Local question related to beekeeping in the Piedmont Triad area asked and answered here!
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We just started our hives last weekend and, while it is mostly going great, we have noticed that our bees have built a strange-looking comb on one of the frames. They don't seem to mind, but we don't know what to do about it.
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You need to make sure your queen is not on that extra comb and remove the comb before the bees build much more of it. Make sure your frames are touching and that any extra space is on the sides of the super. If you do not do this, the bees will continue to build comb off of the side of that frame and you will have a large area that you will not be able to inspect. Your frames were too far apart, and bees being bees, they began filling the empty space with comb at about 3/8ths of an inch from the comb beside it. I have been seeing some of this in new beekeepers' hives when doing inspections/mentoring. Langstroth understood the significance of bee space. We have to remember the significance and pay attention as we place/replace the frames in our hives. The bees don't much care what we do with our frames--they will build based on "bee space." The frames make it possible for us to inspect hives, move resources between hives, add space to a hive. . . . . . .
Thanks! We also noticed several ants in our top feeder today. What is the best way to deal with that?
I would not worry about them. It is almost impossible to keep them from bumming a free meal. In places with aggressive ants, some beekeepers place their hives on stands with legs that sit in cans holding oil or some other substance to keep ants out--usually making a mess and generally not necessary around here.