Wild Comb and Smoke Lesson

Here are some pictures of comb that the bees had built on their own. When they are particularly productive—or when beekeepers do not check their hives often enough—bees produce wax and attach it to whatever they can. It is important to remove the comb and to add more space so that the bees can prosper. If not, the lack of space can lead them to swarm. It is good to have a smoker with you in most situations when dealing with bees to pacify them. Not only does the smoke deter them and makes them move away from the areas you need to work, but it also makes them less likely to produce the alarm pheromone. In other words, making them less likely to sting you—which makes me happy!

Removing this type of comb can be very invasive and disturbing for the bees. We were sure to smoke them in order to prevent them from becoming too defensive. Once we removed the wild comb, we added another super to prevent them from building more. Mission accomplished.

Oh, one more thing. The metal that the comb was built on is called a queen divider. It prevents the queen from entering a certain section of a beehive, in this case, the super above the bottom one. How? The queen is naturally longer and larger than worker bees, therefore they can still get into the top super. Why would we do this? By preventing her from entering the top super, she is forced to only lay her eggs in the bottom supers. This allows the top super to be strictly for supplies, such as honey! This technique is an important tool for beekeepers to both control the hive and to make some delicious food!

To infinity and beeyond.

Anthony Bucci III

P.S. – Still safe!

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