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Author Topic: My bees insisted to build there comb across the bars.  (Read 2500 times)
walking.plow
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« on: July 10, 2009, 05:43:38 PM »

If I had a KTBH hive were the bees insisted to build there comb across the bars.   Undecided

   1/ Should I cut the combs from the bars and tie them to the bars one by one in an orderly way.

        or
       2/   should I let them just build it there way this year and remodel there hive in the spring of next year?
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Hethen57
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« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2009, 07:19:43 PM »

I would try to get it right now...in spring you will have a bunch of new brood with the hive trying to build up and you won't want to tear that apart...at this time of the summer, they should be able to put things in order by winter.  Just my thoughts....
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mudlake
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« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2009, 09:49:15 PM »

This will sound funny, place your hives pointing north and south. It worked for me Good Luckk Tony
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walking.plow
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« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2009, 12:06:57 PM »

Right, it was what I was thinking, fix it now.

 I just felt a little guilty cutting comb every time I check on them.  Sad

  And as I am there I will check my compass and see, its worth a shot.

I guess if bees have GPS, its not hard to figure they have a compass also. bee
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trapperbob
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« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2009, 01:01:26 PM »

Yep, fix it now or you will wish you had. Go ahead and reorient the comb and they will re attach it just fine. Once they have done that they should start making the rest of them straight if you catch this early you can sometimes just twist the small combs straight. It's best to catch this early it makes it a whole lot easier to fix. I'm not sure if the north south thing will solve your problem but mine are north to south and they seem to be doing fine.
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maker
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« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2009, 01:05:10 AM »

Bees in my East West facing hive (door faces East) are doing the cross bar thing as well. tried straightening to no avail. Brood combs are perfectly straight. I did measure the crooked honey combs and it seems like they want a larger gap between combs. (My brood combs are 1 3/8" between centers. Honey combs seem to want be around 1 5/8". I'm going to add some 1/8" spacers between bars and see if that helps. If it doesn't help i'll try moving the hive to a North South orientation in a couple weeks. I basically cut out 5 or 6  combs and tied them back on individual bars again with some twine through a hole in the comb about 1 1/2 from the bar. Lifting 5 crossed bars and cutting is a bit of a challenge but the bees were very nice this time. I didn't even get the buzz by the head once.
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luvin honey
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« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2009, 09:52:34 AM »

It would be interesting to note which direction feral bees create their comb. In a hollow tree with no topbar guides, I suppose they would choose their preferred direction. Hmmm....
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maker
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« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2009, 12:40:46 AM »

It would be interesting to note which direction feral bees create their comb. In a hollow tree with no topbar guides, I suppose they would choose their preferred direction. Hmmm....
That's what i'm trying to figure out. Might bee easier if i go and check the 2 tree hive's I know about at Irvine Park. I wonder if i'll be able to see anything? Probably not going to see much but I might be able to get dressed up and try to stick my hand in there and feel what's going on. .
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RyanB
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« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2009, 10:32:48 AM »

I might be able to get dressed up and try to stick my hand in there and feel what's going on. .

Your far braver then I !   grin
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luvin honey
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« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2009, 12:23:22 PM »

I might be able to get dressed up and try to stick my hand in there and feel what's going on. .

Your far braver then I !   grin

And I Smiley I'm picturing a news story resulting from this adventure. I can just see the headlines now...
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The pedigree of honey
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kathyp
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« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2009, 12:59:41 PM »

i don't do top bar but i wonder if you started a new hive with more space between the bars, would it help them start correctly?  you'd get some burr comb, but if you only spaced them out for a couple of days???
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luvin honey
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« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2009, 03:02:09 PM »

Actually, in topbars their space is all horizontal, so you don't want them up over the bars at all. I made this mistake at installation and had to sacrifice more brood than I care to mention when I finally had to deal with the mess they made--bridged bars, angled comb....

It really sounds like it would make sense from a Langstroth perspective, but in topbars the bees festoon from the bars while building their comb (hopefully on the guides!) rather than climbing all around on frames.

Walking plow--it is such a bummer, and I had to deal with this in the beginning, too, but I'm so glad I took the advice to fix it right away. These days, it's a joy to open up the hives because they're nearly 100% "proper" bar combs now. Some I completely lost (and propped in the back of the hive until brood hatched out). Others I was able to rubberband onto the bars until they worked it back into the guides. The bees chewed out the rubber bands later.
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The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
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---Emily Dickinson
jclark96
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« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2009, 06:57:09 AM »

 I don't have TBH so take my advice for what it is. I would fix yhe combs as soon as possible. My foundationless bees built alot of crazy comb in the top hive body. I was out of town for a couple of weeks and I didn't fix it because we were moving. After we moved, I gave them a week to settle down.
 What I discovered, was most of my comb had collapsed, and the SHB were having fun. I ended up having to remove 90% of the comb in the hive. I had compound problems, but if I had fixed the crazy combs in the first place my bees would have been better off. Now I am down to one box that is still battling with the SHB and will probably struggle this winter. Sad
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2009, 10:20:24 AM »

I would build frames to fit and cut the combs and tie them into the frames with rubber bands, string etc.

What is the spacing on your bars?  What are you using for comb guides?
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