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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    Ok in my TopBarHives I have been noticing a trend. When the has gone through a cycle, the bees are starting to use the empty cells for honey instead of more brood. The brood nest is shrinking and becoming some snake like thing twisting through the hive. I have started putting in empty bars in the center of the brood nest to open it up a little and give the queen some fresh combs to lay in.

    I was wondering what your opinions of this brood nest shirkage is. The brood nest is about 7 - 1.25" top bars, and the brood usage is being shrunk to about 1/4 - 1/3 of each comb. The first 3 or 4 combs in the hive are still 75% brood comb, but this doesn't seem like much. This is the area I stuck 2 emtpy bars.

    ------------------
    Scot Mc Pherson
    Foundationless Small Cell Top Bar Hives
    BeeWiki: http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/beewiki/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,786

    Post

    I would do what you are doing. Put in some empty bars to open it up. Also keep an eye out for swarm cells

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    No, no swarm cells. What I am speculating is that the nest is developing similarly to the way ULBN's develop over time, a narrow chimney through the honey, but horizontal instead. The bees get born, and the population is higher than it needs to be so the bees clog up the brood nest with honey so the queen doesn't continue laying so damned many eggs. At least that's what I think happens in a ULBN, and I think that's what I am seeing here because all these combs were 100% brood cept for the top 1 inch of the combs, and now I think they are trying to slow down the queen.

    There is an upcoming dearth where only spotty 2ndary crops will be found for the next 2 months. Right now is the palmetto crop, and the mangrove crop will be blooming in the next week, after that its summer dearth.

    ------------------
    Scot Mc Pherson
    Foundationless Small Cell Top Bar Hives
    BeeWiki: http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/beewiki/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,824

    Post

    My bees have forage year round, with the Eucalyptus flow almost year round. Honey clogged brood chambers is a big problem. That is why people in the south use single brood chambers, to chase the honey into the supers. My bees have almost no need for stores. The eucalyptus blooms all winter. They can fly about 360 days a year. I bet Florida is similar, depending on what forage they have.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    It is, but we have a 2 month dearth july and august, then the flows are back on. Winter is when we have our most well known honey flow, citrus blossom (orange blossom).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    42

    Post

    Hi Scott,

    what is a ULNB?

    Cinnamon

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,786

    Post

    >what is a ULNB?

    Acutally ULBN. Un Limited Brood Nest.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Boynton Beach, Florida, USA
    Posts
    278

    Post

    Greetings,

    I noticed the same behavior in my tbh toward seasons end last year. When the bees have shifted from their reproductive mode to the survival mode, they change how they organize the broodnest. Once they get it into an optimal condition, their foraging behavior, brood rearing, comb drawing etc. will be greatly reduced even though there is room in the tbh.

    Nectar will be stored in the top of the broodnest in preference to the rear of the hive which earlier in the season. This restricts the queens laying. Reduces drone rearing. Brood is mostly reared in the small cell sized portions of the comb. At this time the bees will act much like bees that are preparing to swarm.

    That's when a vertical hive begins to outproduce a horizontal one. That space above the broodnest can be managed by adding supers so the bees keep trying to fill it up and get into the optimum overwintering configuration.

    No one has written about managing horizontally to achieve this same effect that's obtained so easy by adding supers in a vertical hive.

    Some Thoughts
    Dennis


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,786

    Post

    I've tried to order Dartington's Long Deep hive book but have not found it. I assume that's what it's about is managment of a horizontal hive.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Hookstown PA USA
    Posts
    581

    Post

    There is a book and horizontal hives?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,786

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