Beekeeping: stopping, looking, wondering, learning.
Just because it’s so pretty, I thought I’d post a close-up shot of the drone comb I pulled last week.
The comb is on display in our house now, up against one of our kitchen windows where the light can shine through it.
OK, this may have been explained but I only look at the pictures:
So you took that comb out of a hive and it’s now in your house.
What’s it made off? Wax? Will it deteriorate?
Why did you take it out of the hive? The bees built it for a purpose.
I should pay attention more I guess.
“So you took that comb out of a hive and it’s now in your house.”
“What’s it made of? Wax?”
“Will it deteriorate?”
I don’t think so.
“Why did you take it out of the hive? The bees built it for a purpose.”
Because I wasn’t paying attention and installed a frame without support wire. Here’s similar frame but with support wire:
The bees build comb through the wire, which better secures the comb to the frame and reduces the chances of the comb breaking off during inspections when the frames is often angled along the horizontal.
I don’t wire the frames in the medium supers because they’re smaller and it’s not so much an issue with smaller frames (I hope).
So if no humans interfered with them that comb would’ve been fine?
How long does it take them to rebuild a comb? I’d be pissed at you if you took my comb away.
“So if no humans interfered with them that comb would’ve been fine?”
Yes. In nature, they build comb without support wire or humans.
Top bar hives, the kind I recommend for you, don’t have frames or wires, just a stick or top bar on top that the bees build their comb from. I’m tempted to build one myself. I would love to have a top bar hive, though I’m sure there are some disadvantages to them too.
“How long does it take them to rebuild a comb? I’d be pissed at you if you took my comb away.”
It took them four or five days to build this comb. I figured they’ll get over it, and they did. I replaced the frame with a wired frame and they were well on their way to filling it in when I checked a few days later.
Did they replace it with more drone comb, or is honey storage more important to them at this point?
They rebuilt some comb in no time, but I didn’t check what kind of comb it was. It could be worker brood comb, honey comb or drone comb. Dunno. I’m not sure what their priorities are now.
In other news, a bee flew up my nose about five minutes ago and stung me good. That was fun.
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