Thursday, September 16, 2010

Crazy Comb

I put a box with no wax foundations on top of each of my hives a few weeks ago, to see if they would build some straight comb and fill it with honey. When you give bees space with no foundation, you have to keep an eye on them to discourage them from just building wild wavy honeycomb every which way. One frame had a nice straight comb started, but on another frame there was this beautiful 'art comb' begun. The last photo shows how it was oriented when hanging from the frame's top bar. Keep in mind that all the curves on this piece of comb are exactly how it was built by the bees- there was no sagging or bending to create these undulating folds. It's like a delicate coral.
I had to remove it because if it got larger I wouldn't be able to remove frames later on at all. In the wild, bees naturally construct comb shaped like beautiful hanging leaves.
It was a shame to have to cut this comb out, but it's certainly a lovely delicate and mysterious thing to have in the living room to show people. It smells wonderful too, pure beewax.
Hopefully the bees will try drawing some straighter comb next time.


  1. Hi Lisa,
    Fascinating info about honeycombs!

  2. Hey there!

    I'm an art student at the Cooper Union in New York City, and I'm working on a project in which I need to photograph a basket filled with wild, free form,"art comb" pieces exactly just like this, I was wondering if you could help me find it with a beekeeper or company, or if you would sell some!


  3. Hi porto-
    Please give me your email so I can better answer your request. Thanks!