Problems with the Patty bees

I opened the Patty bee hive this morning because I could see through the window that they’d totally filled up the box with comb.  The concern was that if they ran out of space, they’d start making a new queen and the old queen would leave with half the workers.  The first comb that I examined was almost perfect and filled with honey, as was the second.  By the fourth bar, it became apparent that there was a problem.  Instead of building a nice heart-shaped comb along the width of the top bar, the bees had built several thinner combs diagonally along several bars.  To make a long, sweaty story short, I had to remove about 3 bars and unfortunately destroyed quite a few larvae.  I’m quite sad about that and in the near future we’ll be moving these bees into a modified Langstroth hive where they have more room for expansion.

This broken comb is filled with honey but some brood was broken as I removed the bars.

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~ by Anuttama on July 26, 2010.

2 Responses to “Problems with the Patty bees”

  1. Wow, wasn’t that really fast? I’ve not kept bees myself, but I was under the impression that it took a season for bees to fill a hive with comb and honey…?

    Sad that they built comb out of step and it had to be removed. Since it’s been removed, will they rebuild out of step again? It’s till early enough for them to repair it and be prepared for winter, though, isn’t it?

    • A good hive can fill a box with comb in a week and then fill it with honey in another week, I’m told. None of ours have been that fast, however. But these Patty bees are going about that fast. We just gave them an addition today and we’ll see how they do. They probably fixed the damage I’d done within a few days. These bees really work!

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