Thanks for the intro to Thomas I ordered the first package of bees from him, decendents of that MT. Elgon expedition. I am going to build a top bar for them and just split them this season, Any suggestions.
Congradulations, I know you will a great time. The guys on this site have some great ideas. I would look at all the designs and then come up with your own tbh which will be the best one yet. :> ) Share some pictures when you get a chance.
Handling new, heavy comb is a challenge and the bees sometimes don't build it just the way the beekeeper desires. Don't handle it too often. I would let the hive get established and then go back and make any comb corrections later using a serated bread knife to cut out any offending comb.
I had a new hive do a bit of cross comb building. I went in and straighted it up with comb that was only a few weeks old. Lots of good comb was damaged in the process.
I am now having second thoughts about that. A better approach might have been to just let it alone till next spring and then gently cut it loose then. Am I repeating anyone elses mistakes here?
Most of all just enjoy the hive. Work it when and how you desire. I'm interested ine your observations on the Elgons too.
I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas, I am working on a web site now to post pic and info on. I also enjoy your web site really opened my eyes on the small cell issue. I visit it regularly. Thanks for the encouragment.
Actually with my experiences I am of a mind that you MUST regularly work through the whole hive while the hive is being developed. Because of all the issues you talk about I think the mess will be worse if you don't fix things as they go wrong. My friend Zeke who asked me to let him keep his bees on his own while only asking me for help didn't check his hives for the first month. The combs were spanning 3 bars in some cases and the repair work is going to take a long time.
On the other hand, even my worst hive as far as messy comb goes I was able to coach into being semi straight, and with the straightest combs I have trained perfect combs out of that hive, and will be slowly culling the messy comb out. My other two hives have nearly perfect comb as if drawn on foundatoin (I mean straightness, not cell uniformity), because my tinkering with them while they were building it. I can just about take any comb and replace it with any other comb from the same hive. Not in all cases but in most cases.
These are just my own experiences though, I personally don't recommend leaving the bees alone to make a mess of things. Of course its good for them, but it makes management a nightmare.
I would also recommend joining
Most of us are there as well.
There are several others that should keep you occupied for a while.