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Author Topic: TBH broodnest question  (Read 4344 times)
trapperbob
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« on: May 05, 2008, 10:57:55 PM »

My top bar hive has got off to a great start and is building comb and brood very fast and am just curios as to how many combs can I expect to be within the actual broodnest. I figure there is not a precise number but a ball park number would be great so as to judge how they are doing.The hive is around 4 feet long 17 inches wide at the top and 6 inches wide at the bottom made out of 1x12 material.at the moment I can't remember how many bars. Similar to the one MB shows how to build. To me Ithink they are doing great on day 15 they already had 8.5 combs drawn out and were starting a couple of others I was suprised to see this and suprised to see so much eggs and larva. they seem ready to explode into action but all I have to compare them to is my regular hives. So I'm not sure whats what for sure.
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luvin honey
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« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2009, 12:24:36 AM »

I would love to have this very question answered, too  Smiley
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The pedigree of honey
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Grandma_DOG
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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2009, 03:03:49 AM »

Normally, I see a quick buildout the first year of ~6-10 combs in the broodnest proper.

2nd year my broodnest is 12-15 combs.

It also helps to put an extra empty bar in the middle of the nest to get them to build more and surpress swarming.  And push back the honey bars to prevent honeybound. But others may have other ideas on this.
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luvin honey
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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2009, 09:55:32 AM »

Grandma_DOG--Do you queens lay all over or do they stick to a consolidated brood nest?

When you say "push back the honey bars," do you mean move them to the back of the hive and replace their space with empty bars outside the broodnest?

How many bars of honey have yours built up the first year? Enough to need to harvest and replace with empty bars?

Thanks!

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 #4 on: May 19, 2009, 12:30:14 PM »

Last year was a bad year, few in our club got much surplus, and my new hive built up 4 complete bars of honey.

THere is some debate about encouraging honey storage. Some say to push your full honey bars to the rear or harvest them, to keep the bees from developing complacency that they have enough stores. Also, to keep them from getting honeybound, put an empty bar between broodnest and honey storage.

You may want to watch the KTBH videos on youtube. I've put over 10 up myself.

Grandma_DOG--Do you queens lay all over or do they stick to a consolidated brood nest?

When you say "push back the honey bars," do you mean move them to the back of the hive and replace their space with empty bars outside the broodnest?

How many bars of honey have yours built up the first year? Enough to need to harvest and replace with empty bars?

Thanks!

luvin honey
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2009, 10:59:36 PM »

Each of your combs is a particular area depending on the dimensions of you hive.  How many depends on that.
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Michael Bush
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
luvin honey
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« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2009, 11:04:25 PM »

Mine are 4 feet long.
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The pedigree of honey
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---Emily Dickinson
luvin honey
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« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2009, 12:00:21 AM »

trapperbob--Now that 5 weeks have passed, how are your hives doing? Did they keep pounding out more broodnest comb? Have they started storing any honey? Just curious for an update Cheesy
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The pedigree of honey
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Grandma_DOG
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« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2009, 06:42:10 PM »

trapperbob--Now that 5 weeks have passed, how are your hives doing? Did they keep pounding out more broodnest comb? Have they started storing any honey? Just curious for an update Cheesy

My biggest hive has a broodnest over 15 bars. Bars are 16" long and 12" deep.  THe darn hive swarmed on me. Biggest hive I've ever had.
THe other hives are doing OK, most are cutout survivors. One has a laying worker I have to deal with.
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trapperbob
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« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2009, 04:01:42 PM »

I now have 15 bars the last three are in various states of being finished the queen seems to only lay in 6-7 combs but these combs are solid brood everything else is honey. If I put a empty bar in the broodnest then they build it out and she lays in it but then when the outside brood comb hatches out they fill it with honey so there are always 6-7 combs of brood. The bars are 17 inches and the bottom is 6 inches and 12 inches deep the hive its self is 48 inches long they seem to be doing well but it seems to me they should have more brood. maybe not, they do not seem as if they are weak and there seems to be lots of bees I just wonder since the bottom is screened if the only way they can keep the brood warm enough is to keep a small brood nest.
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luvin honey
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« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2009, 06:08:03 PM »

I think this is a bit like comparing apples to oranges. We all seem to have different size bars and hives Smiley Mine is 13" along the top, 8-9" along the bottom and about 12" deep. One has 15 bars of brood, the other 16. Each has started 1-2 bars of comb now. I wish they would start storing more honey!!
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The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson
RyanB
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« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2009, 01:11:45 PM »

I am using a TBH made from the §¤«£¿æ plans. It is 36" long version. I have approx 18-20 combs that are all a mix of honey/pollen/brood. It is a screened bottom, but also has a solid hinged board below that. I've had to resort to trying to super the TBH, in the hopes they will build honly only comb above. I almost wish they would only use 6-7 bars for brood.   grin
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luvin honey
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« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2009, 03:11:59 PM »

No kidding! I'm trying to comfort myself with the thought that I will have an ENORMOUS colony that will absolutely pump out the honey next year Cheesy
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The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson
trapperbob
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« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2009, 06:02:06 PM »

Well saturday when I looked in on them they now have 10 bars of eggs and brood but compared to my langs they have not hardly stored any honey. There is honey and pollen on the brood frames but as of right now only five bars that are solid honey so I hope they get with it. I'm not worried about harvesting any this year I have plenty of langs for that I just want them to survive to see next spring.
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mtbe
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« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2009, 10:22:55 AM »

I also have a TBH that is 36" long, 14" wide at top, 9" wide at bottom, and about 10" tall.

I was gone for a two week vacation, and when returned, all of the bars had comb on them.  It looks like 10-14 bars are brood (I have two hives), and the rest 8-10 are honey/brood/pollen.  I think the last few comb are only honey.

I also am seeing some queen cells.

So, yesterday, I made the same dimension hives, but 48" long instead.  Tonight I plan on transferring the top bars with comb to the new hives.  Hopefully that will stop the swarm attitude (I'll cut out the queen cells) and start more honey production.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2009, 01:35:13 PM »

I would just split them into the 48" and leave the queen cells.  Some in each half.  Better to swarm than be queenless.  Odds are they will swarm anyway and end up queenless.  Or, when you put them in the 48" alternate empty bars with brood combs to open up the brood nest and leave the queen cells.  They may decide to do a supersedure instead.  But the split is a better bet.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
luvin honey
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« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2009, 11:06:09 AM »

I know my bees are far wiser than I, but I guess having hives is not leaving them completely up to nature, is it?

My hives now both have 16+ bar brood nests. Full brood to 16, then mixed honey and brood/drone comb. They came from down south and haven't experienced a WI winter yet. Maybe they don't know how big to build!

I'm planning to do a split, pulling 2-3 bars of brood and 1 bar of honey from each hive and putting it all into a third hive body.

Is there some point when the brood nest is so big that's it's best to pare it down? Or, will they simply build it right back out again after I've done the split?
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The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson
RyanB
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« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2009, 11:28:02 AM »

I've found at this point that the bee's are now backfilling comb with honey.  I setup a box on top of my TBH as a super just in case. however they are not building past the single comb I placed in it though they are putting honet in that comb. This past inspection showed that the amount of brood has come way down and they are now filling much of that comb with honey. I was getting increasingly worried as it did not seem there was very much honey in the hive but they seem to be fixing that now.  Smiley
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Currently Fermenting:

Cherry Melomel - 1Gal
Pear Melomel - 1Gal
White Pyment - 1Gal
Root Beer Mead - 1Gal
Mead Cyser - 5Gal

Recently Finished:
Sack Mead - 1Gal, Very Good!
Braggot - 1Gal, Very popular!
Mead Cyser - 1Gal, Wifes Fav!
JAO - 1Gal, Nice, A bit too sweet.
luvin honey
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« Reply #18 on: July 01, 2009, 03:48:06 PM »

Oh.... So maybe their early-season task is to build up an enormous workforce, especially with a good flow on. Now, they use that huge workforced to pack in the honey, slim down the broodnest and prepare for winter ahead...
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The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson
trapperbob
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« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2009, 01:22:10 PM »

Well I looked in on the girls and I guess I was just worried to much they have all kinds of brood and honey now. I counted 25 combs yesterday and that leaves just 7 empty bars left. The last few combs were not built all the way out yet but they were working on it and they must of had a lot of brood hatch out because there were alot more bees in the hive and alot more flying in and out. I thought the flow should be winding down but they sure don't act that way and even my langs seem to have a larger population boom all of a sudden. Wonder what they know? All in all it has been a very good year.
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