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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Bronson, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    27

    Default How tight can brood bee?

    I trimmed some plastic small cell comb from 13/8" to 11/8". Will this work in the brood nest? Could I mix in some 11/2" or 11/4" top bars if I'm too tight? Could I go even smaller---say 1"? If small cell gives me smaller bees and a tight cluster overwinters better should we try to tighten up the spacing? Thanks, Mark

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,553

    Default Re: How tight can brood bee?

    I have measured natural brood comb as small as 30mm (1 1/8"). But typically it is 32mm (1 1/4"). Yes, they can handle 1 1/8". That is at the lower limit. 35mm (1 3/8") is at the upper limit of brood comb. 32mm (1 1/4") is in the middle.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/images/BroodNestInFeeder.JPG
    http://www.bushfarms.com/images/CombSpacingWhole.JPG
    http://www.bushfarms.com/images/CombSpacing30.JPG
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Bronson, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: How tight can brood bee?

    Thanks Michael---one more question. I bought the Mann Lake small cell to put in new horizontal top bar hives but since they are going to be used for the brood area and the rest will be natural comb built on top bars they won't be able to get on top. Will the fact that they will only be able to move from comb to comb on the bottom bother them? I can cut some holes in the plastic to get them more room to move around but I know they'll fill them in with natural comb early on. It's all top bar so I can mix and match with natural comb if it won't just confuse them. I don't know how all this will work out but I'm sure going to have fun with it. Thoughts? Thanks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,553

    Default Re: How tight can brood bee?

    >Will the fact that they will only be able to move from comb to comb on the bottom bother them?

    It's what they do in a typical top bar hive.

    > I can cut some holes in the plastic to get them more room to move around but I know they'll fill them in with natural comb early on.

    I wouldn't worry about it.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Bronson, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: How tight can brood bee?

    Thanks Michael, I tend to overthink things. I'll let them bee.

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