Burr Comb

Bees build this sometimes. It’s called burr comb. I discovered these particular specimens in the new hives — one spreading like a pancake across the tops of the frames, the other forming a double wall between two frames.*

"bread basket full of burr comb"

Here’s a close-up view:

photo (65)

I removed them, obviously. They’re not doing any real harm at the moment (just storing a bit of pollen), but left unchecked this stuff can cause problems for the hives later on.**

Also, I just love the look of it. Humans can’t excrete anything this exquisitely lovely, and that’s a fact.


*The bees drew them out around the empty queen cages, because they’ll use just about any available surface to anchor comb. What’s especially impressive is that they did this in ONE WEEK.
**For example, if the queen starts laying eggs in the burr comb. Sometimes the brood is fine, but sometimes you end up with malformed larvae oozing out of irregularly shaped cells. I’ll leave you with that indelible mental image, just in case you were contemplating a snack in the near future.
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5 thoughts on “Burr Comb

  1. “Humans can’t excrete anything this exquisitely lovely, and that’s a fact.”

    One of the best lines we have encountered in quite a while.

  2. Fella says:

    I’m tempted to make a bad joke about my own excreta here, but, well…

  3. Bees abhor a void. I should know, mine built enough Gehry (sp?) like constructions last summer (photos on blog).

  4. I think that should be “abhor a vacuum.” Brain not working this afternoon…..

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