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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a!
Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Problems with Proteus

I opened Proteus as part of my inspection today to see how they were doing with the starter strips in the medium box. What a mess! These bees are building comb like gangbusters but are ignoring any guidance from me via the starter strips. Consequently, the first frame I examined (#2) looked like this.


















I didn't remove any further frames from the box because there was comb going every which way and sticking the frames together. Here's the view looking down into the box at frames #3 and #4.
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See the mess and the broken comb from when I tried to pull out the frame.
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When I put the box back together a huge clump of comb was in the box and I needed to get it out of the way, so I put it on the deck rail with all of the bees on it. They moved off of it but stayed in a clump and I realized that these were house bees, unused to flying. So I went inside and got a Sierra cup and brushed the bees into the cup and shook them onto the hive. The comb had unripe honey all in it so I took it indoors to discourage robbing.


















Later today I went back into the hive to work a little on the mess. Below you can see a comb out into the space between frames. I took a Swiss army knife and cut the comb loose and straightened it onto the bottom of the frame. I still need to cut some comb out that is layering behind it, but I had to go back to work and will have to deal with that on another day.


















Here you can see it cut and moved but there is still a problem with this frame that I need to address soon on another visit, but I had to go back to work and we have had storms all evening so no chance of reopening the hive until another day.


















Needless to say, this was a difficult turn of events and I did not do a powdered sugar shake on Proteus....both because I was a little panicked about what was going wrong in the comb building and because with all the dripping honey, I figured the powdered sugar would make a real mess.
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