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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Longmont, CO
    Posts
    11

    Default No Space left in TBH - What to do?

    Hi,
    This is my first year as a beek. End of July I harvested two combs of honey. A couple days ago I checked in the hive to see if they had rebuilt the combs. They had and were full of capped honey. They have been attaching comb everywhere in the hive, including the sides and bottom. My concern is that they started to attach to the follower board I keep at the back of the hive and once they do this I won't be able to access the hive anymore without breaking the comb. I want to leave them the honey for the winter so am reluctant to harvest any more, but I also don't want them to continue attaching comb to the back board. What to do??

    Thanks for any and all advice!
    Jane

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,140

    Default Re: No Space left in TBH - What to do?

    Jane, doing nothing is an option. At this time of year bees are setting up for winter, it may be better to let them alone until spring. You can always take honey in the spring if you want to. I would not worry about not being able to get in there now as you shouldn't need to.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada BC Delta
    Posts
    393

    Default Re: No Space left in TBH - What to do?

    As long as you can get a long knife between the follower and last comb you should be able to cut the attachments to the follower. You could also use what is called a false follower where there is a bee space around the wall and floor. This will allow you to reach past the follower to cut any attachments on the side walls. You can remove the false follower and last comb as a unit. Leave the two together as part of managing your hive. With this method you would need to use a spacer between the follower and back wall that can be removed so you have working room when the hive is full. No more than a 1/2" or they may build comb in that space.
    It's always a good idea to make sure you have some working room to get the first comb out of the hive.
    Last edited by Delta Bay; 09-22-2012 at 11:44 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Longmont, CO
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: No Space left in TBH - What to do?

    Hi Delta Bay,

    I do have a false follower at the very back (which is what the bees are starting to attach to), but unfortunately I did not leave a spacer after the follower board to get in there to cut the sides of the comb. It is tight to the back of the hive. any other ideas?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada BC Delta
    Posts
    393

    Default Re: No Space left in TBH - What to do?

    If you plan to winter as they are you will have to get in there early spring. You could still do this before winter on a cool to cold day when there are few bees in the back end of the hive. More than likely one of the combs will be damaged so harvest this for yourself. Arrange the hive at this time so you will always have access into the hive when it is full. A full follower that allows wiggle room between it and the backend wall so it can be removed. You could use a combination of false and full follower if your hive is at an odd length that doesn't work out to allow a spacer between the false follower and back wall.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Moyock, NC, USA
    Posts
    207

    Default Re: No Space left in TBH - What to do?

    You could use a bond-breaker of sorts like some parchment paper or wax paper. Just put it on the follower board loosely, they will bond the comb to the paper not the follower board.

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