With the gable type roof and the hole in the inner cover, how to you keep them from building burr comb under te roof?
Easiest way is to either glue/staple mesh over the hole or place something over the whole such as a tile or piece of ply.
Exactly what I was going to say. A #8 hardware cloth will do. I just put a block of wood over it for now. In the future I’ll probably put a jar to try and get some comb honey.
So I just took the roof off my hive to put the super on. I had just read on the website or forums somewhere that it was uncommon for the bees to build in the “attic”. Well, after coming in from dealing with bees building comb from the queen excluder mesh itself, and extensively in the attic, I am finding it is not that uncommon of a problem after all. I’m not sure I’m brave enough to try and take that roof off again, and somehow modify it so they don’t build up there. How important is it to not have them building in the attic?
How important I can’t really say. Like I said I just put a block of wood (clean stuff I know isn’t covered in toxins) and then when I did my inspection this past Saturday I stapled some hardware cloth over it (after I had it off my hive of course!) I have more trouble getting the bees to NOT hand on the Inner with the roof off than anything, but that is because I turned my Inner into a top entrance (bottom side of it) so they are to use landing on the roof and eve.
Hopefully someone else and answer your main question though.
Well, the main issues that I worry about are:
- You can’t inspect the comb faces properly for disease and pests (wax moths adore attic space)
- It can make it hard to take the lid off when it is welded down with comb and sticky honey
- You can’t harvest it easily without killing bees
- It may be unstable, and if you have a queen up there (only if you are not using a QX) you may crush her if the comb collapses when you take the roof off
Personally I would worry more about hidden pests like SHB or wax moths than anything else, and so I won’t allow comb in the attics of my hives. It is usually uncommon for them to build above the inner cover/crown board, providing that they have plenty of space lower down. However, some bees just like to do it, and the only way to stop it is to cover the hole with mesh or something solid.
If you do find comb under the roof it is wise to recycle it and put back inside the hive so bees can recycle the wax
I don’t think that they are normally so desperate for wax that you need to do that. I usually freeze it for a day or two, then store it in a big tub until I have enough to render. At the moment, I am just keeping it in the freezer all the time, because when I am ready to put the Flow super on, I will rub the comb over the plastic, hoping to transfer some of the bee pheromones so that they accept the frames more readily.
I have found that the bees just don’t seem interested in recycling the wax, they will however take all the honey in a very short time. Wax is a hidden treasure of beekeeping, find a way to recycle it for yourself. Beeswax candles are cheap to make and burn for hours with almost no smoke. Wax also makes the best leather conditioner and of course who hasn’t a need for a beeswax lip balm. You don’t need much to make any of these products. Collect up the burr comb, store it in the freezer and after a year or so, you’ll have enough for something special.