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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Moyock, NC, USA
    Posts
    207

    Default 100% honey required?? HELP

    I have a TBH and they are doing well. I inspected yesterday and found quite a bit of honey spread over many bars. There were however eggs and brood here and there and everywhere.

    QUESTION # 1 --- will moving these combs to the end of the hive and installing a Queen excluder result in the comb being full of honey with nothing else?

    Question # 2 ---- what size holes should I drill for italian bees queen excluder?

    Any knowledge will be appreciated!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,311

    Default Re: 100% honey required?? HELP

    #1: If your hive is long enough/large enough, yes...they'll only use so much space for brood nest, everything past that (eventually) gets used for honey storage. However, the brood nest in a hive with no queen excluder naturally expands and contracts throughout the season, so be aware that the bees aren't on our schedule or "plan" and just be patient...give them plenty of room for their brood, and eventually they'll leave you a few combs of just honey

    #2: I don't really think an excluder is very feasible in a horizontal TBH...maybe for a Warre, but a KTBH or TTBH would be VERY hard to install an effective excluder in. Once you have a couple combs of capped honey, you can use them to discourage the queen from laying eggs further back, but if she needs to expand the brood nest, this will either not stop her, or likely cause swarm preparations to be started IMHO.


    Hope that helps,
    Rob

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Moyock, NC, USA
    Posts
    207

    Default Re: 100% honey required?? HELP

    Rob,
    any directions for moving bars back and forth? could I move a juicy bar to the end and influence anything?
    Im hungry

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Birmingham, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: 100% honey required?? HELP

    With no actual experience with a top bar hive, I'll take a stab at this.

    If a TBH has brood in the comb of every bar, it probably does not have enough surplus honey storage at the moment to be ready for harvest. I'd want until later in the year (probably fall), to determine if my hive has enough honey to survive the winter before harvesting any of it.

    If I wanted a queen excluder, I would probably check the dimensions of a Langstroth queen excluder and see if it were possible to cut one of those down to size to fit in my hive like a floower board. If that didn't work, I'd cut one down to fit into a window cut into a follower board.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,311

    Default Re: 100% honey required?? HELP

    Keefis, make sure all your combs are drawn nice & straight by inserting empty bars between your straightest drawn combs. As you do this, you'll naturally be pushing the crooked bars towards the ends of the hive, but you may also want to take the front crooked bars and relocate to the back of the hive. If you've already done this, and every bar in your hive is drawn out, and yet the queen is still laying in every comb, then the bees feel that they don't have enough space to raise the amount of brood they want, so you're either going to have to give them a larger hive (my personal recommendation/preference), or wait until they reduce the brood area on their own (during the summer daerth, or fall cut-down) and harvest the combs towards the back that they're no longer using for brood.

    Aside from that, if you're really that impatient to taste some of the fruits of your bees' efforts, you could find a comb with very little brood on it, then do a "cut-out" on that comb, cut the brood off the bottom & hang on a new bar, then harvest the honey from the top part (I would NOT recommend doing this to more than one comb though...you defo don't want to risk over-harvesting and starving your bees during the winter).

    That's about all I have the knowledge (from experience or research) to recommend, but if anyone else has a method I haven't covered, that works, feel free to chime in as well


    Good luck & happy bees!
    Rob


    P.S. If you have NOT yet gotten all bars drawn, you could always move a bar or two with little brood towards the back of the hive (with at least 2 empty bars ahead of them) in hopes that the bees will use it for honey storage only once that brood emerges
    Last edited by robherc; 05-21-2012 at 03:48 PM. Reason: forgot an important point

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