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Is this Burr Comb?


Hive established 3 weeks ago. Is this burr comb and if so how do I address it and why did the bees start building it like this?


Hi Lars, Yes and No… it is bridging comb and this occurs when the frames are not butted up hard against each other… (also called exceeding ‘bee space’) bees use it to connect their combs so they can more easily travel between the combs. My suggestion would be to pull up each frame and using your hive tool scrape down each of those top bars, you may need to be a little brutal and some honey may get spilt. Also check the sides of each frame where they butt up to the frame next to them, you may need to scrape these sides down to ensure that the frames wood surfaces touch with the frame next to them. Then push all the frames hard up against each other and you should be good to go. Hope this helps… :grin:


I agree with Rodderick. It looks like your frames have not been pushed up against each other properly. Clean them up like has has described and put them in nice and snug up against each other and you should be right.


I have a different approach. I frequently see this bridging comb. I only scrape it off before replacing frames after an inspection, mainly so I don’t squash bees between it. I don’t see it as a problem, I wouldn’t pull any frames out just to fix that. The main thing to make sure is that if you do have spacing, that it’s no more than about 3mm between the frame shoulders.

I’m a 9 frame evenly spaced in a 10 frame brood box beekeeper. 3mm is just about right for that.

When I do an inspection, I just decide which frame I perceive to be the easiest to pull out first, then I remove the bridging comb with the hook of my hive tool before removing it. The rest are easy after that.