[img]smile.gif[/img] A friend who has six tbh came over yesterday and helped me straighten most of the comb and remove some of it. This morning, I put another ziploc of syrup in the hive, and this time I didn't overfill it, and it looks like it will work great. I checked on the combs, and they are still pointing, more or less, in the right direction. We were also able to spot the queen and some of the eggs she is laying.
I feel like I'm am finally off to a good start, and I can give the bees a break for two or three days before checking on them again.
I had one question about my whacky top bars. I don't have a table saw, so I went to a friend's house to cut my top bars. When I started to build the hive, I noticed I had cut the bars about 36 mm wide rather than 35. When I nailed my cleats on, I tried to keep the spacing between them 35mm, but of course they migrated toward the edge of the bar by 1mm with each bar.
So, I went out and bought a hand plane, and planed the rest of my bars down. Some are 34mm, some are 36mm. They don't vary widely, but I did work them so that the cleat migrated back toward the center of the bars.
I numbered my bars so that I could keep them in order, and the 35mm distance between cleats could be maintained.
It didn't occur to me that I might want to rearrange my top bars to move old brood comb toward the honey storage area, or that I would want to feed an empty bar between two straight combs.
I am assuming, after seeing how adaptable the bees are, that if I rearrange the bars in the future, and the cleats are partially out of measurement, but the bars are still roughly the right width, that the bees will adjust the comb in relation to the cleat, building it off center of the cleat in the proper relationship to adjoining comb.
If you've followed this post this far -- would that be a good assumption on my part? I'm thinking that I should buy myself a table saw and work on some perfect top bars at my leisure, and feed those into the hive as I have time, and as I remove honeycomb.
(And of course, now that I have one hive, I want to build another. If I could only find space in my small yard for another one. Maybe the roof!)