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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Northern Minnesota
    Posts
    40

    Post

    My new TBH's are built, the Carniolan packages installed and all is well... well, almost... I built them based on the B Wranger's plans -- which incidentally, are excellent! The packages for my TBH's arrived late and did not get installed until late May, but are doing very well with the nice weather.

    When I opened my new hives, however, one looks great, just like I see in many of the photos on this site. (It's really an incredible sight!) The other one, however, has "discombobulated comb"... that is, the comb is not build parallel with the bars. It's been build at angles (~30 to 40 degrees?) to the top bars. (Each top by has an approximate 1/4 inch starter strip.)

    Two questions... Why did this happen, was my box not level enough? Secondly, is there something I should or can do at this point? My anal side wants to fix it, my "live and let live" side wants to leave it be.

    On a side note... I have two TBH's and four Langs, all with Carniolans. Although all are most gentle, the ones in the TBH's are definitely "quieter" and appear to be less disturbed by my inspections. Is this my imagination?

    So far, despite the minor setbacks, I am very impressed with this concept.

    Jim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,599

    Post

    Jim

    you gotta fix it
    it'll only get worse
    do you have an idea how you would go about it?
    there are several ways depending on your resources
    can you build a couple of "swarm catching" frames?
    maybe just cut em loose and rubberband em in straight?
    you need to do something

    Dave

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

    Post

    Cross combing happens. That's about all I can say about that. Sometimes the bees get it and sometimes they don't. Here is what you can do to begin fixing it, however it won't be completely fixed until the end of next spring.

    Compress the brood nest you have if you can be removing the end combs from the brood nest if you can. If you have to trim a little bit of comb off so you can shrink the brood nest some.

    Then take two good combs from your other hive and put them at the back of the brood nest so that all new combs much be built behind these. Once they have built another straight comb, you can spread them out accordian style and they might either build brood comb or honey comb depending on what they want. If they build honey comb, move the honey comb to the back and you are done broodnest tweaking until next spring. Then in the spring hopefully before they get a chance to really dig into brooding, pull out as much of the unused twisted broodcomb. Just get as much out as you can. What you leave in the hive, push to the front of the hive and the few good brood combs at the end. Let them brood up one or two cycles, then spread the combs out again accordian style as many times as the bees will let you before they start honey combing again.
    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>

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Plano, North Texas
    Posts
    318

    Post

    I built some cut-out top bars for this very thing. You can see a slide show of their construction and use by searching for my posting titled "swarm catching frames".
    I had a hive where the bees started straight but curved 45 degrees the second season. I cut out the bent comb and put it in the cut-out bars while bending it straight. After that, they were back on track with subsequent combs.
    "Before I speak, I have something I'd like to say. . . . I will try to keep this short as long as I can." Yogi Berra

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Northern Minnesota
    Posts
    40

    Post

    Thank you all for the advice, I'll give it a try. I was, however, unable to load the slide show; I kept receiving a message, "loading error". I'll try again later.

    Thanks,

    Jimmy

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

    Post

    The swarm catching frames will "work", however the combs will be mangled making a large percentage of each comb unusable for brooding. The bees will be forced to rebuild new comb to brood in, which they won't do at this time of year unless you did a complete shakedown into a bare hive again, which is ALSO a good solution, however you would need to feed them again for a couple of weeks until they got things sorted out again. THEN you could return any suitable comb honey that you didn't want to leave in the hive because it would mess up their brood nest development.
    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>

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