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Leaving Space Between Frames

Feeding the bees has helped them settle in and the colony is doing really well. John is keen to show off the bees to some visiting friends. However, he's about to discover that the bees don't always follow the guide book especially when he's accidentally left a gap inbetween the frames. It's nothing that a bit of gentle re-arranging in the Beehaus can't sort out though.

More information about this episode

Bees will naturally build their nests in hollow spaces such a tree trunks or hollow spaces in walls. Normally, they will build the comb down from the roof of the nest. If you are keeping bees in a beehive then they are forced to build the comb on the frame. However, if you leave a space larger than 6mm between the frames – the bees will build comb off the roof of the hive. When you are new to beekeeping it is easy to leave a space like this between frames.

If this happens, you should try to leave the bee larvae to hatch off this 'wild comb' and stop the queen laying there in the future. You can do this by moving the wild comb to the back of the nest away from the entrance. After 3 weeks all bees will have hatched from the wild comb and you will be able to remove it.

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