Natural Honeybee Wax Comb 2 - do bees like starter strips?
I'm not so sure about starter strips having seen what has happened to some of them as I prepare the colonies for winter. Part of this process is reducing the number of boxes in which the bees will over-winter. I remove any comb that the bees have not drawn, or have partially drawn, as the bees are unlikely to draw new wax as the autumn approaches. The brood nest will be shrinking freeing up cells for 'stores'.
A few frames removed had starter strips and I noticed that the bees seem to have chewed the strips away before attaching their own comb to the frame. See the pictures below which shows the new comb in the middle with the foundation strip apparently being removed as the bees own comb advances. Interesting. Do they not like the foundation as it may contain chemicals after being recycled?
I doubt that I will pursue wax foundation starter strips in any case as I'm convinced by Michael Bush's arguments - see previous blog entry for links. I am currently taking in the experience of Hilary Kearney of @girlnextdoorhoney. (Brilliant site btw). Her comments on foundationless beekeeping are fascinating and encouraging as I tread down this scary path. If you want to see what she has to say then click the highlighted words above.
I'm excited about my plans to take this much further next year and will let you know when I have anything interesting to report.
Thanks for reading