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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Catskills/Hudson Valley, NY, USA
    Posts
    22

    Default Hive collapsed, colony survived, cluster now on broken combs...

    Greetings,
    One of my TBHs suffered a collapse in a recent wind storm, but I managed to salvage the hive with occupants coming through relatively unscathed.

    Problem is... almost all the combs broke off up by the bars and are now wedged between the hive walls, though still remaining mostly upright. There are still honey stores in some of these combs and the girls remain clustered on them. Weather is still too chilly (low-mid 40s) for me to want to go in and mess around.

    Question is... will the queen start laying spring brood in these broken combs and what sort of problems will I face if she does?
    Would I be able to just leave the broken combs that way for the first brood cycle and try to get them out when they hatch, hoping that by then the girls have drawn new comb on the empty bars adjacent to this mess?!?

    Any and all thoughts appreciated.
    Best,
    J

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,046

    Default Re: Hive collapsed, colony survived, cluster now on broken combs...

    Any way you cut it you have a bit of a mess on your hands. If it were my colony I'd try to get in there and fix it (by tying the combs onto the bars) on the first warmish day. But you can sure leave it and try later; if the queen isn't injured/dead, they'll rear brood in what comb they can find that's close to oriented properly. But they'll begin to repair and brace the comb as soon as they can, which'll mean more trauma when you have to again bust 'em out to fix it (though a lot less than what they've already been through).

    Hazard of TBHs.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Catskills/Hudson Valley, NY, USA
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Hive collapsed, colony survived, cluster now on broken combs...

    Hi Ben,
    Yeah, definitely a mess. But the hazard wasn't as much the TBH itself as my own negligence.

    Well half the hive is currently vacant, so I'll shift the FB on the next warm day, give them one or two drawn combs from last season, feed them heavily (it was already a pretty light hive) and hopefully they'll get off these busted combs... just will be problematic if those busted combs get filled with brood!

    Ah well, will let you know how it goes.
    J

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,901

    Default Re: Hive collapsed, colony survived, cluster now on broken combs...

    ineclipse, I wouldn't do anything right now except maybe go in there on your next day in the 50's or better with sun, and put some small 3/8" x 3/4" wood spacer strips between any of the combs that are touching each other, trying to even up all the bee spaces between the combs so that they don't get attached to each other too badly, that will help later when you can really spend time straightening up that mess. John

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