5.7. Comb construction

This section draws upon methods of Matilla and Seeley (2007).

1.     This metric can be collected only during times of rich nectar flow when bees can draw out new comb.

2.     Colonies are each provided a hive body provisioned with ten new frames; 5 combless and 5 with wax foundation, alternating. The use of alternating frames of foundation encourages bees to build combs in compliance with the removable-frame parallel orientation of Langstroth equipment.

3.     Measures of area of comb constructed (both natural and on the foundation) by each colony can begin two days after establishment and weekly thereafter until all comb is finished or the nectar season is over. Comb area on both sides of every frame is determined and summed by colony, either with the Objective mode (4.1.) or Subjective mode (5.1.). Inexperienced observers will need to be trained to discriminate differences between natural comb and the imprinted beeswax foundation.