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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Accord, NY
    Posts
    336

    Post

    OK. I am totally illiterate when it comes to Langs. What is the use of the inner cover?
    I am trying to change the shape of my bars. The way they are now there is no space between them. I tapered the bottom of each bar 45^ and cut a wax groove to keep the bees from crosscombing. That worked excellent. I usually put minimal amount of starter wax in the grooves and when I don’t the bees just follow the taper anyway.
    I now want to trim the bars so there is a space for the bees to fly in and out when I work the hive. Of course I don’t want them permanently exposed so I’m thinking to build an inner cover. Am I reinventing the wheel? Has anybody done this before? What are the pros and cons?
    Thank you,
    Aram
    I’ll include a picture to show what I mean just in case my explanation wasn’t confusing enough. [img]tongue.gif[/img]
    http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d6...as/topbars.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Thornton Colorado
    Posts
    2,003

    Post

    Am I reinventing the wheel?
    Yeah, you're gonna end up with something call a lang.

    [img]smile.gif[/img]

    Actually, I like that they aren't going in and out when I'm working the hive so I don't quite understand your question.
    JohnF INTP

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Accord, NY
    Posts
    336

    Post

    I hope not! [img]smile.gif[/img]

    I'd like it too if they didn't go in and out as I work the hive but they are going in and out anyway (as long as there is one open bar.) What is upsetting me is the Kamikazes that get killed every time I try to push the bars together or when I try to place that last bar. I am trying to avoid crusing the bees. Of the two hives I have one is never a problem: I can shake them in the box. on top of the box, brush them off or just gently nudge them and wait till they get out of the way. The other hive however, as soon as I open one bar they give the alarm and then they don't stop. As long as they see a crack of light they'll try to squeeze through.

    [size="1"][ September 13, 2006, 07:02 PM: Message edited by: Aram ][/size]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,498

    Post

    Keep practicing. You can learn to put the bars in without squishing very many of them. Try scissoring them (slide it straight down into position) slowly.

    No, you don't have to have an inner cover if you make gaps. But the lack of gaps is one of the nice features of a top bar hive.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    El Dorado County, CA
    Posts
    606

    Post

    i've got hives with alternating frames/bars. the bees don't fly up through the half size gap as much as a lang and putting the hive back together is quicker than with top bars. if the cover is "ventilated" (non migratory) i use a piece of tarp over the bars under the lid.
    all that is gold does not glitter

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Accord, NY
    Posts
    336

    Post

    Thank you all. I'll keep practicing on the easy hive, and try the half size gaps on the Kamikaze. The death toll is just too high if I keep practicing on that one. Half size gaps might be the answer. I want to discourage them from freely flying in and out and it might keep from crushing them.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    El Dorado County, CA
    Posts
    606

    Post

    are you using a smoker? smoke usually helps to keep there heads down.
    all that is gold does not glitter

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Accord, NY
    Posts
    336

    Post

    Yes I smoke them. Weather I smoke them a lot or just a couple of puffs it doesn't make any difference. I think mine are addicted to smoke...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Totnes, Devon, England
    Posts
    1,019

    Post

    Try a water spray - works pretty well on mine. A few drops of peppermint oil or white birch oil in the water seems to help.
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Accord, NY
    Posts
    336

    Post

    Will try it. Thanx.
    I think I have heard of someone spraying with sugar water. The dea was to make the bees both sticky, so they can't fly, and get them busy cleaning the sweet syrup off of each other. Do you know if this is a common technique?
    What is the purpose of the essential oils? How much oil would you put in a pint of water?
    Thank you,
    Aram

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Totnes, Devon, England
    Posts
    1,019

    Post

    I can see the point of sugar water, but I don't like the idea of gumming up my bees, fearing that it may crystallize and block their spiracles, or stick their wings together.

    I use peppermint oil because it has a strong smell but appears to be harmless to the bees. Essential oil of White Birch smells a lot like smoke, so I figure it may have a similar effect without the actual fire. A few drops in a pint of water seems sufficient.

    I have just read in another thread about someone using sumac smoke for mite control - that sounds interesting. Anyone here have any experience of this?
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

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