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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Amarillo, TX
    Posts
    38

    Default Comb Question from NewBee

    Based on what we researched, we built out TBH with 1.25 bars for brood comb placed toward the entrance and 1.50 bars for honey comb placed further away. My 1 month old package bees are building straight comb along the 1/8" wax coated, wood strips we placed in the center of the bars. I have placed empty bars between building comb on three occasions. Maybe I have not examined closely enough not wanting to disturb their work but I cannot distinguish what is what. Is the different bar width even relevant? Will they build what they want where they want?
    A local Langstrom beekeeper told me that they build brood in the middle surrounded by pollen and then honey on the same comb and at some point start storing only honey. Any experienced TBH input?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Buttonwillow, CA USA
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Comb Question from NewBee

    On my TBs I use all 1.5" bars. The point of TBs is to keep things simple and cheap!

    3 years on one hive and haven't had any comb problems.

    I do prefer the Langs overall for ease of maintenance and manipulation.

    The TBs are a fun experiment.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Amarillo, TX
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: Comb Question from NewBee

    Quote Originally Posted by mjtracy View Post
    On my TBs I use all 1.5" bars. The point of TBs is to keep things simple and cheap!

    3 years on one hive and haven't had any comb problems.

    I do prefer the Langs overall for ease of maintenance and manipulation.

    The TBs are a fun experiment.
    Thanks for the reply.
    I am in West Texas and this is an experiment..lots of wind and not sure about the forage around so hated to go in with big $$$ to find an impossible situation. Still feeding cane sugar water but intend to back off and let the girls spread out some.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Buttonwillow, CA USA
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Comb Question from NewBee

    If there is nectar available, the bees will ignore the syrup. Feed them until they don't take anymore, especially if they are still building out comb. They won't become dependant on syrup.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Butte, Montana
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: Comb Question from NewBee

    Interesting, I do like the spacers so I can remove a 14" spacer and look into the hive without removing the bars, but I like the simplicity of all one size, although my study say 1-58ths for honey comb, but you say 1.5 works. I think next hive I will try 1.5" what length/width hive are you running?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Amarillo, TX
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: Comb Question from NewBee

    Quote Originally Posted by brianbonner View Post
    Interesting, I do like the spacers so I can remove a 14" spacer and look into the hive without removing the bars, but I like the simplicity of all one size, although my study say 1-58ths for honey comb, but you say 1.5 works. I think next hive I will try 1.5" what length/width hive are you running?
    36"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Buttonwillow, CA USA
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Comb Question from NewBee

    My hives are 40"x 16". 25 bars. My 3 yr old hive is drawn out 22 bars.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,417

    Default Re: Comb Question from NewBee

    I used to run all 1 1/2" and they cheated every bar less in the brood area until they were in between two bars instead of on the bar. Once I realized their brood was 1 1/4" I decided not to fight them. If you put a bar of any width from 1 1/2" to 1 1/4" in between two drawn brood combs they will simply draw a perfect comb down the middle. It's when they are building the NEXT bar out that they judge the distance and make it what they want. When they build honey they don't tend to be happy with 1 1/4" and tend to make it more like 1 1/2". As long as you can keep each comb on one bar you are doing fine.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,973

    Default Re: Comb Question from NewBee

    I've got tbh's in their third year. I use 1.25" for brood and 1.5" for honey. You mix and match to some extent as you adjust for variations, but once they get to storing, those honeycombs can get so wide that you want even more than the 1.5" spacing. I find that the last couple of combs of the season get kind of crazy, so I usually cut them at season end with harvest.

    I also have some strips of wood I can use as spacers if necessary.

    Adam

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Marysville, WA
    Posts
    473

    Default Re: Comb Question from NewBee

    I've been pretty much following MB's advice with great success.

    Mike
    Beekeeper? Shoot, my bees keep me!
    100 hives in Western Wa State

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Buttonwillow, CA USA
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Comb Question from NewBee

    Here's pictures of my 3 year hive.IMAG0189.jpgIMAG0192.jpg

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Chickamauga, Walker County, Georgia
    Posts
    357

    Default Re: Comb Question from NewBee

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    It's when they are building the NEXT bar out that they judge the distance and make it what they want.
    I too am wondering (and am yet to see) what effect "sticking a blank bar into the gap" may have.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Katy, TX USA
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Comb Question from NewBee

    I just rode through west Texas on the motorcycle this past Sunday 27-May and the flowers were blooming every where. I don't think the bees will have trouble finding forage.
    In my TBH, all of my top bars 1-3/8 inch wide. I had used Philip Chandler's design, with a length of 4 feet.
    I initially installed my package on 10-May. When I left for my trip on 18-May there was only one comb built out and starting on a second. When I arrived back home and did an inspection 8 bars were fully built out with comb and the 9th was partly built. I moved the follower board to add an additional 5 top bars for them to have access to.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Greenwood, Indiana
    Posts
    182

    Default Re: Comb Question from NewBee

    My hives are 46 1/2 inches long with 17 brood bars and 14 honey bars. I stain my 1 3/8 brood bars a dark color and put a white dot on the right side. The white dot helps me be sure that I replaced the bar back like it was before I took it out for inspection. My 1 1/2-inch honey bars are plain, unstained with a black dot on the right side. I installed two packages of bees and queens on April 17, and so far all of the combs in both hives are straight.

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