An old timer in my area once told me that the bees in my TBH would fail because bees don't move horizontally. I just ignored him and went on my way. my TBH is in it's second year and each year it attempted to swarm. I also noticed that the bees really don't build well away from the entrance (mine being on the far end). So my new theory is that the bees won't build away from the entrance well. This spring I shifted the combs over and they filled that space relatively quickly.
I also noticed between my split from this year and when I started my first TBH from a nuc last year that they have a hard time building comb past a nectar filled comb. Last year they didn't start building more comb for some time because the last comb was filled with nectar/pollen. Once I added a bar between the 4th and 5th bar they immediately got to work. The same thing is happening with a split I made back in May.
So what I propose we give thought to is adding space at the front of the hive (at least for those of us who run entrances on the far end), and doing it routinely. The bees will build comb out towards the entrance and extend their brood nest as they need. I plan on doing this much more aggressively than I did this year. This year I added like 4 empty bars at the from. I am considering doubling that. I do not think that the extra space will really effect the bees poorly, but rather I suspect that it will help to prevent swarming. It will allow them to better control the expansion of their brood nest on their time. I think add less pressure on them compared to adding empty bars in the middle of the brood nest, not that it's a bad option.
What are your thoughts?