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Author Topic: Brood nest being built in middle of hive  (Read 2448 times)
luvin honey
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« on: May 15, 2009, 09:11:14 AM »

Good morning, everybody. I have been lurking for months now, but this morning I make my first post  Smiley

My husband and I built 4 top bar hives similar to the Bush design. I installed two 3# packages May 4. Due mostly to my nervousnes (my first time with bees, no help from a beek), I dumped the bees in an open area in the front and never put back the topbars in the front of the hive. The bees congregated in both hives directly in front of my follow board. I had that about halfway down the hive. The second time I did an inspection (this Mon), I moved the follower board back and added 4 more bars towards the back of the hive so they wouldn't feel crowded.

So, should I be concerned? Should I try to scoot the whole nest closer to the entrance?

I can already see how interesting this topbar beekeeping is going ot be. Because of my neglect to replace all bars tightly, they've been able to build up around a bar or 2, have double combs on a couple (which broke and fell when I tried to remove them) and are just generally having fun with their new beek  rolleyes

Thanks in advance for any help!

luvin honey
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The pedigree of honey
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A clover, any time, to him
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---Emily Dickinson
Grandma_DOG
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« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2009, 11:28:33 AM »

WHen you say "double comb" do you mean 2 combs on a single bar?  And no cross combing from the two combs?  If so, why did you try to remove them? They will just make it into 1 comb later.

Also, where is your entrance, side or end?
-mt

Good morning, everybody. I have been lurking for months now, but this morning I make my first post  Smiley

My husband and I built 4 top bar hives similar to the Bush design. I installed two 3# packages May 4. Due mostly to my nervousnes (my first time with bees, no help from a beek), I dumped the bees in an open area in the front and never put back the topbars in the front of the hive. The bees congregated in both hives directly in front of my follow board. I had that about halfway down the hive. The second time I did an inspection (this Mon), I moved the follower board back and added 4 more bars towards the back of the hive so they wouldn't feel crowded.

So, should I be concerned? Should I try to scoot the whole nest closer to the entrance?

I can already see how interesting this topbar beekeeping is going ot be. Because of my neglect to replace all bars tightly, they've been able to build up around a bar or 2, have double combs on a couple (which broke and fell when I tried to remove them) and are just generally having fun with their new beek  rolleyes

Thanks in advance for any help!

luvin honey
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luvin honey
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« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2009, 11:50:20 AM »

Hi--Guess I was not clear enough. The comb fell when I tried to pull out the bar for inspection. I think it was nudged into the next comb's space because it had been built off the edge of the bar rather than the comb guide. So, 2 combs on 1 bar, 1 fallen accidentally. I will gradually work on cleaning up their mess as I spend more time in the hive and get more comfortable with working with them. For now, they have been having a bit of a free-for-all!

My entrance is on one end, jar feeder behind a follower board (with slit to make room for feeder entrance) on the other end. The bees have been hanging right next to the feeder.

On my last inspection, I moved the feeder further back and added 4 bars to make room on that side of the nest. My question is, Should I try to move the entire brood nest to the front (entrance) of the hive? Would this somehow help them in honey storage, or will they just store on either side of the nest? Will it help keep the queen on one end and not laying all over the place?

BTW, I did NOT find queens in either hive or eggs. But, it was my first inspection and I had no experienced beek to help. I can say that both hives are using syrup quickly, building an impressive amount of comb and packing it with nectar/syrup and pollen.
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The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
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---Emily Dickinson
beedad
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« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2009, 11:00:13 PM »

id move the brood to the front.  it'll make life easier later on.  as for the queen or eggs, i wouldnt worry if they're bringing in pollen.  i find it a little harder to see the eggs on natural comb.  if you dont see larva in another week id maybe be a little concerned.  and kudos for going top bar!
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Grandma_DOG
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« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2009, 01:48:53 AM »

id move the brood to the front.  it'll make life easier later on.  as for the queen or eggs, i wouldnt worry if they're bringing in pollen.  i find it a little harder to see the eggs on natural comb.  if you dont see larva in another week id maybe be a little concerned.  and kudos for going top bar!

I'll 2nd this. Move it to the front near the entrance.
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luvin honey
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« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2009, 10:03:26 AM »

Thanks for the help! Oh, to start all over again... While I'm in there, do I also mercilessly take out or try to shape up any messy combs? I'm thinking of the combs that are wider than the bars, coming up over the top of the bar, on the bottom of the hive (fell down and is now getting fixed to the bottom).

My concern is that I might be pulling out brood comb...

luvin honey
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The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson
Grandma_DOG
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« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2009, 01:18:04 PM »

Thanks for the help! Oh, to start all over again... While I'm in there, do I also mercilessly take out or try to shape up any messy combs? I'm thinking of the combs that are wider than the bars, coming up over the top of the bar, on the bottom of the hive (fell down and is now getting fixed to the bottom).

My concern is that I might be pulling out brood comb...

luvin honey


Try to straighten instead of cut.

If you have a collapsed comb with brood, you can reattach using a woman's hair clip.  see http://homepage.interaccess.com/~netpol/POLISH/Ule/KlamraEN.html
If there's no time, put the comb in the back of the hive for the bees to hatch, then remove.
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Natalie
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« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2009, 04:15:14 PM »

The hair clips only work if the comb is is hardened, new comb will tear right off the clips.
If it is hardened then you can try the hair clips and fishing line to attach it to the bar but the comb sounds too new for it to hold up to a clip.
If  the one on the bottom of the hive does not have brood in it or very little then I would get it out of there.
If it has alot you could leave it to hatch but you risk the queen laying in it again unless you turn it upside down.
I would pull it out myself and be done with it and work on the remaining combs.

If you can straighten out all the crazy combs without cutting then you are better off but if you have to cut then you can put them into something like a langstroth frame using elastics or string to hold it in place.
Its similar to doing a cutout and will work but if you can avoid being that disruptive its better.
If the comb is soft and pliable you may be able to pull off a stray edge and reattach it in the right spot or push things into place here and there.
Just don't leave anything that is not right or they will copy it.
See if you can get a good look into the cells for eggs or larvae and then make a judgement call.
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luvin honey
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« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2009, 10:08:40 AM »

A couple more questions:

1. Why should the brood nest be closest to the entrance?

2. The comb is too soft to clip in. It's brand new. Will the bees/queen keep a rotating brood nest going? For example, once the new bees hatch out, will those cells be cleaned for reuse? Or, is there some time when the brood nest is mostly empty and I could yank out the warped ones?

3. Does it matter to the bees if I rearrange their broodnest? I'm thinking of what would happen if I took the bulging, messed-up combs out of the middle and put them on the outside nearest the entrance where they could not be copied again. Or, is there a certain "order" to it all that would be messed up if I did this?

Thanks so much for all the help!! Thank goodness for internet mentoring!

luvin honey
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The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson
whiteflyer
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« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2009, 10:52:54 AM »

brood nest naturaly near entrance.To set up for winter u want brood at one end. Read Michael Bush site for more info.Q#2  I fixed 2 collasped comb with hair clip. Comb was new so I was very careful. Now to weeks later everything ok. I will slowly work those bars to the back where they will be filled with honey then I'll remove them. Q#3 So intrusion in nest nesessary but should be kept to min.
a couple more questions:

1. Why should the brood nest be closest to the entrance?

2. The comb is too soft to clip in. It's brand new. Will the bees/queen keep a rotating brood nest going? For example, once the new bees hatch out, will those cells be cleaned for reuse? Or, is there some time when the brood nest is mostly empty and I could yank out the warped ones?

3. Does it matter to the bees if I rearrange their broodnest? I'm thinking of what would happen if I took the bulging, messed-up combs out of the middle and put them on the outside nearest the entrance where they could not be copied again. Or, is there a certain "order" to it all that would be messed up if I did this?

Thanks so much for all the help!! Thank goodness for internet mentoring!

luvin honey
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luvin honey
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« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2009, 12:16:36 PM »

Thank you, whiteflyer. Could you please explain the hair-clip fix in more detail? It's starting to look like I will need to do some fixing in my hives and I better learn it fast!
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The pedigree of honey
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---Emily Dickinson
Michael Bush
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« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2009, 01:06:50 PM »

It doesn't matter much where the brood nest is now, but come winter it should be at one end or the other.  Either end is fine.  Always leave ALL the bars in any hive.  No matter if and where the division board is.  Bees have a way of getting to the other side or building comb wherever they like.  NEVER give them a place to build comb that you don't want it.  As far as comb falling it's probably wise to make "swarm ketching" frames that are made to put comb in or at least some kind of frame that fits your top bar hive to rubber band comb into so that when you have a collapse you have some recourse.  That said, I've never gotten any built for my KTBH.  My TTBH will take regular frames so I can put them in that.
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My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
luvin honey
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« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2009, 03:03:21 PM »

WHen you say "double comb" do you mean 2 combs on a single bar?  And no cross combing from the two combs?  If so, why did you try to remove them? They will just make it into 1 comb later.

So, if there is 1 perfect comb hanging from one edge and another perfect comb hanging from the other with bees working in between, they will later connect both combs to each other to make 1 big, nice comb? That would be excellent!  cheesy
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The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson
Natalie
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« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2009, 04:21:34 PM »

Usually that is exactly what happens. I have one hive that seems to build their combs that way alot.
I think you should be good to go.
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