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Author Topic: Top Bar/Foundationless hive growth wax builders not keeping up?  (Read 1895 times)

Offline nietssemaj

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This year I hived 2 new packages into new top bar hives. Obviously these hives are foundation less.

The bees are building comb at a fast rate. However, it doesn't seem to be fast enough for the queen. It is as if she is fighting with the house bees for space as they are back filling the brood nest with nectar and pollen. There is plenty of space at either end of the brood nest for expansion and storage of honey.

They've started pulling acorn cells and while I know they do that and it doesn't necessarily mean anything I am getting concerned.

Am I worrying about nothing? Should I be adding empty frames into the brood nest? Should I just leave well enough alone and let them be bees?

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Top Bar/Foundationless hive growth wax builders not keeping up?
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2013, 11:17:37 AM »
The queen can lay a couple of thousand eggs a day.  That does not meant there are enough workers to raise another thousand brood a day... any hive in "establishment mode" will have this problem.  It takes a booming hive to be able to make so much comb and raise so much brood that the queen has to work to keep up.

This is a normal situation.
Michael Bush
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Offline duryeafarms

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Re: Top Bar/Foundationless hive growth wax builders not keeping up?
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2013, 12:26:37 PM »
nietssemaj, I'm in the same boat as documented in my post about supercedure and swarm cells:


To the best of my knowledge (without knowing I have a laying queen at the moment, see my post for details) they didn't swarm, perhaps because I alternated a few empty bars in the densest part of the brood nest even though there were plenty of empty bars at the front of the hive.  The comb production is certainly not what I'd like to see for brood or "long term" honey storage.

I need to delve into queen laying behavior and what factors stimulate her to lay, where etc.