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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Worcester, MA, USA
    Posts
    61

    Default I don't think I did too terribly badly... did I? first installs today, direct release

    Hi all,

    So I got my first two packages today and installed them in the late morning. Packages were (3) lbs each. That's a lot of bees.

    Generally it went well - sort of. Didn't even get stung!

    First of all, these are 4 foot long tbh's. Each has (3) 3/4" holes at one end as entrance/exit. No followers - I figure if Mr Bush can't be bothered neither should I.

    I installed the packages at the back end of the hive. On the first I may have made a big mistake in how I direct released the queen. I tried to put her in the hive before the rest of the bees were shaken in. I think she might have flown off when I popped the screen open - I'm not sure, it happened kind of fast... I then dumped in the rest of the bees, closed up the bars and moved on to the second hive. On the second hive I decided to hold the queen cage to the side, dumped in the bees at the back of the hive and then direct released the queen to the front of the hive. Buttoned everything up and then just watched.

    I got to see a worker doing a dance on the front of the hive (the one where I was afraid the queen took off). I don't know if there's an understanding of what the different dances are, but this was pretty cool to watch. She would circle around then stop and shake her rear end while a bunch of others would arrange themselves around her. They did this over and over. Pretty neat to see.

    Well, as luck would have it the bee supply place I got my bees from didn't have an y feeders so I had to improvise. I took some tupperware containers and used screen (from the bee cages) stapled to some pieces of wood to make a floating screen for the bees to land on. I filled them with 2:1 sugarater.

    I had to go back in after just 4 hours to put the feeders in. They weren't real happy about it, but I did get some interesting (at least to me) footage of what's happening in the hive.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/59191886@N04/6953838930/

    Here's a link with pics of the install and the hive: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjyyeJL7

    So, how'd I do? Did I totally blow it with the first queen? (btw, that's the hive in the video).

    Also, you can see a small piece of comb on one of the bars already - just to the side of the guide grooves. (At the front of the hives the bars have a bead of wax as a guide).


    533411_394041097283847_100000338791940_1288860_768 371699_n by MCG photo, on Flickr

    Matt

    Matt
    Last edited by Matt Gwinn; 04-21-2012 at 02:54 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Worcester, MA, USA
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: I don't think I did too terribly badly... did I? first installs today, direct rel

    Last edited by Matt Gwinn; 04-21-2012 at 02:59 PM. Reason: video finished uploading

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,191

    Default Re: I don't think I did too terribly badly... did I? first installs today, direct rel

    Its interesting that the bees didn't seem to be all that impressed with the waxed comb guide, as they are building off to the side of the guide.

    Hopefully the queen from package #1 will return, and things will go smoothly from there. Otherwise I'd consider giving #1 a bar with eggs from #2 (obviously you have to wait til they have some laid.)
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Quakertown, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: I don't think I did too terribly badly... did I? first installs today, direct rel

    Hi Matt, It sounds like you did okay. I have 2 suggestions. Suggest you put a strip of foundation in the slot cut in the center of the Top Bar for a guide. I use foundation as a guide and have NEVER had anything but straight drawn comb. I glue it in and it protudes about 1/2 inch from the slot. Some people use a popiscle stick, a paint stick or a cut thin slat of wood. I only release the queen after 3 days (if bees did not release her). 90% or better have the bees release the queen via workers. Hope this helps. I love my 6 Top Bar Hives and would never go back to Langs. Good luck with your hives.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,212

    Default Re: I don't think I did too terribly badly... did I? first installs today, direct rel

    The queen has no reason to stay in the hive if the bees aren't there. Hopefully she smelled the nasonov and returned.

    From the picture you have NO comb guides. You need something that protrudes at least 1/4" and makes an edge.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Worcester, MA, USA
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: I don't think I did too terribly badly... did I? first installs today, direct rel

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    The queen has no reason to stay in the hive if the bees aren't there. Hopefully she smelled the nasonov and returned.

    From the picture you have NO comb guides. You need something that protrudes at least 1/4" and makes an edge.
    what about the grooves? Are they not considered a guide?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,191

    Default Re: I don't think I did too terribly badly... did I? first installs today, direct rel

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Gwinn View Post
    what about the grooves? Are they not considered a guide?
    Not by M. Bush. Read the section about bars and guides (halfway down the page):
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Arlee MT USA
    Posts
    548

    Default Re: I don't think I did too terribly badly... did I? first installs today, direct rel

    It seems to me that grooves would be the opposite of a guide. They need something that sticks down, not a inverted trough. I think the bees would see a top bar with a groove as two guides separated by a thin slit and would choose to center the comb on one side or the other of the groove. From the bees point of view I don't see how the groove would seem any different than the cracks between the bars or in other words, the last place they would want to start a comb.

    Or at least thats what seems logical to me, I have no actual experience to back it up.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,212

    Default Re: I don't think I did too terribly badly... did I? first installs today, direct rel

    >what about the grooves? Are they not considered a guide?

    Grooves, as Aerindel said, are the OPPOSITE of a guide. A groove filled with wax so it beads up is BARELY a guide and not very reliable. It is more of a slight suggestion...

    A guide needs to protrude.
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfoundat....htm#combguide
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm#guide

    Here are mine:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/images/KTBHOpen.jpg
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Chickamauga, Walker County, Georgia
    Posts
    392

    Default Re: I don't think I did too terribly badly... did I? first installs today, direct rel

    I put popsicle sticks in the saw-kerf with wood glue and filled the rest of the slot at either end more or less with wood glue. Height of the piece is about half the stick's width or the width of a coffee stirring-stick at Starbuck's. Too early to tell what they actually think; idea from Sam Comfort.

    I also cut a very slight horizontal saw-kerf on one end where the bars naturally sit on the edge-boards, creating a very slight "indent" into which the bars naturally settle, because of course the side boards are "on edge." (It seemed best, and sufficient, to do this on just one end.) Until such time as the bees glue them down, this helps them to stay centered and straight, and to move around a bit less when replacing or removing the cover.

    (New-bee here.)

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