Here’s another bee-autific little blurb in our series of bee-attitudes in need of recalibrating – this is BEE-ATTITUDE #2:
Sheets of wax foundation are provided to give bees a “head start”. Someone should explain this truth to the bees. Early in my beekeeping career I was astonished to find that when I asked a panel of beekeepers at an “Ask the Beekeeper” session of Bee School just what bees did before we gave them these sheets of wax foundation – that no one really seemed to have a good answer to this one. Since then, as a top bar beekeeper, I have learned a bit about natural wax and I have to wonder — giving bees a head start on what, I wonder?
Here’s a little anecdote about wax building: A top bar beekeeper, worried that perhaps having melted beeswax on the points of his bevelled top bars still wasn’t quite enough encouragement for his bees to live in his new Gold Star Top Bar Hive, added a top bar that he had modified to hold a sheet of wax foundation, cut to fit into his new top bar hive. Nine bars of freshly drawn natural wax later – they still had not touched the bar with the foundation installed in it.
At the very least, really, we ought to rename the stuff – since if you pay attention to how bees make wax – you’ll notice right away that bees don’t build from the ground up – they generally hang from something and build down. Occasionally, they even start at one wall and build sideways…
Does this attitude match up with yours?
Check us out at www.goldstarhoneybees.com. We do top bar hives exclusively, in appreciation of the beauty and the importance of natural beeswax- for the bees.
We’ve been looking for you – and we'd be proud to be a part of your beekeeping journey.
This blog post was originally published on Honey Bee Heroes, and was written by Christy Hemenway, owner of Gold Star Honeybees. Reposted February 2017.