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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Shawnee, Kansas
    Posts
    81

    Question

    I peeked in the on the package I hived 2 weeks ago. They are clustered on about 6 bars toward the entrance of the hive. The cluster covers about half of each bar. They don't seem to have made much progress compared to when I checked them after 4 days to see that the queen was released. They took almost a gallon of sugar water in the first 5 days. They've not taken much at all since then. I did move the internal feeder/follower board to the rear of the hive on about day 6 to allow them to better guage the size of the broodnest to make. Maybe I should have left them with 11 bars instead of 30.
    Is this normal progress for a TBH?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,624

    Post

    They tend to stop taking feed when they have enough nectar coming in instead. They start off quickly building enough comb to start raising some brood and then they start taking care of the brood. I'd say they are probably doing fine.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Shawnee, Kansas
    Posts
    81

    Post

    Thanks, Michael. What's your opinion on using the follower board to squeeze down the volume until they get started?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,624

    Post

    I haven't tried one, but I did do the TTBH in a five frame medium nuc and then moved them to an eight frame and then a ten frame and then the 33 frame long hive. That worked well, I think. So I would think the follower would be similar in function.

    The other advantage to that method was I only put comb guides on the center bar in the nuc. The rest did not even have a groove. They were just plain 3/8" by 1 1/4" by 19" boards with nothing added.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Guatemala
    Posts
    243

    Post

    A question for Mike and others:
    when first installing either a package or a swarm in a TBH, is it wise to shake the bees in the center of the hive, using two follower boards (one on either side of the cluster)?
    Does the nest expand symetrically from the "center" comb?
    The question arises because I hear you speaking of rear or back end of the hive. This led me to think that you do the initial shaking near one end.
    In Lang.hive, normally bees will store honey and pollen on both sides of the nest, in order to have stores available close by and perhaps to provide some means of isolation to the nest core.
    Any comments?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
    Posts
    1,486

    Post

    Guate

    Just dump them in. If you use a follower board, I would use just one, to reduce the size of the hive by no more than one/third.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,624

    Post

    I used no follower and just dumped them in. They set up shop in the front of the hive (the entrance end).
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Leonardtown, Md, USA
    Posts
    235

    Post

    KSBEE, Good luck with the hive!!

    I hived a package in my new TBH last Sunday. Man what a great time that was. My friend took some great pix of the entire process. I'll share with you all soon.

    My question is this.. I hung the queen cage from the 3rd frame from the entrance. I also poked a hole through the candy. After 2 full days, I opened up the observation window I built in and noticed the bees clustered around the queen and feeding in my division board feeder.
    How long will it take to release the queen and what should I be expected to see? Still a cluster? Comb building? I want to make sure that the queen is released!

    THANKS!!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Post

    After four days, I'd just let her out if she isn't already.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    1,649

    Post

    ......just dumped them in. They set up shop in the front of the hive (the entrance end).
    That's what I did--just dumped them in thinking they would set up somewhere near the front or center. Instead as I posted in the TBH forum, they went straight toward the back, ignoring my starter strips. Anyway, after cutting out the perpendicular pieces they'd begun building and putting them onto the bars parallel and then putting those between my starter strips, they appear to have gotten their act together and are nicely building in the starter strips, too.

    Thanks for that info on the frame guide, Michael. I'll get one built.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Shawnee, Kansas
    Posts
    81

    Post

    Dick- I just looked in mine again last night. Appearantly they didn't stay in comb design school long enough as they've started building perpendicular to the bars. Even with the triangle shape and a wax guide.
    How did you reattach the comb after you straighted them out?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    1,649

    Post

    My top bars have a saw kerf width slot cut in them. I pinched the top of the comb pieces flat, poured a little molten wax in the bar slots and set the comb pieces in place.

    Building perpendicular to the bars in my tbh means the bees are orienting their combs in a N-S direction which is the usual orientation for a Langstroth hive with a south facing entrance. Pictures I've seen of natural comb from swarms built in Langstroth hive bodies also show combs being built in that direction. So my question is if top bars are placed across the TBH aren't they 'going against the grain' so to speak in regards to natural comb?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
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    1,486

    Post

    I agree with Dick, it is helpful to pour or brush molten wax.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Alpine, TX
    Posts
    104

    Post

    Dick, did you re-orient the hive so that the bars lay in a N-S direction or have they just reoriented to the bars after you realigned their comb?
    I smile like this because I have no idea what I\'m doing :-)

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    To answer the original question, the bees will build comb VERY fast the first few days until the comb just peeks out of edges of the cluster. The bees stop building at this point because the cluster can't support more comb that this initially and they don't need it either. The queen will lay up the core of this initial nest, the bee population will drop a little, then when the new bees start to emerge and the cluster grows, so shall the size of the nest grow with it. When the bees start wash boarding, they will start building honey stores.
    Scot Mc Pherson<br />McPherson Family Honey Farms<br />Davenport, IA<br />BeeWiki: <a href=\"http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org\" target=\"_blank\">http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org</a> <br /><br />Pics:<br /> <a href=\"http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/pics/bees/\" target=\"_blank\">http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/pics/bees/</a>

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
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    Well, for right now they are following the orientation of the bars, which are E-W (and so far are doing it quite nicely).

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hirschbach, Bavaria, Germany
    Posts
    643

    Post

    Dick and Ks,
    I am curious when you hung the queen cage (If there was one) how was it oriented? Do you think if it was hanging perpendicular to the bars they oriented the comb parallel to the cage?
    Procrastination is the assassination of inspiration.
    www.customwoodkitsinternational.com

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,624

    Post

    I worried that the queen cage would through everything off, which is partly why I did a direct release.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    1,649

    Post

    This parallel and perpendicular orientation can get pretty confusing in a short period of time. :confused: The bars were oriented E-W, and the hive was oriented lengthwise N-S. Bees began building comb in the N-S direction. The queen cage was suspended from a bar for a day before I pulled the plug. She was facing north, so the comb ends were pointing toward her.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Shawnee, Kansas
    Posts
    81

    Post

    Miki- The queen I installed was hanging at a skew to the bars. I should have taken a little more time hanging her but I didn't think it was that critical as along as the cage was secure. The bee's didn't start building the wandering comb until at least a week after the cage was removed so I don't think this was the problem. The comb was straight were the cage had been hanging.
    It's been about 4 days since I removed the bad comb and they seem to be on the right track now. Also I think the first brood has hatched since I'm seeing some different colored bees than I originally installed.
    BTW- I bars remain heading east-west as they were originally. I really don't think this makes much of a difference, but then again I'm no expert.

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