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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    114

    Default First bar of comb

    When I started with my TBH last year it was suggested to put a divider board in next to the end wall of the hive (the entrance is on the side) before the first bar of comb that would be drawn. Supposedly, this was so that the bees couldn't connect that first bar of comb to the end of the hive. If they connected comb to the divider board they could both be lifted out together. In the end, they didn't attach any comb to the divider board but they did seal the edges of it with propolis so that it was glued to the side of the hive. So does it really matter to put the divider there at all? What do the rest of you do about the first bar of comb next the hive wall?
    "If I only knew then what I know now but keep forgetting"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,313

    Default Re: First bar of comb

    My first bar is my entrance. There is a gap in front of it... my last bar I try to keep them from ever using by harvesting before they get that far. Sometimes I misjudge and that one gets filled and attached. Often the bar will rip free from the comb since it's new comb and I can't cut the attachments since I can't reach or see them. I was going to harvest it anyway...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Hephzibah, GA
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: First bar of comb

    I use spacers at the end walls. If the bees build end to end, I do like Michael and harvest. I haven't had any attachments to the ends yet.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Isle of Wight, VA
    Posts
    394

    Default Re: First bar of comb

    I haven't had an attachment problem with the division boards, but I did notice that the bees couldn't get behind them to chase away the small hive beetles. I do like to use them so I have some space to pull out the first comb without breaking squishing bees, etc, but I'm not sure I like them full length. Right now my hive isn't all the way full, so I just put an empty bar at each end. I'm sure that will all change here this spring :-)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Hopkins, South Carolina
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: First bar of comb

    I start taking bars out of the honey end where I can move an empty with out any comb and work to the brood nest. If you have a long bread knife you can cut the comb off the walls to take it out

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Crivitz, WI
    Posts
    131

    Default Re: First bar of comb

    My first bar was 1 3/8 and it was up against the end of the hive, entrance on the side. When the bees built out that comb it was actually stunted on the wall side, but the other half was fully drawn out. The stunted side was never attached to the end wall at all.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: First bar of comb

    My bees have not attached that first comb to the end wall. It tends to be shallower cells and they like to fill it with bee bread. For the other side to close off the cavity I didn't like giving SHB a place to hide so I made my follower have beespace on the three sides in the hive. I have a full size one for dividing off a split but I only use it when I have bees on both sides.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    London, United Kingdom
    Posts
    184

    Default Re: First bar of comb

    If you have an end entrance I think it is a good idea to have a follower board between the end and the first topbar. If nothing else it means you can inspect that end of the hive without having to de-construct the entire brood nest from the other end. You can also generate a periscope type entrance to help with wasp defence and wind cooling.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    114

    Default Re: First bar of comb

    That's a good point. If I wanted to go into the hive from the entrance end having a follower board there would make it easier. I also like the idea of just putting a spacer there that will give the bees just enough room to get around the first bar of comb. Thanks everybody.
    "If I only knew then what I know now but keep forgetting"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,428

    Default Re: First bar of comb

    You could use a short follower, one that is not full size, but big enough to prevent them from building come at the end. This way it keeps them from attaching comb and you won't have to worry about it getting glued in. It is nice having a space at the front since you can get right to the brood nest without going into the stores which may collapse on a warm day.

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