As you know from previous threads, I started a TBH in support of my friend who also started one this year because she can't lift the weights in a Langstroth. My son also started one with me, so we have two at our place. She is doing great, with the exception of some creative architecture on the part of her bees, her hive is rockin'!
Me, on the other hand, got caught off guard last week. The bees in both my son's and my hives were acting funny and I thought they might be trying to swarm. Nope, they were trying to tell me they were starving. When I went in the next day, we'd lost over 1/2 the bees. Luckily, the queens were still alive and we cleaned everything up and put the feed back on. So....
My bad for treating the TBHs like my Langstroths. Whereas the Langs were still building wax, continuing to maintain stores, and bring in the goods, the TBHs obviously blew through what they had stored and started to starve. I know that it's because of the volume of bees in the hives vs. the amount of stores they had, I also know that I should have kept a closer eye on them. And, I feel particularly bad because my son was following my lead and we almost lost his, too.
My question is...if the population fills the box again, what will happen in the fall? I don't mind feeding them all summer them if that is what they need, but when fall comes, will the population start dropping and allow them the space to store for winter? At what point does a TBH start self-monitoring their population vs. resources?
I'm probably not asking the right questions, so if there are other points that you feel I need to adjust from Langstroth to TBH thinking, feel free to bring them up. I just feel really caught of guard by the fact that I didn't think the difference in box configuration would make as big a difference as it seems to have. Or is it just my perception of space (or lack thereof) that made me think they had more food than they did?