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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Caldwell, Idaho, USA
    Posts
    48

    Default Re: How would you all respond to this "constructive criticism" of the top bar hive?

    I forgot I wanted to tell PatBeek -- Looking at your pics your hive is sitting up on blocks. That is how I had mine but down low just one one row of blocks and a big windstorm came through and blew it off and upside down, knocked all the comb down Yours might be better protected by the fence but anyway fyi if you get storms. I have had suggestions for angled legs, ratchet straps, tiedowns.

    @Daniel Y Yeah I hear you about pros and cons. Mine did cross combs and I knocked a comb down. Then the storm! Did you put some wax on the guides? I didn't at first but after the storm I rehung the good ones straight and put the best ones on the outside plus waxed the guides so now they are building new ones straight. Also very new comb seems super soft so I am just gently scooting those bars over and not lifting them out. They have reattached the busted combs and built them bigger, seem more solid. I have had mine about a month after catching a swarm. I was wondering the same thing about maybe making partial frames at the top for extra solid top corners? One one comb they are attaching one side to the wall. I am leaving it alone until they repair the storm mess. I also wonder if it would be better to just leave some of the core brood nest completely alone and just check the outer ones? Anyway I guess we will learn!

    @Robherc thanks for telling experience with smoker and syrup. I am almost in over my head catching this swarm! I wasn't planning on bees until next spring but running with it and having fun mostly

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: How would you all respond to this "constructive criticism" of the top bar hive?

    I haven't heard of the dowels before...they sound like a recipe for BAD cross-combing to me (why would you put something that wide right in the way of the center rib?)...but your wax-coated wood strips sound ok (although I've heard argument that the wax coating we put on isn't as strong as if we let them do it themselves...not sure there). For mine, I've been brad-nailing 1/16" to 1/8" thick strips into saw kerfs down the middles of the bars, then adding tiny dabs of Swarm Pheromone (aka Nasonov, or LGO+geranium oil+lemon oil)to the lower edge of the guides, so far only 2 of 14 hives haven't started every comb on the center of that strip, and one of those was my fault for leaving gaps between the bars on an empty box...which a swarm decided to move into.

    I think dabbing a tiny bit of LGO on the comb guides should help with your problems re: combs getting attached to the edge of the bar, rather than the guide.

    The combs being started "dead center between two combs" sounds like your bars might be a bit too wide; I use mostly 1.25" bars in my brood areas; although my bees seem to accept a mixture of 1.25" with 1.375" bars thrown in...defo. would NOT recommend going wider than 1.375" anywhere your'e expecting them to want brood though. In my hives, I'm using the 1.375" wide bars for honey storage combs, although I've heard of using 1.5" thick bars there.

    Burr/Brace comb happens in just about any kind of hive...not sure there's much to do about that, save for being careful to cut it before it rips a comb off your bar(s)

    One thing I notice you haven't complained about yet, but that I've seen quite a bit, is that the bees will often "curve" the ends of the combs a bit towards the front or back of the hive. Mine usually don't do it quite enough to connect to more than, say, 1/8" or so of the next bar, but it defo. makes the bars have a definitive "front" and "back" if you don't adjust it back to straight(ish)

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: How would you all respond to this "constructive criticism" of the top bar hive?

    clumsy red bear-
    When I'm hiving swarms that are accessible, I spritz the whole mass of them pretty well with the syrup, then knock 'em down into the box & close it up, save for the entrance. With the syrup making their wings heavy & sticky, and the LGO in it making them hungry/distracted, the vast majority of them just plunk down into the bottom of the box, then start fanning Nasonov to attract the "stragglers" into their new "home." If you can, leave the box like that until dark & almost every single bee will be inside; alternately, I've closed the box up & taken it away with me as soon as I was 100% sure the queen was inside, then come back after dark and every single bee from the swarm will be clustered on whatever spot has the strongest remaining queen pheromone smell...nice & easy to spritz them down & plunk them into another box, to be rejoined with the rest of their mates back @ your bee yard

  4. #44
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Moyock, NC, USA
    Posts
    207

    Default Re: How would you all respond to this "constructive criticism" of the top bar hive?

    The reason that a TBH is superior is because of the adaptability. If you build a Lang hive it better be within 1/16" of correct measurements or the frames etc won't fit. A lang hive is more productive honey wise but the initial investment for all the equipment is not cheap.
    A TBH however is easily built from whatever scrap wood you have and dimensions are not as important.
    You built your hive... I built mine.. the Lang owners, probably not. They are probably jealous!!
    They will tell you BUY this from here and so on and so on...No thanks, I will make my own.
    Your hive is a little short, but you can control the swarm somewhat by cutting out brood every so often.

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    3,145

    Default Re: How would you all respond to this "constructive criticism" of the top bar hive?

    Rob, so far not enough curve to complain about. not nice and straight like a frame in a lang but not so bad I can't remove the comb....yet. I can see where they are headed that way though. Score one for me I guess. They seem to be straightening out the twisted comb now. they have chewed holes thorugh it like maybe they are trying to rebuild it.

    As for the dowels it was one suggestion I read and followed. Not all ideas are good ones. this is one I will be forgetting. I put dowels in only 10 frames so I don't have to go cut them out of everything. I did know enough to not go all out with anything I had not at least tried out. I wanted 1/8 inch dowel but could only find 3/16 I am not sure if the smaller dowel woudl have worked better. my intuition says no. They meet that obstical and want to make a turn.

    I agree that the bees attaching the wax would be stronger. but in this case there is only about a 1/4 inch strip of wax I applied . they attach the rest of the comb width themselves. I started with the widest bars recommended because I can always make them thinner. It does appear they are just a bit wide for these bees. I think that problem will correct itself as they get the comb drawn out a bit further. So far the 9 bars they are working on are hopefully going to be the brood nest. I will trim the rest of the bars to hep prevent this filling in.

    Probably worse than the burr comb is that they want to attach every comb to the side of the hive. that is easy to fix by just cutting it away. They are still building comb like crazy and there is capped brood all over the place. 21 days is a week from today so they will get there first shot of population growth. Although small this hive can use all the help it can get. I don't even ant to try and guess how many eggs the queen could be laying a day now. The comb is now large enough that all the bees can reach it to work on it so the building speed has increased quite a bit. THey have done all this without any sugar water also. I can't get them to take it.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: How would you all respond to this "constructive criticism" of the top bar hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    I wanted 1/8 inch dowel but could only find 3/16 I am not sure if the smaller dowel would have worked better. my intuition says no. They meet that obstacle and want to make a turn.
    One thing I just thought of, since you're concerned about comb breakage...I've used 1/2" or more of "guide strip" up to 1/8" thick, hanging down from my top bars, and the bees attached the center rib of their combs to the bottom edge, then attached cells directly to the face of the strip, almost like it was the center rib, above that. Maybe if you used 1" or even 2" tall, thin strips of wood for "comb guides," your bees may build cells on the faces of the strips as well, almost turning them into wooden "foundation" for the top couple inches of your combs.

    It does appear they are just a bit wide for these bees. I think that problem will correct itself as they get the comb drawn out a bit further. So far the 9 bars they are working on are hopefully going to be the brood nest. I will trim the rest of the bars to help prevent this filling in.
    On that one, I'd recommend moving these bars to the honey storage area eventually...in the brood nest, I doubt they'll ever draw them much deeper, as the brood only needs a growing chamber of a certain length...which may lead to honey storage up top (not a bad thing), followed by some crazy, undulating comb down low (could be bad)...just my opinion/guess on that last part, tho.

    Probably worse than the burr comb is that they want to attach every comb to the side of the hive. that is easy to fix by just cutting it away.
    <snip>
    They have done all this without any sugar water also. I can't get them to take it.
    The side attachments, unfortunately, appear to be unavoidable, no matter the hive design you use...at least I haven't found any way to curb it yet.
    As far as the syrup goes, mine ignored even scented syrup when a really strong flow was going on...so I'd take that as good news that your bees are collecting good, nutritious nectar to feed their young, instead of needing to settle for syrup



    Good Luck & Happy Bees,
    Rob

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