View Full Version : drawing out
06-01-2005, 07:14 PM
I hived a swarm into a 5 bar nuc and then had to move them shortly thereafter. When i moved them into the full-sized box, i had to use(GOT to, it was so cool) one of "Michael's" swarm-catcher frames as one bar failed during the move. They are doing well, i have no complaints; however they are building in one direction only. The swarm- catcher is still the end bar on one side of the whole thing. I dont really mind, but i'm wondering if they will some day come over and work this other side. I did place the bars from the nuc into the box centered, but the swarm trap frame went in last and ended up on the outside and has remained so. I cant imagine that it would be "blocking" them from using the other side of the hive, in fact they built comb off the bottom of it. I'm guessing that they have to pick one direction to take off in, either led by, or leading the queen into areas suitable for laying. Faulty logic? Just curious.
06-02-2005, 09:55 AM
>When i moved them into the full-sized box, i had to use(GOT to, it was so cool) one of "Michael's" swarm-catcher frames as one bar failed during the move.
Dee Lusby is the person responsible for the swarm catcher frames.
> They are doing well, i have no complaints; however they are building in one direction only.
>The swarm- catcher is still the end bar on one side of the whole thing. I dont really mind, but i'm wondering if they will some day come over and work this other side.
Probably when they run out of room going the other way or get too crowded and need somewhere new to work.
>I did place the bars from the nuc into the box centered, but the swarm trap frame went in last and ended up on the outside and has remained so. I cant imagine that it would be "blocking" them from using the other side of the hive, in fact they built comb off the bottom of it. I'm guessing that they have to pick one direction to take off in, either led by, or leading the queen into areas suitable for laying. Faulty logic?
They do what they want. Sometimes the go both ways, sometimes they go one way.
06-02-2005, 11:27 AM
>They do what they want. Sometimes the go both ways, sometimes they go one way.
Mine headed west right up to the side of the hive where they 'tacked' their combs to the sloping wall (but they were only 'tacked' and easily pulled off). Now since they've run out of room heading west they're going east. In my Langstroth hives they've sometimes gone east first, sometimes gone west first, and sometimes gone both directions at once.
Scot Mc Pherson
06-02-2005, 08:39 PM
That tacking will cease as the comb strengthens. The combs in my brood nest NEVER attach anymore, only when the nest was young and full of white comb. Once the attachments were broken, once or twice they fixed the comb up nice to build straight edges on the comb parallel to the walls. The cells also happen to be parallel to the walls. (A little secret...that wasn't an accident)
06-07-2005, 07:39 PM
I checked this hive yesterday but did not look into the end with the swarm catcher frame (dumb!), but i've got to tell you, this hive now has a LOT of bees. I'm new at this, so i've got nothing to compare it with, but there are now a LOT of bees in there and they are building comb very quickly, at least as far as i know. Normal for one weeks passage of time? Just curious.
Scot Mc Pherson
06-07-2005, 08:45 PM
There are no more bees in there than before. What there is now though is comb that the cluster built, and they now hang from that and in between it, therefore the cluster gets bigger since the bees spread out with the new comb in the middle. Comb has got to go somewhere.
06-07-2005, 11:23 PM
Disappointing; yet i'm not disappointed. I'm very pleased with this hive and it's exciting to watch and wonder how it's going to go.
06-07-2005, 11:37 PM
What do you mean by "(A little secret...that wasn't an accident)"?
06-08-2005, 05:33 AM
The bees can sense when a comb needs some support and will attach it to a sidewall regardless of the slope.
I've had the same experience as Scot. Brood combs, that are at least a couple of years old, are seldom attached to the sidewalls, even in my more shallow sloped tbh designs. I can cut them once in the spring and most aren't even re-attached at the cut. Most attachments are just enough to keep the comb from swaying and really don't add any structural support.
The attachments increase when the bees pack the broodnest for winter. At that point, I need to use a knife to get into the broodnest.
Comb is much stronger after the first year. I've been able to rotate my larger combs, within their plane, and set them down on the top surface of their top bars without any damage. Even older combs full of honey can be handled this way. It's a neat way to remove all the comb from a hive when needed. But I wouldn't even think of doing this with a first year comb, regardless of its contents.
Scot Mc Pherson
06-09-2005, 07:53 AM
I rotate comb and place it on the top bar whether new or old, I haven't had a problem with that so long as I flip it over quickly USING the center of gravity so there isn't a major increase in stress. Once it is flipped the worst thing I have to watch for is dripping honey from caps that may have been touched and damaged. I have even left honey comb sit on the topbar for a few days because I did a harvest, then became unable to extract right away.
The little secret is, "My hive slopes are the same angle as the cell walls.(28.5-30 degrees of slope)" This combined with the width and height of the hive, closely emmulated a natural catenary curve, and is why I get so few attachments. I get very few attachments in new comb as well, but it does happen sometimes, and ONLY on the new comb when it does. When it happens, it ALWAYS happens when the catenary curve would intersect the hive walls when they fill in the corners at the bottom of the hive. Its always a 1-2 inch attachment halfway down the wall where the comb would swell out past the walls if they built the comb in free space when filling those corners. In a Tanzanian style hive, the attachments are usually higher and longer since filling the bottom corners makes the natural catenary curve intersect the hive walls higher up and further past the hive walls.
Once the combs are old, it makes less difference, but honey combs usually AREN'T old in a TBH, they are usually cut off and fresh comb is built by the bees. I don't say always, I just say usually. I am sure some people extract dispite the problems associated with too much empty combs in a hive, and dispite the ease of crush and strain extracting, and dispite the surplus wax which if one USES to make other things increases its value beyond the perceived loss of honey. I.e. candles.
06-11-2005, 07:38 PM
Wow Scott, interesting observation. I know that tbhs are supposed to simplify bking but just suppose there was a simple method to curve the bottom of the tbh.... Hmmmnn. Gotta think this one out.
06-11-2005, 10:54 PM
The angle on my tbh is 20º. I've actually had very little problem with comb attachments on the sides other than some small amount of 'tacking' in a couple of spots, usually on all their new combs. Those were easily dealt with using my hive tool. As a matter of fact, generally I could just twist the bar ever so slightly as I was pulling it out and the side attachment would be broken.
Scot Mc Pherson
06-14-2005, 08:37 PM
Scot Mc Pherson
06-14-2005, 08:42 PM
There isn't a way that I know of. Bees will build different stuff depending on race, geography, weather, altitude, etc etc. There is no uniform catenary curve that we can count on. That's why I selected a trapazoid knowing its as close as I can get without having an engineering headache. You COULD just use door veneer and bend it around two end peices cut to the proper curve, soak it overnight then reinforce the edge with something like a 1/4" or 1/2" round molding. But then, how to make it stand up? Lots of things there too, but which is best, cheapest or whatever.
I'll stick with angles, its easier to deal with.