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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    biglake ,alaska
    Posts
    11

    Default Top bars with no guides

    Hello all!!!!!! mike here in alaska.I have built hives as per Michael Bush.I was wondering if i can just leave a small gap between the bars until they start drawing a couple of bars.Then tighten up before drawn to depth.Then i can use the combs as guides to drop empty bars between.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    biglake ,alaska
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Top bars with no guides

    For got to say thanks in advanced!!!!!! God Bless ,mike

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    biglake ,alaska
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Top bars with no guides

    Hello all,i am wondering if my question was not clear? thanks mike.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    South San Ysidro, NM
    Posts
    503

    Default Re: Top bars with no guides

    You could easily end up with a mess doing what you suggest. In that situation, they may build the comb off one or both edges of the bar. Also they may build comb that isn't straight down the middle of the bar but curves. Either way you could end up with weird comb spacing or bars you cannot push together without mashing comb or violating bee space.

    Save yourself the headaches and make some guides. Even with the guides they sometimes get creative...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,859

    Default Re: Top bars with no guides

    If you are dilligent it might work. If you miss a day you could have a mess like Ardilla said. Alternating comb and new bars or frames is over 150 years old so it is not a new technique. Be patient because trying to adapt an almost natural hive can be frustrating as the bees do what they want and you make it what you want. That is why foundation was designed about 150 years ago. We want it our way now!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Dalkeith, Ont, Canada
    Posts
    206

    Default Re: Top bars with no guides

    O yes I forgot you might when you push your tb's together end up with comb that is to close together. Not sure what the bees would think of the extra open space ether..

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,889

    Default Re: Top bars with no guides

    >I was wondering if i can just leave a small gap between the bars until they start drawing a couple of bars.

    What is the gap for? It will simply mess up the spacing. You have to have a guide (even if it's drawn comb) or there is no telling where they will build their comb. There is nothing to gain by NOT having guides. I have done it with no guides for fun, but it's a risky proposition. I just wanted to see what the spacing would be.

    >Then tighten up before drawn to depth.

    If you leave a space they will build comb with the assumption that that space will reamin, so from center to center it will be about 1 1/4" leaving only 1/4" to 5/16" space between the surfaces of the comb. When you push it back together you will lose that space and the spacing of the combs will be off.

    >Then i can use the combs as guides to drop empty bars between.

    You can certainly feed empty bars between drawn combs if you like as they progress, but you need to keep the spacing correct from the beginning and get them in the center of the bars from the begining. One bad comb leads to another...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    biglake ,alaska
    Posts
    11

    Smile Re: Top bars with no guides

    Thanks to all who responded!!!!! I cut out 3"wide strips of fondationless brood comb from a langs frame,and hung from 2 bars with an empty in between them.Is this sufficient, with due diligence on my part ,to add empty bars between.When you hang comb how tight do you have against the bars.I figured it would be easier to attach if the bees have access between most of the comb.Also,gravity can help keep it straight until reattached.Thanks,mike

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    biglake ,alaska
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Top bars with no guides

    Is the brood supposed to be near the entrnce or the back ?Mike

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,889

    Default Re: Top bars with no guides

    >Thanks to all who responded!!!!! I cut out 3"wide strips of fondationless brood comb from a langs frame,and hung from 2 bars with an empty in between them.Is this sufficient, with due diligence on my part ,to add empty bars between.

    That depends on the spacing of those combs and the spacing of your bars. If they are 1 1/4" they are perfect. If they are 1 3/8" you will probably get by. If they are more or less than those you will probably have problems.

    >When you hang comb how tight do you have against the bars.

    If it's touching here and there they will attach it. if it's not touching, it's hard to say.

    >I figured it would be easier to attach if the bees have access between most of the comb.

    I would have it touching as much as possible.

    >Also,gravity can help keep it straight until reattached.

    How? If you tied it from the bottom gravity is not keeping it straight.

    >Is the brood supposed to be near the entrnce or the back ?

    It is "supposed to be" where ever they put it... typically that is near the entrance, but sometimes it's in the middle or even in the back.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    biglake ,alaska
    Posts
    11

    Question Re: Top bars with no guides

    Hi michael,thanks for sharing your knowledge!!!!! I tied them to the top bar,should hang like a plumb bob . Well,if they are to decide wher to put the brood,how do you know where to hang the 11/4" bars,and the 1 1/2" bars?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,889

    Default Re: Top bars with no guides

    The problem is that the string is hanging. The comb is not hanging it is resting on the string. The string is around the top bar which is wider than the comb. So while the bottom of the comb may be plumb with the center of the bar, what is keeping the top of the comb in the center of the bar?

    I put the 1 1/4" at the front and the 1 1/2" at the back and see what the bees do. Usually they will build the brood nest near the entrance in which case they are in the right place. If they don't I move one bar at a time until I get them back on the 1 1/4" bars.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Top bars with no guides

    You can also attach wax strips along the center of the top bar.

    I made a video and uploaded it at:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31ovKSO-v4g "Beeswax strips for Warré top bar beehives"

    which shows a quick method for doing this. My Warré top bars have a tablesaw-milled groove down the middle to help fix the strip, but for plain topbars it might work as well if you heat the top bars a little hotter. The second pass with pouring molten wax will make for a good initial bond.

    See the article that Dr. Wyatt Mangum, a math prof and 20-year hTBH veteran, wrote in the May 2010 ABJ. He uses foundation but, since TBH beeks generally have a lot of wax to deal with, you can dip your own.

    //Alex T.

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