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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    New Kent, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    34

    Default Starter Strip Question

    OK let's get this right out in the open, I'm new so don't El Cabong me for the question.

    I've read many posts that talk about dropped comb when the weather warms up. I've read that beekeepers use popsicle sticks, and paint sticks and foundation and strips of wax as starter strips to suggest to the bees where we would like them to build their comb. I wondered whether anyone had ever tried using #8 screen as a starter strip. My thinking is that the wax would surround the wire and stay up. Is that a dumb idea or could this be a viable option?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    hinesville ga usa
    Posts
    345

    Default Re: Starter Strip Question

    Try it and let us know, there are no dumb ideas in my book, it's called brain-storming and anyone that's came up with an idea that worked, had a lot that didn't. You got to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince. The idea sounds reasonable to me.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Bayboro,NC,USA
    Posts
    242

    Default Re: Starter Strip Question

    I find that most of the time the problem with dropping comb is when someone tilts the frame the wrong way during warm weather. You CAN use #8 screen, popsicle sticks, strips of foundation, the wedge from the wedge part of the frame, as you see you can use most anything you want. Heck I have even used card board in a pinch. I think, in my opinion, it is a matter of choice. But to really answer your question, I will give you the old advice try it, nothing ventured nothing gained, most inventions start with one different idea. And your idea seems plausable that it might keep the wax from collapsing in the hive without the help from some numbscull helper that doesn't know his head from a hole in the ground.......OH excuse me that is an episode in a chapter of my life of beekeeping.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,117

    Default Re: Starter Strip Question

    You are posting in the Top Bar forum, so I have to assume that you are using bars, not frames. Lang hive beekeepers with frames have minimal issues with heat and weak comb. Since top bars obviously have no side or bottom bars, TBH beekeepers must be more careful how they handle comb. If you want to examine the bottom of the comb, learn to lower one end of the bar and raise the other end. If you simply rotate the bar on the bar's axis, you may have comb break off the bar. If you flip bars end for end, there is much less likelihood of broken comb.

    My TBH bars use 45 degree angled wood pieces as starter strips, a la Michael Bush:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm#guide
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Hartford, CT
    Posts
    607

    Default Re: Starter Strip Question

    I use nothing and they're building fine on their own.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Greater Hartford area, CT
    Posts
    269

    Default Re: Starter Strip Question

    I've only had one experience with a dropped comb. My hives are about 11" deep and I have wedge-shaped bars that are 19" long. When I cut brace comb, I use a long, thin knife and cut from bottom to top. However, none of the precautions prevented a comb from falling. One day, I opened the hive and it was sitting on the hive floor. However, it didn't break near the top of the bar -- it broke more toward the middle, so I don't think any kind of reinforcement would've helped it.

    Still, I think you have an interesting idea for fortifying the comb near the top of the bar. Try it and let us know.

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