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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Oceanside, New York
    Posts
    81

    Default 2 Questions, When to add a top bar, too much brace comb

    Hi all,

    Hope someone can help a new beek. Started my tbh in may with five top bars, bees, and a queen. My bees are now working on their 12th bar, and I have just added two empty bars in between two brood bars last week, able to get to them with a minimal amount of disturbance.
    I am wondering if I am disturbing my bees too much, every time I go to manipulate the bars by "tearing down" all of there brace comb, they simply manage to rebuild the brace comb in a matter of days, yet in order to add new bars by the brood area, I need to destroy all of their hard work by ripping out the brace comb.

    My conundrum is that I would like to build as strong and as large a hive as possible, and do so by adding more empty brood combs. they have already built on the two empty bars I added last week and they should be fully built out by the end of this week (today is Monday).

    Am I doing the right thing by continuing to cut out all of the brace comb from the start of my honey bars all the way to the front of the brood comb (or end of the brood comb)? Now having fourteen bars this is a lot of cutting of brace comb, roughly7 or eight bars of cutting, on both sides. My bees are still very productive and have built full bars all the way to the end and to the bottom of each bar (17 inches wide and twelve inches down, and about five inches across at the bottom.

    Thanks so much for any and all comments, from new beeks and old. Comments from Michael Bush certainly accepted and appreciated.
    Larry in New York. Suburban clover heaven!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Moyock, NC, USA
    Posts
    207

    Default Re: 2 Questions, When to add a top bar, too much brace comb

    Larry,
    I drew out your dimensions and you are right at 60 degrees. As far as I know so is the bottom of a straight comb. Possibly they want to build another cell to keep pattern, but the wall is in the way, so they connect instead.
    My only idea to fix would be to put a 1/2" ledgerboard on each long side.(front and back) This will move the comb on the top bars in from each edge one or two cells, and maybe then when they build down the sides they would be far enough away from the wall not to connect. Make sense?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Oceanside, New York
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: 2 Questions, When to add a top bar, too much brace comb

    Quote Originally Posted by Keefis View Post
    Larry,
    I drew out your dimensions and you are right at 60 degrees. As far as I know so is the bottom of a straight comb. Possibly they want to build another cell to keep pattern, but the wall is in the way, so they connect instead.
    My only idea to fix would be to put a 1/2" ledgerboard on each long side.(front and back) This will move the comb on the top bars in from each edge one or two cells, and maybe then when they build down the sides they would be far enough away from the wall not to connect. Make sense?
    Thanks, and of course this would make sense, but..... Much too much work and certainly wouldn't be easy to manipulate with a full hive of bees. Not to mention I have a roof with a hinge, and then I would have to raise the roof and re-attach the hinge mechanism. Much too much work!!! Looks like I am dealing with each and every time I need to add a couple of more bars, I need to cut out all of the brace comb along every bar.

    Thanks, Larry

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Moyock, NC, USA
    Posts
    207

    Default Re: 2 Questions, When to add a top bar, too much brace comb

    I see your problem. To modify the idea you could install this ledgerboard in very small pieces.(about two or three bars wide)
    My first hive has a big ledgerboard about 1" Never any bracing, but when you go to remove bars, you have to "turn " the bars a little before lifting up. Kind of a hassle. And it does waste a little space.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Moyock, NC, USA
    Posts
    207

    Default Re: 2 Questions, When to add a top bar, too much brace comb

    Sorry about the double post but the ledger board go inside the hive(inside wall) an a manner that they do not move the bar up but support it where it sits now. The ledgerboard only prevents the first cell of the comb from being built too close to the edge it is not for weight.

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