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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Tecumseh, MO, USA
    Posts
    2

    Default Hello from the Ozarks

    Hello, and if you're reading this, then thank you for taking the time to welcome me to this beekeeping community.

    Let me introduce myself:

    I am a new beekeeper; I live in an intentional community in southern Missouri in the Ozarks. We have 1,000 acres of beautiful untouched forested land with about 50 acres covered with organic vegetable and herbal gardens, as well as a moderate orchard of various fruit trees. We are pretty isolated... compared to a lot of places... from GMO farming and pesticides.
    This fact is probably the primary reason for me wanting to keep bees.

    I had a mentor-of-sorts in regards to keeping bees, though in retrospect I feel that I learned more about what not to do, rather than what to do. He is gone now, and I haven't lost my drive for this activity. I have mostly been learning by reading books... my favorite being The Barefoot Beekeeper by P.J. Chandler... and by using my intuition influenced by what I know.

    I currently have 2 hives going... one top-bar that I started last year, and one box hive that I started just this spring. Despite a warm winter with active bees and little foraging, I feel that both hives are healthy and doing well....

    ...Except for one thing, which is what incited me to seek out this forum.

    Just last week I checked on the top-bar. I wanted to look at how many brood combs they have right now, and perhaps give them another bar. I carefully cut and separated one of the brood combs apart so I could lift it and view it, but I didn't do a good enough job and the comb fell off of the bar. As it was brood I didn't want to remove it from the hive, so I put it in the bottom of the hive.
    Now I see that it was a mistake, for just a week later they have built a hideous mass of comb off of that one. It is overwhelming.

    As of this moment, I am not sure what I should do in this situation. I know I must remove the mass of comb from the bottom of the hive, but I don't know what I should do with the brood comb that is in there.

    Do you have any advice?
    If I am missing a key piece of information or detail just let me know.
    Remember, I am new at this.

    Much obliged,
    Amanda

    p.s.
    It might be relevant to also mention that the weather around here lately has been around 100 degrees Fahrenheit and very dry.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Scott, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    148

    Default Re: Hello from the Ozarks

    Welcome to the site. I am a new beekeeper of just 2 months, whis I could suggest something but have not worked with TBH yet. You might try posting it on the section of the fourm dedicated to TBH. Most of the time when you post something someone gets back in a timely manner, might have a couple of diffent opions.

    Good Luck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,801

    Default Re: Hello from the Ozarks

    Welcome Amanda! When a comb comes off you need to secure it back to the top bar with string, rubber bands, zip ties, chicken wire or anything the bees can get to the comb. They will remove string or rubber bands after it is secure.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Caldwell, Idaho, USA
    Posts
    48

    Default Re: Hello from the Ozarks

    Hi! Welcome Yeah, what ABee said. A huge storm blew my hive over and knocked ALL the comb down. I tied it up with fishing line, which worked sort of ok, kind of cut through but I finally got it to hold so they could fix it...next time one falls I will do some of the better ideas I have learned on this great site I am a new beek this year and I built a top bar too.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,715

    Default Re: Hello from the Ozarks

    Welcome to the site!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,839

    Default Re: Hello from the Ozarks

    When I first started my top bar the bees did not want to keep the comb along the bars. Some of them I had to cut of and reattach in the right direction. I just used hooks made from bailing wire and it held long enough for the bees to get it reattached. I was then able to pull the hooks back out. It worked well for all fo them but one and that one just kept wanting to fall off the hooks. Heavier pieces of comb will need another answer for being attached.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,033

    Default Re: Hello from the Ozarks

    Welcome.

    Yeah, never leave broken comb in a hive. That's one of the few things in beekeeping where doing nothing makes the situation worse.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Tecumseh, MO, USA
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Hello from the Ozarks

    Thank you everyone for your welcomes and advice.

    I checked the hive again this morning and did tie up one of them.
    I'm still quite overwhelmed with the mass of comb on the bottom. I think now that more of their comb is on the bottom than on the actual bars. I'm not sure if they just attached the bottom comb to the comb on the bars and when I pulled the bar up it came loose from the entire mass, or if me opening up the hive in such heat destabilized their hive temperature and made the combs fall off. The only thing I know for sure is that this is the biggest mistake I have made thus far. And this all happened in a week!

    I am afraid that to separate and reattach all of it would be quite a job for me, and extremely disturbing to them.

    What would be the consequences of letting them continue to build their comb on the bottom of the hive, rather than essentially manually reconstructing their comb?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,016

    Thumbs Up Re: Hello from the Ozarks

    An ounce of prevention now will be easier than a pound of cure later. Just do what you have to do, for the good of the many in your hive. The down side of not cleaning things out is that you can lose your ability to move and inspect the combs. You will need to inspect and move the combs for a healthy hive.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,033

    Default Re: Hello from the Ozarks

    You'd be better served scooping it all out and chucking it than leaving it in. Let them rebuild right or your problems will only get worse. At this point, it may not even be worth saving.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

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