live on same latitude as Anchorage and willow starts here blooming 1.5. Then it is possible to rear brood.


I use to put foundations in the edges of boxes to add ventilation along the wall.
I start my pollen patty feeding at the beginning of April.
When my bees start to make draw foundations voluntarily, they have allready 3 brood generation behind and it is second week of June.
The hive is full of bees and there is much nectar and pollen in nature. They have filled the combs and they want to expand the hive.

It happens at same time in many hives. It must be some common signal when they start to make burr and new combs.
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T Beek
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« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2012, 07:40:17 AM »

A nectar flow (natural or human made, as in sugar syrup), suitable weather conditions, pollen availability and having the space (empty frames or boxes) to create comb will cause them to do so. 

This natural instinct is how we beeks fool our bees during a good flow, into producing considerably more honey than a colony needs or can ever consume. 

Its sort of a trick we play on them if done right  Undecided, but I guess that opinion depends on which side of the fence you sit. 

On a good flow, a beek intent primarily on honey production will have no problem adding as many supers as can be stacked with the bees effectively forced into working overtime on behalf of the beekeeper. 

It is what it is.
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Finski
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« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2012, 08:04:42 AM »

.
Yes, Beek. You say perfectly right. Human fools the be do things what it would not tio do in nature.

Bees' purpose to live is to produce swarms. When human gives more foundations and more room, often bees think that they are not ready to swarm.
However the basic nature in bees' life is that "don't waste energy". Bees do only what is necessary.

Often beekeepers say that "bees draw fast combs". - Where they need that "fast". They do just as they need. And if flow is weak, they do not draw all foundations. Like this autumn I picked tens of undrawn combs when  bees did not need new combs.
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rdy-b
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« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2012, 12:43:40 PM »

 when young bees are feed thin syrup it mimics a nectar flow
young bees are the best at producing wax-up to 18 days old
older bees are slower at wax production
there is a biological function that takes place in the young bee -they dont turn it on or off
if there is a need for fast comb building the young bees are feed the incoming nectar or thin syrup through a process known as tropholaxis (young bees dont forage)--it is there wax gland that starts into over drive and comb is produced at a rapid rate
the colony needs these young bees for wax building
when bees swarm it is a mixture of old and young bees-and the population explosion that precedes a swarm provides these young bees
  Smiley RDY-B
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2012, 01:53:27 PM »

>Will bees produce wax only when the nectar flow is on?

They have to have a stomach full of some kind of sucrose syrup (nectar, honey etc.) and no where to store it.

>Is wax produced when it is warm outside?

I have seen bees draw comb when needed when it wasn't that warm, but serious production never seems to happen until the weather is warm.  Heat helps in the working of wax a lot.  It may help in the secretion as well.  The usually festoon and make heat when they are making wax.  Details of how they secrete and work wax are in volume two of Huber's New Observations Upon Bees.

Is nectar/honey needed to produce wax?
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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
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