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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Oro Valley, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    2

    Default New Beekeeper First TBH Management Questions

    Started with a nuc 2 and 1/2 weeks ago. I am in Southern Arizona with great nectar flow. Opened the hive this morning for 1st inspection. The bees had drawn full size comb on all the 9 initial bars. From the back of the hive the comb progressed from capped honey to capped brood toward the front. QUESTION: Where do you put new top bars to expand the hive?
    Counting from the front of the hive with the first top bar being #1, I put a new top bar at position 6, position 8 , position 11 and position 13 - just before the follower board. This makes a total of 13 bars in this hive. The hive appears healthy and thriving but I am feeling very unsure about my placement of these new bars.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Horseshoe Bend, arkansas
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: New Beekeeper First TBH Management Questions

    I hope that there are lots of comments as I would like to know also.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Milw, WI
    Posts
    126

    Default Re: New Beekeeper First TBH Management Questions

    from what I've been told you can add new bars right at the end of the brood in between brood and honey you should certainly have extra bars between the end of the honey and your follower board.

    but as long as they're building straight comb and bringing honey, you are doing awesome!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Carthage ,TN, USA
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: New Beekeeper First TBH Management Questions

    Add new bars in front of the follower. A couple or so at a time they will do the rest. Just remember not to give them too much room or you could demoralize them and they will slow down. So a couple of bars at a time and you will be amazed at how fast they can build, especially when the brood starts hatching. I have hives that can build a full comb in a day or so. To keep the combs straight in a new hive you can also place a straight comb in the back and place the empty bars spread out in the brood and honey chamber. Just remember to keep the brood chamber with at least one empty bar while they are drawing out comb really fast, especially if you start to see vast amount of honey in the brood chamber they could get honey bound and swarm but not likely the first year. Hope this clarifies a few things just in case you had a few doubts. Think like a bee and you'll have this hive whipped in no time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Clover, WV
    Posts
    152

    Default Re: New Beekeeper First TBH Management Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by chuparosaa View Post
    Started with a nuc 2 and 1/2 weeks ago. I am in Southern Arizona with great nectar flow. Opened the hive this morning for 1st inspection. The bees had drawn full size comb on all the 9 initial bars. From the back of the hive the comb progressed from capped honey to capped brood toward the front. QUESTION: Where do you put new top bars to expand the hive?
    Counting from the front of the hive with the first top bar being #1, I put a new top bar at position 6, position 8 , position 11 and position 13 - just before the follower board. This makes a total of 13 bars in this hive. The hive appears healthy and thriving but I am feeling very unsure about my placement of these new bars.
    Chup,

    You and I are in basically the same boat, although mine was package installation, rather than a nuc. Is your entrance where your #1 bar is? And, did they start at the follower and work towards the entrance (that is how mine are building)?

    Would it be better to add the #6 and #8 bars in closer to the entrance, to make sure they are in an all brood area? Maybe #2 and #4 instead. I am concerned about how many and where to add bars. My bees are drawing out bars extremely quickly, and I am considering adding 5 or 6 bars this week.

    Fantastic post.

    Thanks,
    John
    John Sampson-Tucker County, WV
    14 hives - All cutouts and swarms

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Oro Valley, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: New Beekeeper First TBH Management Questions

    Thanks for all the replies. I bought a very good book specifically about top bar hives that explains the bar management for different situations and different times of year, it has been very helpful. "Top-Bar Beekeeping" by Les Crowder and Heather Harrell.

    I will check the bees again this coming weekend and post on what they did with what I gave them. My entrance is by my #1 bar.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Carthage ,TN, USA
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: New Beekeeper First TBH Management Questions

    I usually leave my 1st bar alone but it doesn't really matter. The main thing to remember is keepem' busy. Now that you are seeing how fast they can build comb you will know when to put bars in. When you notice them putting a lot of nectar in the front 10 bars or so they are probably, there will be some but it is usually around the top of the comb near the bar and there could be some pollen that is what they feed the brood. You can add empty bars just about anywhere front, back, middle doesn't seem to matter in mine. Just place the bars between full drawn combs and you will do fine. They will have your hive full in no time then you will be ready to learn how to do splits for more hives.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: New Beekeeper First TBH Management Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by EASYBEES View Post
    Just remember not to give them too much room or you could demoralize them and they will slow down.
    Really? They build faster with less room?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Josephine County,Oregon,USA
    Posts
    134

    Default Re: New Beekeeper First TBH Management Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by TheGeneralsBees View Post
    Really? They build faster with less room?
    I was interested by Easybees comment too. I always read that less room might cause new packages to swarm, even in their the first year. I never heard of "demoralizing" with hive space (just not to open it up too big with cold weather and not much heat retaining comb built yet). What reference (book or teacher) is that from?

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