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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    boxford, mass.
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    I think its probably the best thing to use local bee as well. When I start the topbar it will most likely be a swarm from one of our survivor hives here. I like the popsicle sticks, just didn't know about glue in the hive, I know beekeepers do it all the time though. Have any of you ever cut a grove and filled in with melted wax? I heard from somewhere it doesn't stick to the wood as well as when the bees do it and you have a higher chance of having collapsed comb.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,903

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    > I heard from somewhere it doesn't stick to the wood as well as when the bees do it and you have a higher chance of having collapsed comb.

    Perhaps you read it here:
    Question: What's the best comb guide?
    Answer: Except for the wax filled groove, there's nothing wrong with any kind of commonly used guide from a strip of foundation waxed in a groove to a triangular guide, but there are advantages and disadvantages. In my opinion the one with the most advantages and least disadvantages is the triangular wooden guide. The bees follow it the most reliably and attach it the most solidly. I like a wax starter strip the least as it's fragile and hot weather can cause them to fall off. I think the least reliable would be dribbling a bead across a plain bar. This is at best a slight suggestion and as a guide it is often a complete failure.
    Question: Do I have to put wax on the wooden guide?
    Answer: No. I not only don't put beeswax on the wood comb guides, I don't recommend it. The wax you put on the guide will not be attached as well as what the bees will attach the comb. So it actually weakens the connection to dip the edge of the guide in beeswax. In my experience, the bees will not follow the guide any better or worse with or without the wax.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm
    ultracrepidarian >> noting or pertaining to a person who criticizes, judges, or gives advice outside of his expertise

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Beverly, MA
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    It is true, the bees do a better job sticking wax to wood than we do. Not much glue is needed. The groves on the bars are narrow and only big enough to slip the popsicle sticks inside. About 1/3 of the popsicle stick is underneath the groove. In this design, the glue does not come in contact with the bees, since it is inside the top bar groove. I have also seen people make a slanted V edge bottom to their top bars, and you could try that too.
    http://www.beverlybees.com/
    Backyard Beekeeping for the love of bees and honey!

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Beverly, MA
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    Also you don't need a comb guide on all your bars. Once the bees draw a few bars correctly you can then put a regular flat bar between two bars with good straight drawn comb and the bees will draw it out fine.
    http://www.beverlybees.com/
    Backyard Beekeeping for the love of bees and honey!

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,827

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    The attachment seems stronger with a comb guide.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    boxford, mass.
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    Thanks everyone, its been helpful. I will try a topbar, and report later.

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Leominster, MA USA
    Posts
    169

    Default Re: TBH keeps in nh or ma?

    We're building three top bar hives this year using Les Crowder's plans. He spoke last year at both the Arizona Organic Beekeepers meeting and the Leominster treatment-free conference and was very inspiring. We'll be documenting the project, including installing the bees and the hives will come to the Leominster conference this July.

    We've used foundationless Langstroth's for many years so we're used to the comb but have never had an on-going horizontal hive. Les' bees live through pretty cold winters - I'm curious to see what we can do here in north central Massachusetts by following his plans and management strategies.

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