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  1. #1

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    Everybody,is saying that comb ina tbh is falling because of heat.
    But,tbh are used much in africa,shouldnt then this problem bee much bigger there than in say north america or europe?
    But I didnt read anything about falling comb in tropical areas.If the heat is the problem tbh would not be practical in africa.Right?

    Sasha
    "Do nothing. Time is too precious to waste." Buddha

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,361

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    >Everybody,is saying that comb ina tbh is falling because of heat.
    But,tbh are used much in africa,shouldnt then this problem bee much bigger there than in say north america or europe?

    That's what I would guess.

    >But I didnt read anything about falling comb in tropical areas.If the heat is the problem tbh would not be practical in africa.Right?

    That's a reasonable assumption.

    Certainly the combs are softer when it's hot, and softer when they are new, and have more weight on them when they are full and have more stress on them when the combs are deeper and have more stress on the combs when they are square, instead of sloped. So my guess is (and this is only speculation) that the reason you don't hear a lot about comb collapse in Africa is:

    1) Not many people with TBH's from African are on this forum.

    2) The people in Africa with THB's have worked out a workable size and shape comb that is less prone to collapse

    3) An established top bar hive has less problems with collapse with older attachments to the top bar than a new one where brand new soft wax is involved in the attachments.

    4) African beekeepers keep their hives in the shade, where most US beekeepers put theirs in the sun.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Milford, MI
    Posts
    328

    Post

    "Most" of the TBH keepers complaining of comb collapse, do not understand the importance of ventilation, nor do they understand convection.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
    Posts
    1,486

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    one other possible explanation. Maybe African beekeepers don't manipulate their top bars as much as we do. Especially if their bees are a little "hotter" over there! So the side brace comb stays in place until the comb is older and stronger. We, on the other hand, can't keep our hands off!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,361

    Post

    >one other possible explanation. Maybe African beekeepers don't manipulate their top bars as much as we do.

    That's very likely too.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    Phoenix,
    Most TBH comb failure occurs during or after inspection, not before. Ventilation isn't an issue with TBHs when its hot. Ventilation doesn't reduce heat when its already hot outside. Ventilation is more important in wintertime than in summertime. Bees can control heat just fine if you leave them bee. Don't work TBHs for a long time in the noonday sun with the topbars exposed to raw sunlight getting the bars hot so the wax attached to the bar started softening and then failing. Don't remove attachments when combs are brand new white and full of honey. Go ahead and pull the comb, but put the comb back ontop of the broken support burrs so it has the extra support. Don't build giant hives with 25 inch top bars and 20 inches deep. Don't manhandle combs new or old.


    I had combs collapse in the summer last year, but each and every time it was my fault now that I look back on it. Once I figured out what I was doing wrong, combs stopped breaking.

    What to do and not do:

    Remove combs carefully, don't tug on attachments work them loose little by little, no need for coat hanger cutting.
    Don't handle fresh comb if filled with honey. Don't remove attachments with new heavy combs.
    Work the hive as quyickly as is comfortable and replace cover getting sun off of topbars.
    Cradle the topbar when working them, don't grasp them, let gravity hold them the right way.

    the list gets longer....
    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>

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hirschbach, Bavaria, Germany
    Posts
    643

    Post

    My bars are 24 inches long and the hive is 16 inches deep. We had the hottest summer on record last year. My 4 hives were in the sun. I did not have one comb failure. I did many of the things Scott mentioned above but size was not a factor.
    Procrastination is the assassination of inspiration.
    www.customwoodkitsinternational.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Casper, WY
    Posts
    526

    Post

    Hi Guys,

    Here's an interesting experiment to try. Take a small piece of empty, newly drawn comb and set it in the sun. Every couple of minutes try to pick it up and handle it. Keep track of the time and note the results. You will be amazed at how fast the comb becomes too soft to handle.

    I haven't found size to be a factor either. The biggest detriment, for me, was my years of experience handling standard frames. Even when I tried to be as careful as possible, this beekeeper was the cause of most of the troubles including working the combs when it was too hot and or too windy.

    It's amazing how much stronger comb is with a couple of seasons to age and toughen up. I can handle two year old brood comb almost as easy as that in a frame. I can rotate it within the comb plan and set it down with the top bar on the bottom acting as a base. But I think these are bad habits to promote and it doesn't add much to tbh management. So I haven't said much about it.

    Regards
    Dennis
    Thinking I might inadvertantly rotate a new comb and create some instant mush :&gt))

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,361

    Post

    &gt; I can rotate it within the comb plan and set it down with the top bar on the bottom acting as a base. But I think these are bad habits to promote and it doesn't add much to tbh management. So I haven't said much about it.

    Yes, but it sure helps when taking pictures of it. [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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