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Comb Collapse


#1

It is about 89 degrees and I just went out to inspect my hives. Although I was extremely gentle and slow with the top bars, always keeping them vertical, two combs just collapsed onto the floor of the hive. I don’t know what is in the cells - some pollen and nectar for sure, but not sure if there’s brood.

Was this too hot to open my hive? I thought they kept it at around 94 degrees, so I tried to time it so the air temperature outside was close to their ideal temperature as well as choosing a time of day when they were out foraging. The hives are in the sun because of how cold it gets here in the winter.

I’m not sure what to do now. I closed up the hive quickly. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.


#2

oh, I don’t have the foggiest idea honeybee … I’m just a newbie as well, hopefully someone will be along soon to help you, and I’ll stay tuned!


#3

THanks, CD43. I haven’t been able to get any advice yet, but I did move the fallen comb away from the intact comb so they wouldn’t draw the two together and create even worse problems. The comb was incredibly soft because it’s new and because of the heat. It was impossible to pick up or move without falling apart. I’m letting them clean up as much of it as they can and then I’m going to get it out of there. Poor bees.

I bet you have some high temps already in Texas. Today I put a piece of silver reflective stuff - one of those screens people put in their car windows to keep the sun out- over the top of the hive and held it down with a big rock. That seemed to keep it quite a bit cooler under there. I will try to think of some more permanent solutions for creating shade during the midday heat.

Hope all is going well in your bees’ world.


#4

I hope that works for you Honeybee, our temps will be in the upper 80’s and hitting 90 in a few day’s … :?: our hive is located on the South side of the property where it get’s mainly morning sun, and shady afternoon … a nice breeze usually blowing off of the lake! I may think about opening up the ventilation on the bottom of the hive, but I hesitate, since that and using the observation window (too soon after installing them into the new hive) was what I believe caused them to try to abscond…do you have the “copper top” … I wonder if that is creating more heat, or reflecting it? :?


#5

No, I just have the plain wood - I’ve wondered about the copper top, too. It does seem to get surprisingly hot in there when the sun shines on it. And I didn’t get the screened bottom board because of how cold it gets here in the winter.

Yours sounds like a perfect location. It’s really that afternoon sun that’s so intense. And it builds up during the day, so morning sun should be perfect. How lovely to have a lake breeze!

A lot of bees are clustered in a tight group outside the entrance as if they’re thinking about leaving. And who could blame them? They’re not bearding; it’s a pleasant, coolish morning. We are expecting rain later today, so I hope that will encourage them to stay a while. I’m going to try to quickly clean up the fallen comb to get their nest back to normal now that they’ve had a little time to salvage what they can out of it.


#6

It was wise to get those combs moved over. You can leave them in as long as you keep them from being built onto by the bees. As soon as anything inside hatches (if it does), you can remove those. Fresh, white combs are VERY fragile. Especially in heat above 85 degrees. Try and go in when it’s cooler if possible – even if this means going in earlier in the morning. If the combs are older and darker, they can be re-attached to the bars with wire or other methods. Since they are likely too fragile, I would just remove them.

Best,

Matt


#7

Thank You Matt, this information is good to know, in the event that I have the same issue as Honeybee! I do hope all is going well for her and her hive!