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Author Topic: Comb guide question  (Read 2559 times)
Algonam
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« on: January 17, 2011, 05:48:43 PM »

Hi again,

I've built my 2 hives and may be building a 3rd. We'll see how expensive the bees are before building anymore. The bee supply shops are closed here at this time of the year so I'm not getting any answers. (-28 when I started up my truck this morning)
I just have to create the rest of the top bars. The videos are suggesting using popsicle sticks, cove mouldings, or nothing as comb guides. What if I create my own? Are there any guidelines you folks can give me? What if I rip some 1/2" x 1/2" strips on my table saw and nail and glue them on to the top bars?
Also, do I put these on every second top bar?...the wider ones? I believe I am to create 2 sizes (1-1/4" wide and 1-3/8" wide) and stagger them, having the comb guide on every second one.
Please verify for me?
Thanks again!
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Tommyt
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« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2011, 06:23:57 PM »

  Comb Guide goes on all Bars if you want to save time and wood.
Get a hold of a wax coated Juice or milk carton,
Score a line down the middle of each top bar with your table saw,
Then cut the carton into 1 inch strips, slip them in the center saw cut
If you have bees wax? dip them in it and use as glue, if not put a
couple staples to hold the strips in place,the bees will attach it
much better as they build their comb.
I'll let someone else let you know about the width of the bar itself

Tommyt
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Algonam
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« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2011, 08:11:58 PM »

I'm confused again.....after watching the 2 seperate videos(above these posts) on making the top bars themselves, one guy says to make them 1-3/8"........... and the other guy says the "brood bars" are to be 1-1/4 to 1-3/8 and the honey storage bars are to be up to 1-7/8". I thought the honey was stored in cells hanging from all top bars.
What would he mean by honey storage bars?
Yup...I'm still asking stupid questions eh!...

Thanks again.
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wd
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« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2011, 08:30:32 PM »

I'm confused again.....after watching the 2 seperate videos(above these posts) on making the top bars themselves, one guy says to make them 1-3/8"........... and the other guy says the "brood bars" are to be 1-1/4 to 1-3/8 and the honey storage bars are to be up to 1-7/8". I thought the honey was stored in cells hanging from all top bars.
What would he mean by honey storage bars?
Yup...I'm still asking stupid questions eh!...

Thanks again.


I would look at the measurements as the width of the bars not the length nor depth. The smaller in width  is where the brood comb will be made, the larger in width is where the honey comb " honey stores" will be.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2011, 02:43:02 AM »

The bees left to themselves will build brood comb 1 1/4" on center and honey will be between 1 1/2" and maybe more.  If you make the bars 1 3/8" they are a compromise between the two.  I find it easier to just go with the bees.  Both can work, but with the 1 3/8" you will get more drone, larger cells, it will take more bees to cover the brood and they will cheat a bit on the spacing to make it smaller...

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesframewidth.htm
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Michael Bush
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Algonam
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« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2011, 06:15:35 AM »

Ok then, what would you do in my situation.....

My follower boards are on 1-3/8" wide top bars. The hives I've built are 44" long. What width or widths of top bars would be the most effective in my case?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2011, 03:27:45 AM »

>My follower boards are on 1-3/8" wide top bars. The hives I've built are 44" long. What width or widths of top bars would be the most effective in my case?

Whatever the length of the hive, and whatever you use or don't use for follower boards, I'd make half of them 1 1/4" and the other half 1 3/8".  They never come out even.
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Michael Bush
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Algonam
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« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2011, 06:07:48 AM »

Great! That's what I've done already for one hive.
Thanks
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BjornBee
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« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2011, 06:52:39 AM »

I think having different sized bars is a bunch of crap.

Once they start even the littlest deviation off center, the best way to draw additional comb is placing empty bars in the center of the already made comb area. And then the question starts becoming....."should I rotate in one size or the other?"

Any foundationless system potentially has the problem of curved and messed up comb, if your not using side guides, etc. When I do foundationless systems in regular hives, trench, or other styles, the bees are using standard top bars from frames. The bees have no requirement to make different sized comb.

This whole thing about different top bar widths just makes it harder for no reason. If the bars were all the same, (smaller sized) the bees would do just fine. They store honey in smaller width comb, just as well as wider sizes.

My TBHs never come out that all the brood is on the smaller bars, and all the honey is on the larger width bars. So why try to dictate to the bees?

This is just something someone thought of, then the groupies all started following. Wait....don't take my word for it. Work a season and actually try to manage the bars as to what you think should be used where in the hive. I bet next year, you be thinking different about two sized bars. When they come out of the first winter, and the cluster is not on the designated smaller brood bars, or they fill in the brood area and start raising brood in the larger bars....you will stand there and ask yourself which bars should i add at the end of the comb area. Eventually you will question when the bars are all getting screwed up..."who ever thought of this two bar crap to begin with?"  Wink And why do people still push it?

Two sized bars....absolutely a waste. And not needed. Just as it's not needed or pushed in any other hive we beekeepers make and use.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2011, 07:06:50 AM by BjornBee » Logged

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VolunteerK9
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« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2011, 08:15:33 AM »

I think having different sized bars is a bunch of crap.





That was just funny to me...Sorry...

So tell us what you are really thinking Bjorn  grin
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BjornBee
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« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2011, 08:32:03 AM »

I think having different sized bars is a bunch of crap.



That was just funny to me...Sorry...

So tell us what you are really thinking Bjorn  grin


Baby steps....baby steps..... Wink

I got to start putting all this stuff on my website. That way I don't need to type it all out all the time.  Wink

Here...you can read more...  grin

http://www.bjornapiaries.com/topbarbeekeeping.html

(Bottom of the page)
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wd
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« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2011, 11:29:01 AM »

Personally, other than reading and watching what others do, and my interest in them, I haven't caught the bug to keep ktbh or any other tbh for that matter, yet. If I were to go that direction,  I think I'd start off with a long hive just because it calls for standard sizes. Right now I'm ok with the use of langs.
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deknow
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« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2011, 01:15:38 PM »

Quote
it's not needed or pushed in any other hive we beekeepers make and use.
true...but at the same time, imho, one of the most common problems new beekeepers (with no comb) have is when new comb is being drawn out and filled with honey immediately...it gets fat and impedes on drawing out the next frame (whether it has foundation or not).

i've not really used TBH's, so i have no opinion on how to manage them specifically.  to say we don't have 2 widths of top bars in our langstroth (or other) hives is true, but there are issues that result from using one sized top bar....and these results are particularly difficult for a new beekeeper with no comb and no experience to deal with (trimming or mashing a little comb is  big deal when you are not used to being around bees and don't know from experience how helpful it is to have comb of uniform width).

deknow
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BjornBee
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« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2011, 03:14:00 PM »

Quote
it's not needed or pushed in any other hive we beekeepers make and use.
true...but at the same time, imho, one of the most common problems new beekeepers (with no comb) have is when new comb is being drawn out and filled with honey immediately...it gets fat and impedes on drawing out the next frame (whether it has foundation or not).

deknow

It can happen with any situation where new comb is being drawn. Which justifies my comments....it may happen regardless of what size bar width you have. Making worrying about two bar widths as silly as can be. Having two different bar width solves nothing. Just adds to the confusion over time where each bar goes, etc. If they are all the same, no big deal. Different bar widths...you gain nothing and make it more difficult. Different bar widths solve none of the problems you mention.

I do foundationless in all types of boxes, and there is no need for different sized width bars. And they draw comb great....just like in my TBHs that have one bar width...doing just as great.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2011, 03:28:22 PM by BjornBee » Logged

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Michael Bush
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« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2011, 08:22:49 PM »

I want narrower combs anyway and with a top bar it's easy enough to do and works with what they want.  Just because I can force them to build brood on 1 3/8" well by feeding it into the brood nest does not mean that's the best width.  What they want to build is 1 1/4".  What I want to do is let them.  They can cover more brood, build smaller cells etc.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesframewidth.htm
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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