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

    Question

    I had to do reconstructive surgery on the brood nest in the TBH yesterday (new TBH started this spring). They were started right but as they progressed foward they combs started going perpendicular to the top bars. I debated on leaving them until the brood hatched and then fixing or doing it now before additional comb was built. I choose the "now" option and cut the brood misaligned brood comb loose. I planned on reattaching it to the bars but I didn't have much luck as my hands were so sticky I couldn't handle the string let alone try and tie a knot.
    I ended up just sitting the comb on the bottom of the hive behind the good brood comb, in hopes the bees will continue to nurse the brood until it hatches. Will they do this, or will they just ignore it? Maybe I should just toss it?
    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Alpine, TX
    Posts
    104

    Post

    I wonder if you could have taken the top bar and the comb to the house, washed your hands, relaxed a little, re-attached it and returned it to the hive? Would it being away from the hive hurt it? Would leaving that space open for the bees for a little bit matter? Could you try now? Seems a shame to let the work they've done just get "tossed". I'm just thinking "out loud" here.
    I smile like this because I have no idea what I\'m doing :-)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
    Posts
    1,487

    Post

    KSBee
    Been there, done that. I know what you mean. I have done the same thing, just let the brood nest comb set until they hatch, then remove it. Success probably depends on the ability of the bees to keep it warm and feed the brood. If it was a small comb and dropped way down, you may be out of luck unless you are able to get it tied up. Michael had a real good link to a neat hinged frame that I am going to build and would be perfect for your problem. Of course you would have to modify it to fit inside your top bar hive.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,588

    Post

    I doube you can reattach it. If you were doing it again, I would make a "swarm catching frame" to fit the top bar and put it in that. The more I think about it the more useful I think it would be to have a few of them around for a TBH.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hirschbach, Bavaria, Germany
    Posts
    643

    Post

    When you are first establishing a TBH (IMHO) it is better to just let them do what they want. The first step is to get them thru the first season. Then cull out/harvest the real bad ones and put clean bars between the strait ones. Mother nature will take it's course no matter what you do.
    Procrastination is the assassination of inspiration.
    www.customwoodkitsinternational.com

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

    Post

    Actually MIKI, waiting until later is more harmful. Fix any stray comb as soon as you see it before it effects the design of other combs. Once comb goes astray, it just get worse and worse and it MUCH harder on you and on the bees to fix it later. Fix it now before it become a thing of trauma. I had a hive peter around as a weakling and I am certain it was due to waiting too late to do the brood nest surgery. DO it early so the bees can replan, do it later and bees are working with broken design.
    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
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Shawnee, Kansas
    Posts
    81

    Post

    AJ- You've got a good point. I probably should have just taken the comb back to the garage, gotten cleaned up and taken my time to attach it to the top bars. If I had it to do over again that's what I'd to. In the middle of working them, that didn't even cross my mind.
    I've also thought that it may be benificial to pick up some sort of elastic from a fabric store. You could pre-tie it loops and just stretch it around the comb and top bar and not have to mess with knots and such. Seems like a good idea as long as your elastic was wide enough not to cut through the comb. I'd image you would also want to survey the comb before hand to get an idea of how big to make the loops, although with the right elastic you may be able to make a "one size fits all".

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hirschbach, Bavaria, Germany
    Posts
    643

    Post

    I'm sure everyone has their preferred methods; I would rather watch what the bees want to do and then adjust to them. Trying to get Mother Nature to conform to us is like pounding a square peg into a round hole. So I wouldn’t say waiting is more harmful I would say it's just a different approach.
    Procrastination is the assassination of inspiration.
    www.customwoodkitsinternational.com

  9. #9

    Post

    Could the loose comb be wired up to top bars with the wire used to strengthen standard hive frames?
    Could holes for the wire be drilled through a few top bars?

    Brian Cady

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hirschbach, Bavaria, Germany
    Posts
    643

    Post

    Yes, but if you plan on wrapping a couple of peices of wire around the bar and comb it may get sloppy. Michael's swarm frame idea is the best I heard yet if your determined to work with loose comb.
    Procrastination is the assassination of inspiration.
    www.customwoodkitsinternational.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Guatemala
    Posts
    244

    Post

    Could someone please extend on Michael´s swarm frame idea?

    Reading your stories about comb orientation is quite puzzling, but then again, I think cris-cross comb building has more to do with "foundationlessness" than with hive or top bar or even entrance position in relation to cardinal points or prevailing wind. If not so, then we would have the same problem with standard, foundation-filled Langs.

    It seems that a bigger comb guide would partly solve the problem. Has anyone tried hanging a 1" wide strip of foundation (or a long, narrow trangle)from the top bar, besides the horizontal strip?

    The truly puzzling thing is why do bees festoon perpendicular to the bars instead of directly below the wax guide? Is it because given a large empty space leaves them a "freedom of choice" that is not influenced by the starter strip?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,588

    Post

    &gt;Could someone please extend on Michael´s swarm frame idea?

    What more did you want to know?
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Shawnee, Kansas
    Posts
    81

    Post

    Here's a link from the plans section that describes it-
    http://beesource.com/plans/swarmframe.htm

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