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Housel Positioning

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  • Housel Positioning

    This is one of those old topics that I have used in the past to start food fights in forums. It was introduced by Michael Housel in Florida and the idea is that there is a natural orientation of comb in wild colonies, which you can think of in terms of which way the Y faces when you look in the bottom of a cell. If you're looking into the bottom of the cell, if the Y is inverted, then that face of the comb is supposed to face the center of the hive.

    I could explain what all it's supposed to do, but instead, I'll let the Prime Evangelist of the method do it in this video I posted recently:

    Just to get the discussion started.

    This isn't something I talk about much, but it's something I've done since the beginning, 16 years. And I seem to have a very low swarm rate, I rarely have swarms at all. Never have. Maybe that's because I'm an excellent beekeeper and have discovered foolproof methods of reducing swarming, but more likely, that's not the explanation, just between you and me. Or it may be as Michael Bush has hypothesized (tongue in cheek), maybe it's just because it screws the hive up so much that the bees never swarm. However, everything else seems to be more or less normal, so that's probably not it either.

    One caveat, I have spoken to many who do cutouts who say that they do not see the cells oriented as Housel claimed. And I myself, in foundationless frames, have seen the Y oriented at various angles. I cannot strictly confirm that it is the case that the inverted Y always faces center.

    At the very least, the marked frames assure I get the frame back in the hive with out the disturbance caused by putting a frame in backwards from the way the bees were recently working on it.
    Last edited by Solomon; 01-14-2019, 10:03 PM. Reason: Had to go create a custom BB code so I could embed a YouTube video.
    100% Treatment-Free, 16 years.
    Medford, Oregon, USA

  • #2
    I recently saw mention of this on another forum. It piqued my interest and I started looking into it. I'm glad you started this discussion. Now I'll sit back and learn.
    Last edited by Neill Sayers; 01-15-2019, 03:06 AM.
    Neill Sayers
    Herbhome Farm
    Arkansas Ozarks, USA
    Zone 7a


    • #3
      It's sort of weird that it's coming back. More people interested these days. There are people that do it, and I don't know of any who have repudiated it, who have tried it.
      100% Treatment-Free, 16 years.
      Medford, Oregon, USA