Re: Trying to Learn from an Unsuccessful First Year
My 1st 2 hive boxes hold 24 top bars each. This first year they both built comb out to 19 and 20 bars full leaving just a little working room. They both had 8 full capped bars of honey going into Nov. Out of the bits and pieces that got harvested during comb manipulation as I was trying to keep up, I took less than 5-6 pounds from them all year.(just enough to get the wife hooked on their yummy goodness.)
I am stategizing my spring harvesting/hive split. I am thinking (here I go again) harvesting will be more a continuous gradual thing instead of a large harvest like with Langs(?). It wont bother me to leave them 3 or 4 full combs of honey reserves for the bees all the time.
I didnt mean to confuse things, having 2 or 3 bar widths at the back of the hive sure makes access easier and maybe room for a feeder or other utility. One of my hives has A LOT of bees even now and it has me concerned that it is going to explode come spring. Mid August they filled all 20 bars with bees with a good size herd hanging out on the porch, but they never swarmed.
It was a lil scary pulling the very last bar and having a 1/4 comb on it and bees covering every internal surface. I never found a queen cell but they were probly considering their space requirements for the rest of the season.
I am working on the 45" hive box that I want to split it into. Having the extra room for them and me should keep us both a little calmer. Also working on 2 nuc boxes for more slack space.
I hope the bees (or anyone here) dont think that I squandered any of their lessons they gave me last year.
When they put their hive mind to doing something there is no messing around.
You guys are my mentors, so, please correct me !!
1st year with bees. 2 Top Bar hives in my back yard. Zone 6a.