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  1. #21

    Default Re: Cross comb issues

    I got a very nice smoker as a present but am not using it and I never will because thanks to Phil Chandler I found that a plastic spray bottle with plain water works like a charm bees dont like to be outside if its rainy so when i spray them they all move into the hive
    In nature smoke is connected with fire so logic sais they do get alarmed. Rain drops mean no panic but simply go under the roof
    I too have problems with comb curving at the ends. I try to cut 2 inch into the comb where attached and simply push it back inline with the top bar hive. So far they still go back to curving it. Im sure there is a reason to this. Nature does not tend to be linear but curved. Im thinking whether streight top bars are the perfect solution?

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Rogersville, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: Cross comb issues

    Rtone,

    I live near you in Rogersville. I would love to come and see a real TBH in action sometime!!! My mentor and I are experimenting with top bars, but in a Langstroth box... Haing good luck so far.

    Belle,

    What we are doing to keep them from drawing out cross comb is either taking a piece of 1 inch wax foundation and putting it in the top bar as a starter strip to help get them going in the right direction, or we will melt a bead of wax down the middle of the bar.

    Either one usually gets them started off right.

    Just a suggestion,
    Jeff - like me on facebook
    See my bees @ www.ozarkshoney.com

  3. #23
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Cross comb issues

    AkDan- As a first timer, I'm not even sure what it means to do a split or start some nucs. I just thought this would be simple, backyard beekeeping.... I've decided that the heatwave in Colorado has caused my bees to think it's August instead of June, so they have made more progress than a typical summer. I haven't confirmed this theory with anyone else in Colorado--so if you're ALSO in a heatwave and have an early full box, I'd love to hear from you!

  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Cross comb issues

    I like the idea of water, but I heard that's not good for the honey...? So unless I'm sure it's all capped, I could just make a giant mess...?

    I also agree with your theory. It seems like they are going to curve the comb naturally. I gave them a guide with a rub of wax on the point, but they are still jumping around. Oh well. It's an adventure and I really don't want to try to manipulate nature. That's why I'm doing top bar after all, so I think I'm just going to deal with their inconsistencies.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,557

    Default Re: Cross comb issues

    Phil knows a lot about bees, but what works for a master may not work for an apprentice. I've seen a video of Phil doing a chop and crop with no gloves, not even nitril, which to seems a bit masochistic (and he did get at least one sting). Yes, you have better dexterity with no gloves, but the nitril gloves don't seem to reduce mine dexterity, they just make my hands sweat like crazy.

    Smoke has been used on bees forever, probably because it works so well. Yes, squirt bottles are fairly new, but they have been available for a long time. I would advise using a little smoke and let them calm down and then move in, don't go crazy with it. Once you get used to your bees you will learn their moods and be able to judge it better for yourself. And you can always have a squirt bottle since they are cheap.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Branson, MO
    Posts
    576

    Default Re: Cross comb issues

    OHC you are welcome to come down just let me know, I had 4 hives after 2 cut outs just a couple of weeks ago but had to combine the cutouts and requeen they should be releasing her today or tomorrow.
    Just took some honey out of a swarm hive from this spring also, at this point all of my hives are building straight comb I have found that it just takes some up front observation and once they are going straight then tend to stay that way.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    North Pole, Alaska
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: Cross comb issues

    Belle,

    Let me start I'm a first year beek. I didnt know the goldenmeans had this issue till after I built to hives and hived my bees. Than again with our short fast summers and long winters...a golden mean may be the perfect size. I built the hives...but had to buy the bars, ran out of time before I had to pick up my bees. Been reading a ton, books, on here and surfing. (mike bush's page and fatbeemans stuff I seem to go to over and over again.... and I probably got none of it right so read with caution ).

    After reading about tbh's in general (again after I was hived already), it seems this is their shortcoming...dealing with the hive when you run out of room, preferablly before it gets to that point or they may swarm regardless. (and in my opinion dealing with feeders but thats another topic I'm working some kinks out of, again lack of room!!!) If you're not set up to go verticle you still have options. First I'd ask yourself whats the direction you'd want to go. If expanding is an option, than a split might be in order...basically starting a new hive with a part of your hive...either let one requeen itself (if you have time), or buy a queen and introduce it into a a hive. I feel tbh's are better suited to this after thinking about your question...moving the false back basically creates a full hive, into a nuc or mini hive.... essentially the same thing as a nuc with the option to expand.

    Next option is to create a nuc...a mini hive you are going to go into winter on...youtube Mike Palmer, its a long 2 part video but well worth the time! You have a couple options here. over winter the nuc as a backup incase your main hive(s) dont make it. Start a new hive come spring with an overwintered nuc....create more nuc's if they keep growing (again or they'll swarm), and/or sell them again come spring to new beeks or others who failed to overwinter. or use these nucs to raise queens. or if they are very successful a combination of them all???

    Your last option would be to keep them from growing without expanding...you've got to take some kind of action (atleast its what I'm grasping)....ie remove comb and add more room via adding new combless bars or they'll do it themselves and likely swarm. Grab a bar with no brood if you have no honey stores and save it. If they dont have room, they'll swarm.....this would add room and give them something to do, ie build comb and lay more eggs/pollen/honey. It also gives you spare combs in case you busted one up bad enough you couldnt repair it. If nothing else you could render the wax, or use it as a feeder comb (sugar misted with water replaced in the hive to overwinter on, learned that one yesteday talking about overwintering and thought it was pretty slick), either way keep it on reserve. Eventually they'll start backfilling with honey and you'll be removing a comb or possibly two full of honey....

    I only have 2 goldenmeans...my only and first hives. one is almost out of room also, though my winter is fast approaching already. I'm thinking of still robbing bars in the good hive with capped brood and moving it to my weak hive. I've got atleast 6 bars waiting to go in, and they have 0 fully drawn comb. They're coming around though so I think I'll be ok even if I dont transplant. I also thought about starting a nuc. In my situation it may not make it....either way if they dont, it will hopefully keep my hives from swarming and give me a headstart next year on a 3rd hive. I plan on stretching the mean plans out a bit for a bigger (longer) overall hive. So far I'm pleased with what I'm getting...though again I'm new, I dont know what the possibitlies are...good...bad.

    Thats my take on it after a bunch of reading and chatting with people from here, locally and reading what I can get my hands on between day jobs. I will say the window is worth the headache....I check on the gals every day, sometimes a few times through it. if I dont have windows...I'll need more hives to keep me preoccupied . Again I'm probabl off so take this with a grain of salt and do some more digging to confirm/dissprove my ramblings and idears.

    If I'm wrong please forgive me and dont be afraid to correct it....I'm learning also! Now if I could only figure out how to remember all this stuff I come acrossed lol......
    Last edited by AkDan; 06-26-2012 at 12:51 AM.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,557

    Default Re: Cross comb issues

    Quote Originally Posted by AkDan View Post
    ...youtube Mike Palmer, its a long 2 part video but well worth the time!
    AkDan, do you have a link to the video you mentioned? I would like to see it as well, but when I search youtube for Mike Palmer I get lots of hits, but only a couple on bees, and they don't seem to cover much on nucs, and they are short.

    I feel your pain on remembering stuff, I wish I would have gotten into this when I have more bee space in my brain!

  9. #29
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Cross comb issues

    Thanks Dan! I've decided that I want to keep this a small operation, so I'm not going to split or nuc or any of that stuff. I'm just going to pull out a couple of full honey combs, add a few empty bars, and let them continue to do there thing. Beekeeping is just one of many hobbies for me, so I've got to keep it simple!

  10. #30
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,557

    Default Re: Cross comb issues

    You may want to build out a nuc. It is cheap insurance, and if it builds up you can probably
    Sell it. Sounds like you have enough brood for a split.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    North Pole, Alaska
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: Cross comb issues

    Hey I am at work. Google mike Palmer nucs, look for sustainable apiary part 1 of 2. . It's a Vimeo vid not you tube sorry. I will post the link when I get home tonight if u don't find it. Haven't figured out how to post links on my phone.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,557

    Default Re: Cross comb issues

    No problem, I'll be able to find it now. Thanks!

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    North Pole, Alaska
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: Cross comb issues

    in case anyone wants to watch it......here it is. (finally got a few minutes on a real computer lol!).

    http://vimeo.com/23178333

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