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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,972

    Default "Warm way", "Cold way" and cross-combing

    I was reading about setting up Langs either 'warm way' (with the frames set so that the combs are built parallel to the entrance, thus keeping brood warmer), and 'Cold way' (where the frames are set perpendicular to the entrance, allowing more air flow between combs).

    It occurred to me that we have similar arrangements in the tbh with a side entrance being 'cold way' (perpendicular) and an end entrance being 'warm way' (parallel). And I wondered if any of the cross-combing people fight has anything to do with climate in the region, and the bees preference for one of the other arrangement due to climatic concerns.

    Here so far with end entrances and three hives, I've had no cross-combing at all. But I'm in a cool climate, so this 'warm way' arrangement would seem appropriate. If I lived in Texas, might I be better to use a side entrance in order to avoid cross-combing issues?

    Have we noticed any correlations along these lines? Thoughts?


    Adam

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Lewiston, MI, USA
    Posts
    212

    Default Re: "Warm way", "Cold way" and cross-combing

    I think you bring up a really good point. I've never heard of the 'warm way' or the 'cold way' , so here I am with my morning cup of coffee and I'm already learning something new. I couldn't start my day any better.

    I live in the Northern part of the lower peninsula in Michigan. This is a pretty cold region and it's common to get several days of below zero weather in the winter as well as lots of snow. I'm sure you know all about that.

    Anyways, getting back on topic, I built my tbh with side entrances or the 'cold way.' I haven't had any issues with cross-combing.

    In retrospect, I wish I had built my tbh with end entrances so they could utilize the entire 48" rather than having that extra space reserved for splits. Hindsight is 20/20 though and I'll make the necessary changes for the next tbh I build.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    635

    Default Re: "Warm way", "Cold way" and cross-combing

    Earthchild,

    You can still use side entrances and allow them to use the entire 48". Simply move their entrance toward the end rather than in the center. Our hives have two holes toward one end, two holes centered and two holes toward the other end. This way you can start the bees anywhere you'd like!

    Cheers,
    Matt

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,972

    Default Re: "Warm way", "Cold way" and cross-combing

    Quote Originally Posted by earthchild View Post
    ...In retrospect, I wish I had built my tbh with end entrances so they could utilize the entire 48" rather than having that extra space reserved for splits. ...
    So with the centered side entrance, the bees don't build in the middle, near the entrance holes?

    Adam

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Lewiston, MI, USA
    Posts
    212

    Default Re: "Warm way", "Cold way" and cross-combing

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Foster Collins View Post
    So with the centered side entrance, the bees don't build in the middle, near the entrance holes?

    Adam
    Sorry for the confusion They do, indeed, build in the middle. I started the bees directly in the center where the entrances are. Each follower board was on either side of the entrances with 8 bars in between. When it was time to give them more space, I added bars to the right. The idea was that the area to the left of the entrances would be reserved for doing splits, which was why I was worried about running out of room (there was a good foot not being used.) What I ended up doing, thanks to Cacklewack's sound advice, was drilling a hole all the way to the left and then I slid the follower boards and all bars down. Why didn't I think of that?

    I hope I cleared up the confusion. I don't always explain things the way I should

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Spring Texas
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: "Warm way", "Cold way" and cross-combing

    I think cross-combing is a function of stability. But it is much more complicated than that. For example there is this video of someone killing a bee hive that had developed under a gas grill cover. It is a horrible site, absolutely, sad and depressing.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iUK7...eature=related

    But after the fact they open the hive to reveal a large hive, about 7 bars that were mostly straight. And they were built at an off angle to what would appear to be a natural topbar hive.

    In my limited experience I have found that if I place a queen from a package of bees at a right angle to the bars the bees are more likely to build along the bar. If the queen box is twisted they build at a similar angle to the box. I have been successful in straightening the comb but I have also caused comb collapse so it is a risky proposition to try and straighten comb but it can be done.

    My best success has been to add a new topbar between two straight comb. Then the bees build comb to match the ones that are between. Once comb is started straight the bees are most likely to keep it that way.

    As I have thought on this and looked at comb that has been build “cross-comb” It appears to me that the bees build for strength and spacing. They do not care if the comb is straight.

    I have not seen any official research on this topic but I think someone should.

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