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rae 

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I have a small problem with one of my colonies, it isn't a disaster, but it is becoming annoying. The bees are untidy. When presented with a nice frame of foundation, they will chew a big hole in it, then they will realise that they can build brace comb between the adjacent frames through the hole, and in a matter of days, all three frames will become a complete mess. They got so bad with one frame that all we had left was the wire - they simply chewed the whole thing out and decided to build brace in the gap. The frames are nothing clever - Hoffmans in a National, the other colony seems to get on fine with them and build nice straight combs.

What is the best approach? I can think of:

1) Be ruthless, doesn't matter what is in the brace, cut it out and remove it. Replace damaged frames with fresh foundation. I have noticed they have been very good rebuilding the super frames that we have just extracted, so this might be the best idea.

2) Try and work round it, but at the risk of killing the queen as we try and remove a frame.

3) On top of (1) or (2), re-queen. Don't really want to do that as they are productive.

Thanks!
 

susbees 

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Somewhere I read that they chew up foundation if given it when there isn't a good flow on. Do bees get bored ;)?
 

wightbees 

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are you sure this isn't baby bees Teething problems:smilielol5:
 

crazy_bull 

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Give other colony the foundation to build out then transfer to naughty colony.

Or:

Wait until a flow is on and they should just build it out quickly or even feed them abit to encourage this.

Don't feed if you have supers on else your honey will be conaminated with syrup.

Out of interest, the frames are spaced correctly? As often if they are to far apart the bees will do their own thing.

Other thoughts:

Is the foundation old and brittle? If so spray with a little sugar syrup.

Where are you putting the new foundation frames? At the edge of the box or splitting the brood etc?

C B
 

wightbees 

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just read ,should not mix draw comb wih foundation. i take it mess up bee space .
Also you need a flow on for them to draw it out.
You don't say what the situation are with frames inside the BB or Super.
only what i read and i'm new , but might be of help
 

wightbees 

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note to myself ,,,must type quicker lol
 

DulwichGnome 

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It might be worth trying empty frames with a bit of foundation as a starter strip. This may 'cost' you honey but if the house bees are looking for something to do this might work. Make sure your hive is level as the bees will draw the comb down straight in line with gravity not to your frame. If you mark up the frames with starter strips then you will know which ones to handle more gently.

Just out of interest, have these bees been moved recently?

Mike.
 

rae 

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Thanks for the responses!

These bees are one or our original colonies from last year. We artificially swarmed them this year, the hive is in exactly the same position, and it is level!

As a result of the AS, we have a few "deep" BB frames in a 14x12, we put them on the edge so that over time we could pull them out. We know they are going to build comb on the bottoms of the deep frames, that's fine. However, both in the old brood box, and in the new one, they've done the whole hole chewing thing pretty much since we got them.

I like the idea of getting another colony to draw the foundation cleanly, then give it to these guys. We have another highly productive colony that draws well, so we could get them to do the work. We have a very good flow on at the moment, so there should not be any problems.

The frames are simply hoffmans, spaced tightly, so 12 per box.
 

Poly Hive 

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should not mix foundation with drawn comb?

Utter rubbish.

PH
 

wightbees 

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Although Usa views, it was the views of .George Imirie
Certified EAS Master Beekeeper

Edit

he says not to put them undrawn , between drawn ?
 
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victor meldrew 

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When using thin unwired foundation for cut comb, it is recommended that the frames of same are interposed with frames of drawn comb I
Ne'er mind the Certified EAS Master Beekeeper :patriot:

John Wilkinson
 

Poly Hive 

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Goodness knows why m8. Mind you hes a yank so they may have a reason for it over there.

Can I say to you this please. American books are dangerous for UK beginners as they do things over there VERY differently indeed and the colonies get much bigger.

I do not say this idly but I read in my time all the ABJ and Gleanings mags from 194 something up until 1986 so know a bit about their methods and damn few cross the Atlantic.

I put foundation inbetween drawn comb on a weekly basis. It is a bog standard technique.

PH
 

wightbees 

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Can you put more than one or only one in between drawn ?
And why do you put it between the drawn comb ?
Thanks
 

Poly Hive 

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I use Manley frames for cut comb and the bees will cope with a whole super of it but they are not that keen and if the flow is spordic they can be a bit rough with it.

I cannot use drawn comb as I do not extract so I do ease things for them with some Hoffman frames. But again all CC.

Brood box wise I open a gap and put in a foundation frame. Next inspection it will be drawn out and laid up. Simple.

PH
 

dano41 

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Hi.Polyhive in the brood chamber could I put several frames of foundation in and alternate them I have the foundation over at one side at moment and they are not drawing it?
 
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