Bees remodelling comb in box 2 of a Warré hive

In mid June 2009 comb debris began to appear on the alighting board of a 2-box Warré hive that was populated with a natural swarm on 8 June 2008. The hive was lifted and revealed a large amount of comb had been chewed away in the lower box of the hive.

A similar phenomenon had been observed earlier in the season through the windows of another two hives still fitted with mouse guards. When it happened in 2008 it was attributed to late mouse damage and the guards were left on in the 2009 season longer than usual.

In the hive that is the subject of the photos below (W11), the time of year of onset of comb chewing, the strength of the colony and the pattern of the space created would seem to rule out mouse damage. Furthermore, in the colony where this was monitored through the windows in 2009, the removal of the comb occurred in parallel with the growth of new white comb from the top bars. Occasionally the hive was lifted and loose, large fragments of comb were removed.  

chewed_comb_w11.jpg (121807 bytes)


chewed_comb_w11_left_view.jpg (74003 bytes)


chewed_comb_w11_right_view.jpg (81129 bytes)


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