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Author Topic: hive problems  (Read 1505 times)
burns bees
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« on: August 01, 2012, 07:26:41 PM »

I'm new to the top bar hive and I've only had my bees now for about 3 weeks. I went to look at them the other day and there building there comb on the side of the hive instead of on the bars. Any help? I followed the directions to a tee. Even coated the bars with wax. I'm afraid if I try and clean it out and let them start over. That they won't make it through winter..
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Joe D
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« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2012, 10:57:03 PM »

Burns, there are different things you can do. You can cut the comb from the hive and tie it to the tbs with string or rubber bands.  What I did was to make a frame for my tbs and tied them inside the frame. It may not be feasible with your tbs, but I now have a frame, you don't have to be so carefull with them.  Good luck with your bees.



Joe
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Sundog
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« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2012, 11:19:21 PM »

Are your TBH sides sloped or vertical?  How wide are the bars?

Rubber bands work.  The will bees fix things in short order.

Have fun!

http://i865.photobucket.com/albums/ab218/Sunchaser01/Bee%20Stuff/DSCN0037.jpg
http://i865.photobucket.com/albums/ab218/Sunchaser01/DSCN0708.jpg

p.s.  Post your location.
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burns bees
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« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2012, 01:12:11 PM »

They are sloped.. and the bars are 3" wide.. and I'm still confused on the rubber band thing. How's that work? Wouldn't cutting the comb off the sides tear it up? And how I'm I suppose to attach the comb to the top bars?
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AllenF
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« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2012, 01:22:13 PM »

Your bars are too wide.   The brood nest is 1 1/4" wide bars and the honey is 1 1/2" wide bars.   Cut comb along the wood where attached and you only hurt the one row of cells against the wood if you cut close enough.   Then rubber band the combs to your top bars. 
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burns bees
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« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2012, 06:58:02 PM »

I've seen bars a lot wider than mine and have perfect comb on them. And maybe I'm not looking close enough but it looks like they are building the comb in a dome like shape. Is that possible? And if they are. What do I do to stop that and make them build right way
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Sundog
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« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2012, 07:23:13 PM »

Your bars are too wide.   The brood nest is 1 1/4" wide bars and the honey is 1 1/2" wide bars.   Cut comb along the wood where attached and you only hurt the one row of cells against the wood if you cut close enough.   Then rubber band the combs to your top bars. 
th_thumbsupup  Allen is correct.  Also, IMO...  keep your brood bars near the entrance which should be at one end of your hive (not in the middle) and your honey bars (should be 1-1/2" to 1-3/4") at the away end of the hive.  Do you have a follower board to confine their space?  How many bars do you have; how long is your hive; and how many bees?  You should not give them more space than they require.  Crowd them in with a follower, that will help them build straight.  Then add a bar or two at a time as required in between bars that are drawn straight.

Have fun!
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burns bees
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« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2012, 07:43:24 PM »

Yes I have a follower board. And I do have them in 1 through 5. Sorry guys. I'm new at this and its just  stresses me out that I don't know what to do? If cutting the bars thinner will help I will do that. And its 4 ft long and I got about 20 bars
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Sundog
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« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2012, 11:16:21 PM »

Consider a Langstroth box has 10 frames in 14-3/4 inches of space.  48 inches is over three times that, so you should be able to fit more than 30 bars.

I would cut some bars 1-1/4 wide and work them in.  In mine, I cut a 1/4" wide kerf and glued in a strip that protrudes about a 1/4", then rubbed the strip down with old wax.  Bees got the hint right away and started building.

http://i865.photobucket.com/albums/ab218/Sunchaser01/DSCN0472.jpg

Are you seeing any brood or eggs?

Have fun!

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nietssemaj
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« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2012, 06:49:54 AM »

Your bars are a little wide but I doubt that they is your problem. With bars too wide you just wind up with combs across boards, not a pile in the bottom of the hive. Sounds like heat. Whats the temperature like in your part of TN right now?

I would make the bars smaller and stop waxing them. Use wedge strips or Popsicle stick starter strips on the bar, unwaxed. The bee's can attach the wax to the bar better then you can melt it on there.

My TBH's are made from plastic barrels. Hot melt glue won't stick well to the plastic. Can easily remove it with my finger, no nail required. Melted bee's wax won't stick well the to plastic. Again easily removed by pushing on it with my finger, no nail required. But the bee's have occasionally attached brace comb to the plastic barrel. Even with the hive tool that stuff is hard to remove, likely due to the curvature but it sticks.

My theory is that you had comb up on the bars and the wax you put on the comb melted and the combs dropped.
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burns bees
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« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2012, 11:53:35 AM »

It has been hot here. Upper 90's everyday since I've had them. And to be honest. I haven't looked that close yet to see what's in the comb. There's only one comb and like I said its on the side if the hive instead of on the top bars. And the bees are keeping it covered up really good and I'm kinda nervous about going in to deep until I get my suit and smoker. I'm new at this. So I only lift the back bars off and look inside.
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burns bees
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« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2012, 08:55:49 PM »

Ok.  I did a hive inspection today and everything looks great. I didn't find the queen but I didn't look that hard. They have about 3 bars half build up with comb. The only thing I seen that seen might be a problem is there building 2 combs to one bar. Should I cut the smaller comb off and rubber band it to another bar? Not sure what to do... And I'm sure its because my bars are to wide.. any help?
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Joe D
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« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2012, 09:11:30 PM »

Will the 2 combs run together or side by side.  If they could run together you can bend them slightly to help.  Try to keep your combs running fairly straight.  If this is not possible then you may want to move the smaller one.  But I have bent some in my langs with no foundation that wheren't going straight.  Just be gentle with them, you may just move slightly and come back in a few days and do it again to get them straight.  Good luck with your bees.



Joe
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Sundog
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« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2012, 11:42:00 PM »

Make some 1-1/4 wide bars with some sort of feature down the center i.e. a slot, glue a small wood strip, or a piece of string waxed down.  Put a bar in at slot four (you said there were three bars half built) and put your follower board next.  Once the bees have started building on bar four add another bar and so forth.  Take out the first three bars when the bees no longer need them.  If there is brood, cut and rubber band it to a smaller bar.  Try and maintain the original order if you can. 

Did you see any brood or eggs?  Label your bars and take pictures.

Good luck and have fun!
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