NZBF: Over-combed frames

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10
6
Paeroa
Experience
Beginner
What causes this building behaviour in the hive. There are 6 frames joined together by comb. I was wondering if the spacing between the frames results in this behaviour.
 

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Trevor Gillbanks

Staff member
Founder Member
Gold
10,560
7,143
Palmerston North
Experience
Hobbyist
OK. For starters.
1. Undrawn frames with only 9 in a box are likely to get built with a lot of bridging comb.
2. The frames look as though the pre waxing on the frames is either poorly done or non existent.
3. Frame spacing is too wide.
4. Frames should be monitored for bridging comb when the bees are building/drawing new frames.

That will do for now.
 
8,390
4,812
maungaturoto
Experience
Commercial
What causes this building behaviour in the hive. There are 6 frames joined together by comb. I was wondering if the spacing between the frames results in this behaviour.
its not the bees.
looks like frames are not waxed. it pays to be heavy on the wax.
not enough frames, put 10 in and squish them up tight.
not enough honey flow. undrawn frames need to be put on a good flow and preferably without to many supers on. tho many beeks simply put them on as spares "just in case the flow is good".
 

NickWallingford

BOP Club
133
192
Tauranga
Experience
Retired
What are those green things between the frames? Spacers? Are they used in supers to draw deeper honey comb?
It looks to me like the rebate the frame lug sits on has been painted green. In some of the photos, it appears to be a 'thing' between the frames. But I think it is just the green paint visible behind the parts of the frame.
And as others have said, 10 frames in the box would have avoided this for the most part.
 
3,342
6,177
Hawkes Bay
Experience
Commercial
Looks like under or no waxing to me and poor spacing. You should be able to draw frames at nine frames but you need to have careful spacing with a slightly bigger gap on both outside frames. I much prefer wooden frames but when I did have plastic frames I waxed them heavily and at them on 3 to the box with five fully drawn frames and none of the new frames next to each other or on the outside. One thing with plastic frames like you have is that you can just scrape them down to the foundation and start again.
 
10
6
Paeroa
Experience
Beginner
Awesome thanks to all for the feedback. Confirms what I was thinking, particularly about frame spacing.
I now have another query about lots of bees hiding underneath my hive. I checked on the activity late yesterday afternoon, (didn't open the hive) and found all these dead bees under the hive. I run a hivedoctor base and have both trays in place. I think the bees died in the cold wet weather overnight, but I question why they are even there. Could they be from another hive looking for food. ??
 

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Alastair

Founder Member
Platinum
7,988
9,191
Auckland
Experience
Semi Commercial
It's a problem with screened bottom boards, bees can get trapped underneath.

However without seeing it in person before you moved the dead bees it is not possible to say for certain that is what happened in this case.

Could also be because the bees were crowded as they don't like clustering on undrawn plastic foundation, so instead hung out the front and were killed by rain.

Is there brood, and especially, eggs, in your hive?
 
10
6
Paeroa
Experience
Beginner
Thenks Trevor. I took the trays out and they were full of foreign bees all a sightly different colour to my girls. I think I was getting robbed and the piles of dead bees are from another hive somewhere. Got the hose going on spray and within minutes the raiders had gone.
 
1
1
Marlborough
Experience
Beginner
As a novice beekeeper i actually killed an entire hive (previously my strongest hive) thinking i was helping my poor bees keep warm by pretty much enclosing the hive... Ventilation very important! A match stick under back corners of the hive mat is sufficient to allow air flow through the hive

Also (i learned) it is not good practice adding moisture to the hive by using sugar syrup to feed until it warms up. If you need to feed when it is cold and wet (apparently) use dry sugar. Haven't done this so you would need to research how this is done. (I only did it the wrong way!)

My 2 remaining hives are thriving with the ventilation and i put a layer of polystyrene between the hive mat and the tin lid.

Interestingly - for me anyway - one piece of my insulation has a hole in it about 5cm D... There is always condensation on the inside of the hive mat at this point indicating to me that it has been helpful in contributing to a healthy environment in the hives.

M
 
  • Good Info
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