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Author Topic: Problem with a Big TBH?  (Read 845 times)
BjornBee
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Location: Lewisberry, PA


« on: November 01, 2008, 07:54:14 PM »

The first TBH I made, was one using the maximum suggested comb length and as many frames as the wood allowed.

Three years later, and they still do not have all 31 bars drawn out. I have left it swarm, build the comb naturally as possible with no forcing by the way of a follower board, and have not fed them. I have not moved a comb. I wanted the comb location and stores to be dobleepented right where the bees wanted them.

I can see that the location may not be a good nectar area. But I am starting to wonder about the dynamics of the hive itself coming into play, as well as the bees not being effected by volume expansion (supering) perhaps allowing them to build to a point and then just keep swarming. I also am wondering about the use of russian bees where they just seem to shut down. They do not seem to ever be honey bound to the point the queen is limited in laying.

I get the feeling the bees just get to a point and say...that's good enough! I know that's not correct. But has anyone else noticed a lack of stimulation or expansion on levels seen with traditional hives where the brood chamber is expanded and manipulated more?

Anybody have any thoughts about the bees lack of utilizing all the space?

Thank you.

First picture is the 31 bar TBH. Second pic is the 19 inch comb.



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beemused
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« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2008, 09:28:59 PM »

I built three KTBHs this year. They are 46 inches long with 1 1/2 X 19 inch bars and popsicle starter strips.  Started with carni's on April 19th. Moved 2 bars three times to expand broodnest and then left them alone except for quick horizontal progress checks. They all filled within two weeks of each other by Aug 15th. They are each individually situated in their own gardens and had no competition (except wild colonies) for at least 6 miles on 2 and one commercial operation within 2 miles of one TBH.  The lack of competition may be the reason for their success as I didn't do anything special for them. Harvested 3 bars to keep them from getting honeybound and never saw an indication of wanting to swarm.

Your thoughts about a poor nectar area is probably a contributing factor. Never have had Russians so don't know how they work as opposed to carni's and feral swarms and cutouts which is all I have.


Bruce
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