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Bees covering the bottom screen with comb


#1

I captured a large swarm from a bee tree May 13th. I placed the swarm in a Warre with three boxes and a wood bottom board. The bees had almost filled the three boxes by June 22 so I added two more boxes below (nadiring) as well as replaced the wood bottom board with a screened bottom board.

Now the bees are building down from the fourth box and UP from the fifth/bottom box! The bees are placing wax comb on half of the screened bottom and building up a side wall.

Has anyone ever had the bees cover the floor with comb? And was it a screened bottom board? Perhaps these bees don’t like the screen? I’m thinking of getting in there soon and replacing the screen with a wood floor again. Maybe this would help?

This is my first year using a screened bottom board since that is now what Bee Thinking supplies. Before I just always used solid wood bottoms. So I have no experience with the effect screens have on bees.

I am including a photo of the bees covering the screen as seen through the viewing window.

Thanks for any suggestions or sharing of similar experiences.

Judith in Denver Colorado


#2

Judith,

How far have they built down in the bottom box? Usually I only see this in two scenarios:

  1. The colony has filled up the bottom box entirely, and builds farther down and begins attaching their combs to the screen or solid bottom.

  2. A piece of comb has fallen/broken off from above (in heat or transport, or a combination thereof), and the bees begin building up from that comb, or down to it from the combs above. In the pictures it looks like the latter.

I would just scrape it off, and if they’ve completely filled the bottom box, add another box to the bottom. Otherwise it’s going to lead to some weird combs.

Best,

Matt


#3

Thanks Matt I will get in there and clean it up.