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Author Topic: Top Bar Comb  (Read 1961 times)

Offline BC

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Top Bar Comb
« on: April 18, 2010, 04:48:45 PM »
I looked in the hive today and noticed they are building the comb on the right side of the bars. They are not starting from the center and building out. All 3 bars. Is this normal ? They are also not building from the entrance. Some of the front bars are bare. They are also building past the spacers onto the next bar. Should I remove the spacers ?

Offline Bee Happy

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Re: Top Bar Comb
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2010, 03:30:20 PM »
I'd guess that if they're building along the bars, and not building wild comb or burr comb I would be pretty happy about it. I'm not sure what you mean by spacers though. I'm in my second year, and haven't tried top bars yet, so I'm sure some more valuable information will be along.
be happy and make others happy.

Offline Yappy

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Re: Top Bar Comb
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2010, 05:02:38 PM »
Are they building on the South side? warmer? :evil:
... Rob

Offline AllenF

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Re: Top Bar Comb
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2010, 05:06:49 PM »
Keep an eye on them.   If they start building comb where they shouldn't, remove it.  At least you have bees on the right.  You don't want bees on the left.   They may take over the world or at least think they can.

bbhb

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Re: Top Bar Comb
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2010, 05:36:28 PM »
Not starting from the center is normal, but not ideal. It makes it difficult to lift the combs out for inspection. You could leave them alone, and hope they build wider and wider combs, so eventually some combs will be on the center. Then next season, cull out the off-center ones. You'll likely have way more than 3. Or you could take care of this right away; cut the combs off and center them properly. Whatever you're comfortable with.

Not building from the entrance is normal, too. It's safer for the brood. They'll make it to the front eventually. Right now you're girls are focussing on getting the nursery set up. They'll pay attention to building the pantry as soon as they can. (It's common for the first 2-3 bars to be used for nectar.)

I don't know what you mean by spacers. What are they for?

Offline BC

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Re: Top Bar Comb
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2010, 10:05:29 PM »
I have 4 drilled holes for the entrance. 3 are plugged now with corks. The side that they are building on is the plugged side. That must be the warmer side ? I guess they will start building across. I hope. As for the spacers. I shouldn't of had them on. They are building on them and it is becoming quite a mess. I'm taking them off as soon as possible. I may have to leave some on. They have built so much on some it is almost permanent. Trying to separate might cause the comb to drop. What can I say. Stupid novice Beekeeper. Learning from my mistakes.
I have to say my other hive is doing well ! It's a langstroth hive with foundationless frames. Nice comb.

Thanks for all the feed back !

Offline fermentedhiker

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Re: Top Bar Comb
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2010, 10:21:12 PM »
I think you're on the right track removing the spacers.  The tighter spacing is better for the broodnest anyways.  You can add them later when you are adding bars for honey storage and they'll be less likely to mess them up if the broodnest is all good.
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
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Offline BC

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Re: Top Bar Comb
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2010, 11:20:10 PM »
Fermentedhiker,
I heard that the honey stores are wider and they use spacers. I'm going to try to remove as much as I can without damaging the brood comb. Last thing I want to do is have it drop into the hive.

Thank you.

Offline fermentedhiker

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Re: Top Bar Comb
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2010, 11:29:57 PM »
you're correct. but having them broodnest close won't hurt anything you'll just have less honey per topbar and they'll be less likely to mess it up.  As they expand adding bars with spacers should be less of a problem, or you could let them draw it out and then add the spacers between combs that they've used for honey storage and they draw them out deeper later on.  No hard and fast rules that I haven't seen someone break and still manage to be successful.  The bees are remarkably resilient, sometime they succeed in spite of us :)
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
--Douglas Adams

Offline BC

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Re: Top Bar Comb
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2010, 01:21:11 AM »
Thanks again.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Top Bar Comb
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2010, 08:25:32 AM »
Once they are off they will make every comb off.  The sooner you get them on track the better.  The easiest is to make some frames and tie the combs in the frames.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline cozybldr

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Re: Top Bar Comb
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2010, 05:05:10 PM »
Question:
How is the best way to reattach them?
Strings don't work too well the way I have done it. I think it gets too hot and then the beeswax gives and starts to slide. I like the hair clip method I have seen.
The other thing is to use OutofaBlueSky YouTube method of making a swarm "frame" from the top bar, but I would rather not.

Suggestions?

Thanks,
Rick

Offline AllenF

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Re: Top Bar Comb
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2010, 09:50:33 PM »
Rubber bands, or melt the top of comb and stick (or glue it with the melting wax) to the top bar.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Top Bar Comb
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2010, 09:52:39 PM »
Minimum I would use a piece of wood on the bottom for support.  Personally I'd make a frame and tie them in the frame.  The string should only be keeping it from falling out, not falling down... but if you use the wood on the bottom you can use it to hold it up, I guess.
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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