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Author Topic: How long should my "starter strips" be?  (Read 1932 times)
GaryMinckler
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« on: February 05, 2009, 12:35:30 PM »

my top bars are 17 inches long.  one paint stirring stick (split in two) fits to about 3/8 of each side.  should I shorten them up a little?  just wondering if they might attach comb to the strip AND the side wall at the same time. 
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justgojumpit
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2009, 06:46:15 PM »

I think you should be fine using them full length. 

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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2009, 09:28:26 PM »

Run the strips full length, if you don't you'll find that the bees will build one side on the stip and the other on one side or the other of the top bar so it si off center and will cause a host of problems.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2009, 10:57:26 PM »

Full length is better.  They tend to want to curve the comb a bit on the ends and a guide all the way will help.
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Michael Bush
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GaryMinckler
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« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2009, 05:00:26 AM »

Thanks!  I thought about using one popsicle stick or one tongue depressor centered on the bar.  That would have left 4 or 5 inches on each end.  A full length paint stick goes pretty much wall to wall.  This top bar hive was SIMPLE to build and turned out great!  ( www.§¤«£¿æ.com)  Pictures in photo section.  No out of pocket cash at all.
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Daddys Girl
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« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2009, 09:30:06 AM »

If your top bars are 17 inches, run them all the way to where the bar meets the hive wall.  I think on mine that measurement was 15 inches.
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jeremy_c
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« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2009, 02:07:17 PM »

Full length is better.  They tend to want to curve the comb a bit on the ends and a guide all the way will help.

I'm facing this problem now. I have two populated TBH's. On one (hive #5) the bees naturally attached themselves and hung right in the middle of the hive in the middle of the bars. This hive is doing great. My first inspection was today and it was pretty easy. However, my 2nd top bar hive (#6) the bees congregated from the start to the front left side of the hive. My starter strips (1/4"x1/4" square tacked on wood) are only 9" centered on the 17" top bar. I build this according to the plans I built from (§¤«£¿æ book). Hive #5 is built the same way, but it started in the center of the bars so it's OK. Hive #6 starting on one side, that side's comb is all messed up. It's built across multiple bars then when it finally hits the 9" starter strip, they straighten it out. However, during my first inspection today, I was not prepared for this and wound up damaging the comb (nothing fell, but it did break where they built across the top bar boundaries).

My question is now what? They are a 2# package that was installed 1 1/2 weeks ago. I really hate to set them back by messing with their comb however I do not want to deal with this for the rest of the hives existance! Any thoughts on what I can do to solve the problem w/o setting the bees back too far?

Jeremy
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2009, 10:44:04 PM »

http://www.bushfarms.com/beespackages.htm#dontleavemessedupcomb
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Michael Bush
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jeremy_c
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« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2009, 01:17:37 AM »



How do you go about fixing the messed up comb?

Jeremy
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2009, 10:43:54 AM »

If it's small, cut it out and throw it away.  If it's large, cut it out and put it in a frame and rubber band it.  If it's in a top bar hive, of course, you'll have to build the frames.  If it's only a little curved on the ends sometimes you can push it back in place.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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