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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Franklin KY
    Posts
    43

    Default Hive today...How long till

    Just a quick question. If I hive my top bar hive this weekend, how long till you think that I will have some honey to harvest?

    How long till they start some good comb?

    Do you think I should attach the queen cage on bar #1 or #2 or ???

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    644

    Default

    Opinions vary, but I don't hang the queen cage at all. I simply place her on the bottom in the back of the hive and dump the bees on top.

    Regarding comb -- the most recent top bar hives I installed were on April 6th. At this point they've drawn out 16 bars of comb and are building increasingly fast. I just expanded their space to 22 bars (out of 32) and expect they'll fill 'em up in the next week or two. I am betting I'll be harvesting some in the next couple months.

    The speed at which they build is going to depend on the bees, the surrounding forage, the size of the bars, etc.

    Matt

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Denver, CO, USA
    Posts
    17

    Default a year

    I'm in the school of thought that a newly installed colony should be left it's honey crop the first year. After the Winter of 09/10... i.e.: next Spring... is when you can take whatever they don't need to survive.

    Re: where to hang the queen cage, the usual suggestion is the 4th or 5th bar. I believe the reasoning here is that this will be, approximately, the center of the broodnest (in the young colony's early stage). Also, keeping the queen away from the entrance discourages her from using it as an exit.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    644

    Default

    I will only be harvesting this year if the hive(s) is running out of room. Otherwise I'll be leaving as much as possible while still giving them the illusion of space.

    Matt

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default

    timeing depends on the queen and nectar flows, how long is the hive??? I calculate surface area and decide from there, but in most TBH 15-18 bars are for the hive for winter, the rest are mine..... The TBH I sell have 30 bars 10 for honey, 20 for the bees..... calculated by surface area of comb.

    absolute best would be endish of july for surplus, most likely a cpl bars by late aug.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default

    oh and I attach queens in on about bar 4-5 they will build all around where you start her..... 1 or 2 is fine thouh, just dont start her flat in the middle. normaly if I start on 1 or 2 they like to build burr comb on the wall of the hive. starting in about 4-5 makes them hang on the straigh edge of my bar....

    Can you tell I have done this once or twice??

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default

    >Just a quick question. If I hive my top bar hive this weekend, how long till you think that I will have some honey to harvest?

    Probably late next summer (2010) but it could be earlier...

    >How long till they start some good comb?

    Hopefully about an hour or two? Certainly in a day or two.

    >Do you think I should attach the queen cage on bar #1 or #2 or ???

    Not at all.

    This almost always results in an extra comb between those two frames drawn on the queen cage. Release the queen and you won't have to worry about the messed up combs. This is even more important in a foundationless scenario such as a top bar hive or foundationless frames as one messed up between the frames comb will result in a repeat of the error the rest of the way across. Dump the bees in. Let them settle a bit. If you're afraid of the queen flying, then pull the cork from the non candy end (where she can get out now) and, while holding your thumb over the hole, lay the cage on the bottom and leave it. Put the frames back in and the lid on and walk away.

    One of the issues seems to be that people think that either they will abscond or they will kill the queen. In my experience leaving her caged does not seem to resolve these issues. If they want to leave they usually move to the hive next door anyway and abandon the queen. If you release the queen it also won't stop this from happening, but it also won't cause it. I've not had a problem with a package killing the queen. A bunch of confused bees have been shaken together from many hives and in the confusion they are just happy to find a queen. If they do kill the queen it is almost always because there is already one loose in the cage that got shaken in. The bees prefer this queen because they have contact with her.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beespackage...thangqueencage
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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