looking for comments on the brood pattern in a topbar started from a nuc this year.
I have a hive of Russians from a local hygenic breeder in Ontario. These bees have established a local reputation for explosive growth from a very modest start. I would now agree. This hive was a very modest 4 bar nuc (3 brood, 1 honey) that has now filled a 30 bar topbar of deep lang frame dimensions. This hive was started at the end of May, 4 weeks after the other topbars! So far so good, the only pain being her majesty has laid the bottom half of each frame as the hive grew from the core brood area. We had to harvest a couple of bars last weekend to give space, which gave us a good excuse to excise some drone brood, while getting a couple half bars of very nice honey.
My other topbars are much more conventional- the core brood area is surrounded by bars of pure honey.
Is there anything I could have done (aside from a queen excluder), to encourage a different hive pattern from the Russians? or are they just too prolific?
A side note: although the sample size is too small to be statistically significant, I am observing with interest the fact that the top bar with regular lang deep frames with foundation, is actually behind in hive growth the other two topbars that simply had plain bars (22 frames of comb vs 30 frames). All of the top bars were started with 4 frame nucs and grown to a dozen or so frames by injecting an empty bar/frame adjacent to the brood nest weekly. After that the girls took over.
We have had a very friendly weather pattern this year with warm temperatures and a healthy abundance of rain. 4 of 6 nucs will yield 50-75lbs of honey in addition to 2 full deeps of core hive.