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Author Topic: Comb on new top bars  (Read 1922 times)

Offline tshnc01

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Comb on new top bars
« on: May 12, 2009, 12:46:00 PM »
I just moved a swarm from a "capture box" after 4 days into a TBH.  In the capture box, I had put brand new top bars inside to let the bees build some comb onto for their new hive.  They partially filled about 5 frames of comb; however all of the combs are at one edge of the frame vs. centered within the hive.  Is that typical?

...Tim

Offline Grandma_DOG

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Re: Comb on new top bars
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2009, 12:49:16 PM »
I'd say yes. Some bees didn't get the memo to build on the bars, straight.
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Offline mtbe

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Re: Comb on new top bars
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2009, 01:44:55 PM »
Yes.  That seems typical.  I have two TBHs and my father has one.

On all 3 of them, the bees started building the comb on one side of the bar, not in the center of the bar.  On some of the bars, two comb were started and later connected into one.  Not sure how they got everything to match, but they did

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Comb on new top bars
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2009, 08:35:41 PM »
>however all of the combs are at one edge of the frame vs. centered within the hive.  Is that typical?

If you don't have a comb guide that sticks out further than the edge of the bar, that is perfectly normal.  It's exactly what I would expect.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfoundationless.htm#combguide
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Offline eri

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Re: Comb on new top bars
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2009, 07:31:38 AM »
I'm seeing the same in my TBH. They continue building on one side the length of the hive but not filling in the width. I've had to sever the comb from the side with a long serrated knife to lift the bars out. Will they eventually fill the length of the bars from side to side or once started this way, will it continue to be lopsided?
On Pleasure
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And to both, bee and flower, the giving and the receiving of pleasure is a need and an ecstasy.
People of Orphalese, be in your pleasures like the flowers and the bees.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Comb on new top bars
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2009, 10:35:18 PM »
Once they have messed up one comb they will repeat the error on every subsequent comb until you set things straight.  At least set the LAST comb straight so the rest will be.  But I'd make some frames and set them all straight.
Michael Bush
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Offline eri

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Re: Comb on new top bars
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2009, 09:36:00 AM »
OK, I am confused. The comb is hanging straight from the middle of the bars on the inverted triangle guide. The issue -- if it is one -- is that it is being built favoring one side of the hive. To "straighten" this out would mean removing each comb from each bar and reattaching it to the bar so it is centered side to side.

I also don't understand the statement
>If you don't have a comb guide that sticks out further than the edge of the bar, that is perfectly normal.  It's exactly what I would expect.
Can you elaborate?
On Pleasure
Kahlil Gibran
....
And to both, bee and flower, the giving and the receiving of pleasure is a need and an ecstasy.
People of Orphalese, be in your pleasures like the flowers and the bees.

Offline tshnc01

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Re: Comb on new top bars
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2009, 11:37:08 AM »
The issue I was trying to describe is exactly what Eri just posted.  The bees have built perfectly centered comb relative to the 1.25" dimension of the bar (the width); however all of the combs are being built at one side of the hive (out of the 19" length of the bar, they are all being built on the right only taking up about 6-8 inches).

...Tim

Offline mtbe

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Re: Comb on new top bars
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2009, 01:36:04 PM »
Seemed pretty clear to me.

The bees start building the comb on one side of the bar, not the center of the bars. 

They are not building comb across several bars....

Offline Grandma_DOG

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Re: Comb on new top bars
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2009, 05:17:40 PM »
The issue I was trying to describe is exactly what Eri just posted.  The bees have built perfectly centered comb relative to the 1.25" dimension of the bar (the width); however all of the combs are being built at one side of the hive (out of the 19" length of the bar, they are all being built on the right only taking up about 6-8 inches).

...Tim

To get this straight, the bees are building BAR CENTERED, but not HIVE centered. In all cases, they are following the bar and not cross bar building.

This is perfectly normal. In time they widen the comb out to a full comb. No worries.
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Comb on new top bars
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2009, 06:59:01 PM »
>OK, I am confused. The comb is hanging straight from the middle of the bars on the inverted triangle guide. The issue -- if it is one -- is that it is being built favoring one side of the hive. To "straighten" this out would mean removing each comb from each bar and reattaching it to the bar so it is centered side to side.

Sorry.  I misunderstood.  With a wide hive they will tend to build the comb on the warm side first.  It will expand the rest of the way across later.


>I also don't understand the statement
>>If you don't have a comb guide that sticks out further than the edge of the bar, that is perfectly normal.  It's exactly what I would expect.
>Can you elaborate?

If you don't have a comb guide on the bars the bees sense the edge of the bar as a guide and build the comb between two bars.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline eri

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Re: Comb on new top bars
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2009, 09:19:33 AM »
Thanks for the reassurances that the bees will eventually build comb the length of the bars. Yes, they are favoring the warmest side of the hive.

And thanks for the clarification about the comb guides. Without them I can easily see how you'd have a mess on your hands ...
On Pleasure
Kahlil Gibran
....
And to both, bee and flower, the giving and the receiving of pleasure is a need and an ecstasy.
People of Orphalese, be in your pleasures like the flowers and the bees.