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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    SLC, UT
    Posts
    7

    Default When to expand TBH

    I installed this package of bees into a freshly built hive about 2 weeks ago. I gave them 8-10 "brood" sized bars. I have some spacers for the "honey" bars but have not used any yet. It appears as though they are pretty close to occupying all of the bars as you can see in the photo. When is it generally accepted to give them more bars? Is there a technique for adding additional bars? Like where in the list to insert them, how many at a time, etc? Thanks for your input


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Fort Gay, WV, USA
    Posts
    954

    Default Re: When to expand TBH

    Yes yes and yes. lol.. Anyway to actually answer your questions. You have a beautiful bunch of bees there. Normally speaking you want to give your girls plenty of room in a TBH. Never let the girls fill out all the way over to the follower board. When they get to within a Bar away from it, add more. Now for what bars you want to install.. The brood nest at this point is what you want them to work on. A good TBH should have a min of about 16 brood combs, then honey. To work on brood combs, slide all the bars over execpt the very first one that has drawn comb. Then place a fresh bar between two that already are in use and drawn out. This will entice them to draw straight comb. Remember to cut all brace comb loose first. Then for the other end of the cavity, add about 3 bars at a time as they will draw them out prettty quick when they need them as in right now.
    Thomas Bartram - Since 2013, 43 - 8 F langs, 22 Italian & 21 Russian

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Leon County, Florida, USA
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: When to expand TBH

    Quote Originally Posted by drlonzo View Post
    Never let the girls fill out all the way over to the follower board. When they get to within a Bar away from it, add more... Then for the other end of the cavity, add about 3 bars at a time as they will draw them out prettty quick when they need them as in right now.
    Clearly, no one told my bees the rules. I have a 24-bar tbh and from the start, the girls built the comb on the first bar next to the follower board, which is currently splitting the hive in half. They are building forward towards the entrance. I don't care and they don't seem to care, but they sure aren't being conventional!

    My plan is to keep bar 1 next to the follower otherwise follow the plan you have laid out. Add a brood bar between existing brood bars and make sure they have at least three bars in front of the entrance. All mine are 1 3/8" so I don't have to worry about which type of bar they are building on.

    The only problem I forsee is that the follower board has a feeder attached to the "back" side, but eventually, I will need that space to expand to the entire 24 bars (although, technically, you might say it's 25 bars as the follower is needed to fill up the space inside the hive). Without the jar, the feeder comes up about 3 " from the floor of the hive. I think it's removeable, so I may have to take care of that eventually.
    Kate - since 2013, 4 colonies, 3 8-frame Langs, 1 TBH, mostly TF, zone 8b

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,336

    Default Re: When to expand TBH

    >When is it generally accepted to give them more bars?

    The rule of thumb is to double the space the have when they have occupied 70-80% of the space they have. So if they have filled 70-80% I would double their space.

    >Clearly, no one told my bees the rules. I have a 24-bar tbh and from the start, the girls built the comb on the first bar next to the follower board, which is currently splitting the hive in half. They are building forward towards the entrance. I don't care and they don't seem to care, but they sure aren't being conventional!

    I find most bees don't read the books... If I had a 24 bar tbh, I'd use it for a nuc or a bait hive and build a 33 bar, 48" one...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,501

    Default Re: When to expand TBH

    +1 on on what Michael said. It would make a great nuc since it has the window. When they are first starting the window is great.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    SLC, UT
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: When to expand TBH

    That's just a follower board. The whole hive is 44 inches long or something. I gave them 3 more bars yesterday and plan to give them two more sometime this week.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Bonn, Germany
    Posts
    123

    Default Re: When to expand TBH

    Quote Originally Posted by Tallykat View Post
    ... I have a 24-bar tbh ... They are building forward towards the entrance. I don't care and they don't seem to care, but they sure aren't being conventional! ...
    Well, in other part of the globe it is indeed an old conventional method of beekeeping in the long horizontal hives with frames.

    This method minimizes the danger of swarming, minimizes the overall time spent by a beekeeper on a single hive and at the same time maximizes the honey yield from such a hive.
    Last edited by sjj; 04-23-2014 at 02:26 AM.

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