Bees making comb all over the place and BIG bees

Patty_WyJune 13, 2011

I received the two frames of bees and brood from a local beekeeper when both my packages of bees died off. He brought them about 3 weeks ago and they have been going like gangbusters ever since. I have been feeding them old crystalized honey and corn syrup to help them build comb on the 7 brand new frames even though we are in the midst of a nectar flow with both our sanfoin and alfalfa fields. They have I have a feeder with water in front of the hive as well. I have been checking their hive about once a week to make sure the queen hasn't died and she has been there, busy laying eggs and doing her thing. I have had two things come up that I don't understand. They have all these beautiful brand-spanking new frames and although they have built comb on both sides of two frames the bees are building comb on top of frames near the opening of the inner cover and in the small area extending down from the frames. The other thing is I have been seeing these gigantic bees occasionally coming into my hive and I don't know if they are robbers or not. They are about 1/3 bigger than the worker bees but I'm not sure they are drones...the area behind the head and towards the back is shiny black and the stripes on the lower part of the bodies are not as obvious as the worker bees. I don't know if they are robber bees or just gigantic lazy drones looking for some action. Any ideas?

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if the giants bees aren't being attacked by the regular size bees then they are probably drones.
you can clean up stray comb when you inspect the hive. feeding is a good thing to do with a small hive population.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 5:04PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Sounds like drone bees. Sometimes on new foundation bees draw comb uneven height both sides, so then you can cut some off if too high and turn the frame around. The extra comb, [burr comb] very normal, it is basically the extension of the comb frames and lots of large cells are made for drones. Getting rid of these combs helps to lower Varroa population, since they prefer these cells.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 10:00PM
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What I found extremely odd is that some of the comb on top of one of the frames has honey in it! Is that normal?

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 2:09AM
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yes that is normal. looks like you'll have a snack when you clean up the stray comb.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 5:32PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Yes...I find this is a sign of running out of room, time to put on
honey super.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 1:04AM
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I hope not! I have about 4 frames the bees haven't even started building on. I am working on removing the plastic part of the frames so the bees can build the kind of comb they naturally want to build. I understand this can help with the varroa mite problem.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 4:11PM
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