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Anyone got any advice about upset bees?

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Applemuncher 

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Hi!

This is my first post! :) I'm just wondering if anyone can offer some advice. I have a hive of bees who are intent on building wild comb anywhere they can and have started to build comb on the underside of the queen excluder dwnwards between the frames. The queen excluder is one of the rolled wire ones.

When I went to check the bees last week, the comb had brood in it which of course got ripped in half when I removed the excluder, this made the bees really agitated and they were obviously distressed (running around the affected area etc.) I smoked them which calmed them a little (very short term) but it became difficult to check the rest of the hive.

Does anyone have any suggestions how I can stop this from happening?

Thanks in advance!
 

skydragon 

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You wrote >>I have a hive of bees who are intent on building wild comb anywhere they can <<

As a starting point...don't give them space to build brace comb.

Less than 6mm gaps = Bees try and fill with Propolis

Approx 6mm gap = Bees do nothing

Much more than 6mm gap = Bees try and build brace comb

The above is a generalisation in some respects, but it is a good rule to bear in mind.


You wrote >>underside of the queen excluder dwnwards between the frames<<

This sounds as though the frames in your brood box are not correctly spaced.

The frames in your brood box should be spaced so that the bees do not build brace comb in between them. If you use DN4 self spacing frames, this means that they should be pushed firmly together. Do you know what type of brood frames you are using?

As an aside and seperate to your described problem - You will always get some small amounts of brace comb built here and there in the hive, but if on each inspection you gently remove it, by scraping it off with your hive tool then it will prevent brace comb getting too established and causing major problems.
 
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Applemuncher 

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Thanks for your advice, I think I might have a bit of a space at the top of the combs, I think this particular hive doesn't have any metal runners on it so that makes sense. I could probably do with raising the lugs on the combs up but not entirely ure if I can do this in a 'bee friendly' way without disrupting them too much.:(
 

MuswellMetro 

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You wrote >>

The above is a generalisation in some respects, but it sounds as though the gap between your QE and the top of your frames could be too large?

.
1) clean the excluder of any brace comb with hive tool every time you open up

2) get a bit of strip wood about 5mm and place/push under the lugs so the top of the frames are level with the top of the brood box bearing surface( assumeing its a national or WBC)..frame runners are £1 ish from thornes

but also what brood box size are you using and what spacers are you using,

in my expeirnce it only occurs above over spaced or uneven spaced brood frames or undrawn foundation frames and is normally drone comb

i try to get them to biuld drone under a frame
 
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Also make sure the bars of the QE run the opposite way to the frames.
Ah! Had been told the opposite from someone (who I suspect was just guessing) that having the QE running the same way as the brood frames made it easier for the girls to move up and down - but I have a WBC as well who's QE is designed for the other, cross way. Thanks for the tip.
 

Dewin Dwl 

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Applemuncher, go join the local beekeeping association and ask one of the experienced types to have a look see. They'll advise you on those factors that aren't right that we can't see over t'internet and, with respect, you won't report 'cos you don't know they're wrong.
 

m100 

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Ah! Had been told the opposite from someone (who I suspect was just guessing) that having the QE running the same way as the brood frames made it easier for the girls to move up and down
The 'in line with the top bars' orientation could , depending on position of the queen excluder bars, result in a continuous structure (like a wire or a piece of plastic or sheet metal) falling right over a space between two top bars, and in effect blocking it off completely,
 

Friar Tuck 

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Applemuncher, go join the local beekeeping association and ask one of the experienced types to have a look see. They'll advise you on those factors that aren't right that we can't see over t'internet and, with respect, you won't report 'cos you don't know they're wrong.
Or just take some photo's and post up so people can see :auto:
 

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