Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Wild comb

I have always been one for taking photos so when I took up beekeeping five years ago it was natural to take photos of what I saw as I started learning.  Reading Rusty Burlew's latest blog post (if you haven't read it you really should) reminded me of my second visit to the Hexham Beekeepers' apiary in 2012 for a beginners' teaching session with Robert Furniss.  We looked at a hive on May 27th which had overwintered for some reason with an empty super as an eke below the roof.  The bees had taken advantage of the empty space, as they do, and filled it with comb.  This is the view from underneath as the comb was fixed to the roof.

It is beautiful to look at but completely disorganised and presents quite a problem.  You can see it includes brood comb and possibly queen cells as well.  2012 was a terrible summer for bees but a good time to start learning as we saw so many problems in a short time.  I learnt a lot of things and this wild comb was one thing I didn't forget. Another lesson was always carry a camera.


  1. I remember this so well. I'd never seen anything like it. It was stunningly beautiful and I can remember Robert being quite cross about not having looked sooner (he just didn't have time) but using it as a lesson to all us beginners. I think it had had a plastic pot of fondant on and the bee escapes hadn't been replaced when it was removed. I can't remember how he dealt with it though. Did he put it over a brood box or did he clear it down or just cut it out? One of the many fascinating aspects of beekeeping that hook you in. Sue

  2. I so enjoy your blog; I, too tried to tell of Rusty Burlews latest blog, posted it to our Bee Club page; what a good laugh I had, and additionally thought to myself things like this happen to the best of us. The image of the comb you posted reminds me of a huge old maple tree that was taken down, full of honey bees, old comb and new comb. Quite the sight. Zip I could post an image I would share it. Thanks.