Weekly photographs of comb construction
inside GM hives

I have enclosed a number of photographs of natural comb construction, some of which I thought you might consider to be suitable for inclusion into your Bee Photograph section.

13 photographs: View the Beekeeping Gallery

During 2001 I took numerous weekly photographs of comb construction inside GM hives populated by collected swarms.

The camera was laid on its back and adjusted for short focus, timed shutter release, then positioned on the hive floor underneath the comb being constructed.

This was carried out on four hives numbered 1-1, 4-1, 7-1, & 8-1.

After 6 weeks the comb and bees in hives 4-1, and 8-1 had become so low that the pictures were out of focus.

Hives 1-1, and 7-1 were continued for a further 4 weeks.

Examination of the photos for hives 1-1, and 7-1, show that after week 6 the number of bees decrease and both colonies died out 11th Nov and 2nd Dec respectively.

A the time I did not associate this with the use of a flash camera.

However, hive 4-1 ceased to exist in April 2002 again with a dwindling bee population, and examination showed that the queen was probably laying only 2 or 3 eggs per day.

I then wondered whether close up flash lights can harm the queen's reproduction capacity.

Hive 8-1 prospered and swarmed on the 19th June 2002.
The comb from these failed colonies showed the presence of vertical and horizontal comb.

I also found again what I call giant comb which the bees seem to produce just to fill up unwanted space and has cell sizes of 6.8mm to 7.1mm

That is the history.

I have enclosed the 10 exposures from hive 1-1; the comb showing cell orientation from hive 7-1; and the giant comb from hive 4-1.

Ian Rumsey © 2002 ianrumsey@hotmail.com