Rubber bands

The pieces of comb were held in by these rubber bands. The bees remove them.  You can see them here at the entrance to the hive.

It has been two weeks since the “Double-wide Cutout”.   There still has not been a good rain.  The bees have been left alone in the hopes that the queen made it into the bee vacuum.

Yesterday (7/22/12) this hive was minimally inspected.  Since they have been removing the rubber bands I was afraid to move any of the combs.  Mainly this inspection was to put a top entrance on the hive and to see how the bees responded.  I can normally tell the queen-right nature of a hive fairly quickly once the hive is opened. 

Bees were coming and going from this hive in a normal fashion.  Upon removal of the inner cover the bees were not acting alarmed or annoyed in any way (a good sign).  There were so many bees at the cutout that this hive was started with two deeps.  I peered down into the hive.  The rubber bands must have been removed from the bottom deep because the bands were still present in the ultimate deep.  The comb in the ultimate deep appeared to be well attached to the top bars of the foundation-less frames.  I did not move them at this time.  In about a week I will revisit this hive and remove some frames looking for eggs and larvae.

Should I be more pro-active?  How would you assess the queen-right nature of this hive besides looking through the entire group for a queen?  Leave a comment……

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2 Responses to Rubber bands

  1. Mil says:

    Pretty much what you did. When our first hive started to fail, we knew by the number of bees in the flight path.

    I was amazed and amused when our bees would drag out the rubber bands to the hive entrance.

    • Jason says:

      I couldn’t take it anymore. Finally I just got in there and inspected the combs. No brood, no queencells… 🙁 it was terrible. I ended up combining the two hives using the newspaper method.

      It has been two days now and I haven’t had a big pile of dead bees on the outside so I think they are going to be O.K. I will be taking pictures.

      I have had good luck with the rubber band method thus far. A friend of mine has been building cutout frames that seem to work very well too. I need to take some pictures of them.

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