I have a TBH and a Langstroth. Although far from being anything but a very green rookie beekeeper, with the help of Howland Blackiston's Bee Keeping For Dummies, I at least have a good routine for inspection and keeping an eye on things with the Langstroth. The TBH is a whole different story.
After hiving the bees in April, in subsequent inspections, anytime I would try and pick up one of the bars, as I would gently lift it out, the comb would seem extremely fragile. One actually split and fell. So from then on I just opened the bars from the end they aren't working, putting in sugar water, grease patty, and some menthol and looking them over from the observation window.
Here is my question(s):
#1 - I know of no books for a TBH like the "Dummy" book for Langstroth. Justgojumpit, or anyone familiar with TBH's, can you give me what you do to maintain. Is it necessary to pull out each bar and examine it weekly. My bars (1- 3/8 inch wide) are made with only the groove in the middle, with a stip of bee's wax melted in to guide the bees. I imagine the way Justgojumpit has his made with the wooden spline would help strengthen. The bees are really doing great in this hive. Both hives are gentle, but this one by far is the least tempermental. There's always twice as much activity at my TBH. They aren't attaching comb to the sides. So I'm not complaining, just want to keep things under control.
#2 - What do you use for a queen excluder. I had some one make me a wooden frame the inside dimensions of the hive. I have an extra broken Langstroth excluder that I was going to cut down to fit inside that frame.
#3 - When honey harvest time comes, how does one go about it. How many bars do you leave for the bees to get through winter. I live in west central Ohio.
BTW, here are 2 pictures of my TBH.
It's hard to tell it from the 2nd picture, but I counted 17 bars that they've worked. Like I said, this hive is by far the hardest working of the 2. Part of me leans to that old saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." But another part of me says I'm being careless and I'm going to have a real mess on my hands. I'm really in the dark and would value any help.