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15. The Hybrid 'BRITISH NATIONAL-DADANT' Beehive.


Colony Installation

And so finally, the time came for colony installation. This was performed by the simple technique of chequer-boarding a few 14"x14" frames in-between 14"x9" frames from the donor hive. Then, as the 14"x14" combs were drawn-out, the 14"x9" frames were progressively moved to the rear of the box, and removed whenever possible.

The colony was installed on 19th June, and this was a typical frame on the 13th July, 24 days later:



However, towards the end of July it was observed that eggs were still being laid in some of the remaining 14"x9" brood combs. So in order to clear those frames for removal, a plywood Queen Excluder as shown on the Dave Cushman site was made, to separate the last remaining 14"x9" frames from the others. It worked extremely well.



The white edge of this Queen Excluder can be seen in the following photograph - under the rear nuc box which contained the combs for clearance, with the nuc box at the front housing an inverted jar feeder containing sugar syrup.



During the installation onto 14"x14" frames, one curious event occurred. All frames were drawn in a predictable and uneventful fashion ... except this one:





For reasons known only to the bees themselves, they had decided to build comb from the sides, inwards - bridge-building fashion - rather than employ their usual top-down approach. As this is such a rare insight into an alternative comb-building technique of the honeybee, I though it worth photographing. Presumably this is how bees build combs within a chimney, where top-bars or their equivalent are absent.

And so this hive finally gets to join the rest of the circus, where it has remained ever since ...



And for those who say that landing boards are not important to the life of the honeybee - let them tell that to these bees, who appear to be holding one of their regular 'union meetings'.



Looks to me like a pretty good place to hang-out and catch the warmth from the last of the summer sun ....

(to be continued ...)


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