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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Chicagoland, IL, USA
    Posts
    71

    Default TBH structuring of combs - girls started on bar 4? Should I move?

    This is one addicting hobby! What fun this has become to see what's new in the hive, what color pollen is coming in, how much new comb is drawn, etc., etc.! Our KTBH has observation windows, so I can 'peek' without disturbing the girls. Although I swear they 'see' me, as a whole bunch of guard bees come to the windows to peer OUT, as if to say, "hey, this wasn't here before!".

    Our new packages are doing very well - now about 3wks into their hives.

    Hive 1 started building RIGHT on the front end board (not the bar), so we've fixed that by adding a blank bar between the front of the hive and where they were. They adjusted and started comb on the bars. They currently have 6 good sized bars started. Had 10 bars to start and tonight I added another blank to the back (so they have 5 empty bars)

    Hive 2 started building on bar #5 of 10. So I've been adding bars to the back of the hive to give them more space. They're now at 10 strong started bars. They have 5 empty bars, 4 in front, 1 in back.

    My question is should I move the empty bars in Hive 2 (#1-4) to the back and move their brood towards the front? Or will they build those out later?

    I don't wish to mess with nature - especially as I'm a new beek and the learning curve is still so steep!

    Thank you for your help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    1,028

    Default Re: TBH structuring of combs - girls started on bar 4? Should I move?

    I need to follow this thread I stated a ktbh 9 days ago with the follower board in position 13 they started on bar 12 lol have moved up to about bar 5

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: TBH structuring of combs - girls started on bar 4? Should I move?

    I don't think it'll hurt much if you move the 4 empty bars to the back, but I know for sure that it won't hurt if you leave 'em...the bees will eventually draw out all but *maybe* bar #1; more often, in my KTBH hives at least, bar #1 will have 2, or even 3-4 small narrow, or crooked combs on it, sometimes bridging to bar 2; then they'll give me good comb all the way to the 2nd to last bar in the back, and that last bar in the back they very frequently like leaving empty; even after every other bar in the hive is drawn, so I either put capped honey back there, or just leave that one empty & work the rest of the hive....they'll use it if they decide it'll be useful lol

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: TBH structuring of combs - girls started on bar 4? Should I move?

    I just started beekeeping last year so I can't really advise you but I can share what I have observed so far.

    My first hive had an entrance at the bottom a few inches from the end, and when I started it I had the solid follower to the side of that. When I was trying to get them to expand the hive to the end I moved that follower over a bar or two and shifted all the bars. The bees let all the brood hatch out of that comb and left it empty in favor of building the other way and keeping the start of their brood nest at the opening. I finally put two new entrance holes at the top of the side near the end and moved the bars down to that and then we were all happy. The second hive camped out at the entrance too, so when I repopulated that hive with a new package of bees this year I was surprised when they started in the middle of the combs I had in there for them and not near the entrance. They initially had two bars with nectar near the entrance and three on the side near the follower, brood in between. They have since expanded the brood nest to the entrance and have the nectar near the follower. They obviously had a plan and worked it out. Now I am just feeding a new bar in to the brood nest every few days in the hope to get them big enough to split but also keep them from swarming.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Spicewood, Texas, USA
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: TBH structuring of combs - girls started on bar 4? Should I move?

    I have TBHs also, and the only manipulation I do is to make sure I move the false back enough to stay ahead of their comb-building. Meaning, I never leave vast areas of empty space in the hive, as it strikes me as much more difficult to cool or heat.

    One of my TBH hives is a little over a year old, and they've now built out every bar with comb. Like ROBHERC says, they'll use them for one thing or another.

    Sondra

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Chicagoland, IL, USA
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: TBH structuring of combs - girls started on bar 4? Should I move?

    Thank you for some insight. I suspected that the bees would do what the bees want to do with those 4 empty bars in the front. But as they're rapidly building now during our springtime flourish, I'd rather give them the prime real estate in the hive to build upon while there's food around!

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