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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Granton, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    14

    Default Moving bars with comb forward in TBH

    Hi All

    We installed a new package of bees on April 2nd and they are happy and building comb and bringing in pollen.. Right now they are working on building comb on three of the bars in the back third of the hive and I assume they would be building brood comb. We've read that it's best to have the brood comb in the front third of the hive close to the entrance. Our question is, can/should be move the bars that they are now building comb on toward the front of the hive so they will build the brood comb there instead of the back of the hive. If so would we move the three bars all the way to the front at once or move it a few inches at a time.

    Our hive is 36 inches long and the bars are all 1 3/8 inches in width. Maybe I should replace the front 1 3/8 inch bars (those without comb) with 1 1/4 inch bars to better encourage brood comb building.

    Thanks in advance for your response.

    Steve & Jeannie

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    641

    Default Re: Moving bars with comb forward in TBH

    You can move the bars (as long as you keep them in the same order) if you want. Did you install the package in the back of the hive? Personally, I wouldn't worry too much about the bar width -- they'll build brood or honey comb as needed on 1 3/8th inch bars (that's all we use throughout all of our hives).

    Regards,
    Matt

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,928

    Default Re: Moving bars with comb forward in TBH

    There might be something they prefer about that end -- less light, less drafty. It is your hive. Make them move!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Augusta,GA
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Moving bars with comb forward in TBH

    I am about to instal a package in a tbh myself. how many bars did you start with

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Granton, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Moving bars with comb forward in TBH

    Our 36 inch hive holds 24 - 1 3/8 inch bars. I put them all in except for the last 3 at the end which is were I put the feeder. If you look at a post I did a couple of weeks ago about feeding the bees you'll see some links to pictures of the feeder and the back few bars for the hive.

    We did install the package in the front of the hive but the bees moved to the back. It was kind of windy for a couple of days when we installed them. Maybe they didn't like the wind blowing in ??

    Steve & Jeannie

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Oakland, CA, USA
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Moving bars with comb forward in TBH

    I put our feederboard in about 10 bars back from the front, to give the bees a smaller space to keep warm and focus them on the front bars for brood.

    I'm going to open it up later today or tomorrow (its a bit cool so hesitant to do it today), and confirm comb is straight and queen is laying, but looking through the window they seem to be all clustered on the 3rd through 7th bars.

    Lucky I suppose, but from what I'd read, I'd recommend giving them a smaller space to work their first bit until they get going. Once they have the brood underway I'll open up the hive more, though still may not open it all the way at once.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Honduras
    Posts
    229

    Default Re: Moving bars with comb forward in TBH

    One of the things that many people seem to do when they have a top bar hive is to let the bees do what they want. It is designed so the bees can build a more natural nest. This is what I mainly do myself with most of my hives—both here in Honduras and with the ones I had in Wisconsin. The bees usually know better than us as to what they need. If they decided to start the brood nest in the back part of the hive, let them keep building it there. I don’t really see a problem with that. The same thing goes with comb. They build the type that they need. I usually give my hives two entrances—a main one at the “front” end and a smaller one at the back. Many times they choose to use the smaller back entrance more. So be it. They know what they like and want and need. If they choose that smaller entrance--fine. As long as they are content.

    __________
    Tom

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Sebastopol, Ca.
    Posts
    307

    Default Re: Moving bars with comb forward in TBH

    Local bee store has sign, "Order bees now".
    I laugh as I order my bees to build where, when and how, and yet they
    manage to do what they want and survive well.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Greensburg, Ky.
    Posts
    1,148

    Default Re: Moving bars with comb forward in TBH

    I captured a swarm of feral bees May 8th and installed them in my OTBH and gave them 12 bars to start out. Its alot more manageable to gradually give them space. It would be a big mess if you gave them the whole TBH and they decided to draw cross comb all throughout the whole hive. You can pretty much tell by how they are clustered on how they will start drawing comb. Once i installed the swarm they had 6 bars drawn really fast. I just keep 2 empty bars for them at all times and keep an eye on the brood comb so the queen will not go honey bound. (No where to lay eggs) So once I seen that start to happen around the 3rd-4th week and i added a bar to the brood area. The next day they was all back to work and all content! Now i have bees emerging everywhere! HAHAHA

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