TBH is a learning curve. What disasters have you had?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    countryside, il
    Posts
    18

    Default TBH is a learning curve. What disasters have you had?

    Good Morning All,

    I shall deem yesterday, d-day. I had a mess on my hands, I cried, it was awful, but the bees are fine, working away. I was on vacation for ten days so I went in to check on them, mainly to scrape the burr comb off the observation window. I did just like I was told. Gently lifted a bar up, scraped the side all the way down with a long serrated knife. Put them back in, all seemed ok. Husband noticed some extreme bearding after the fact. I went to check in the window and it looked like combs collapsed. I went back in, and three of them did. Two of them honey, one of them brood. Being new, I panicked, I should have let the honey sit out and cool and reattach it later. I put it on the empty side so they could rob it out, and I couldn't save the brood. I was so upset, what I could have done differently. I think I need to go from the back empty, look in to each comb, and cut, not lifting a bar at all. I can't figure out any other way so this doesn't happen again. It made me want to give TBH up and do a frameless langs, because I just don't want to disrupt them like this ever again. How the hell they didn't sting me is beyond me. I would be pissed off if I were them! I fed them extra as a peace offering, and to help them recover. I'm not even sure what is what now. I may have moved bars to spot they don't belong, I'm not sure if when they build there is an "order" they use in top bar.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    10,857

    Default Re: TBH is a learning curve. What disasters have you had?

    >> It made me want to give TBH up and do a frameless langs, because I just don't want to disrupt them like this ever again.

    Perhaps you are referring to "foundationless frames" in a Lang?

    If that is the case, you could use conventionally sized Lang boxes, or as an alternative, a 'long Lang' (more or less, a TBH with vertical sides, but using frames).
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Shreveport, Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    2,572

    Default Re: TBH is a learning curve. What disasters have you had?

    When you go into a hive there is risk of harm to the bees. When you are considering going into a hive, balance the likelihood and gravity of the potentential harm against the benefit to the bees, or to you, of going in. When you are new, going in the hive just to learn is, to me, a valid purpose.

    The likelihood of causing comb to drop off is greater when the comb is fresh or "new", and is heavy and full of honey and brood, and the temperature is hot. When you completely pull the frame out or hold it sideways a little, this risk may be greater. When you go in you run the risk of "rolling" (killing) the queen. The gravity of this risk is greater in the fall when a virgin may have difficulty getting mated.

    When you do go in, the less (and gentler) manipulation you can do to achieve your purpose, the better.
    David Matlock

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,922

    Default Re: TBH is a learning curve. What disasters have you had?

    >Gently lifted a bar up, scraped the side all the way down with a long serrated knife.

    Wrong sequence. First cut UP the side from the bottom to the top on both sides. THEN gently lift the bar up... also on a really hot day, leave them alone. The comb will be too soft. New comb will be even softer.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Denver Metro Area CO, USA
    Posts
    1,990

    Default Re: TBH is a learning curve. What disasters have you had?

    yes, cut up then move the bar

    you said you put the honey on the "empty" side I would add empty bars to the hive and keep it IN the hive so others don't start robbing your hive, I find laying it in the back and cutting it up a bit causes them to come clean it up.
    For broken brood comb I prop it up against the follower board against a few sticks and let it hatch out and then remove it

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    WaKeeney, KS, USA
    Posts
    156

    Default Re: TBH is a learning curve. What disasters have you had?

    Thats about where I fell off the learning curve as well. You could have left the brood in with the honey and they would have taken as good care of them as they could. As long as you didnt hurt the queen they should be able to recover. Any extra items you leave in there for them be sure they are back against the false back. They may clean out the honey and it may be laid full of brood and unworkable. You just dont want a glob of brood cross combed in place with others that you cant get out of the brood nest, and it takes you 7 or 8 months to get the whole thing out of the hive. Once more comb is built they will have specific places for things but early in the process it is less important.

    With a lil care this shouldn't happen again. Keep an eye on your starting temps. Second year in I can see the fresh white wax and its much more fragile than older comb so the likelihood of a repeat is slim after the 1st year.

    Im trying to move my bee times to earlier in the morning. Its a lil cooler and the foragers are still there but I am also seeing my second year bee handling improving and THAT helps, I think, more than anything else.

    You're doin' good!
    2nd year with bees. 3 Top Bar hives in my back yard.
    Zone 5b/6a. 'Crackpipe' OAV.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Troy, MO
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: TBH is a learning curve. What disasters have you had?

    Always keep a couple rescue bars ready! Search them on this forum....they work great for me and simple to make��

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    1,758

    Default Re: TBH is a learning curve. What disasters have you had?


  10. #9
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    countryside, il
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: TBH is a learning curve. What disasters have you had?

    Thank you all so much for walking me through this. Lesson learned and hopefully no next time!

  11. #10
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Arlington Hts, IL
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: TBH is a learning curve. What disasters have you had?

    BWrangler,

    Great stuff on your blog. Thanks!

  12. #11
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    countryside, il
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: TBH is a learning curve. What disasters have you had?

    Yes, thank you!! I devoured your blog!!

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Orlando, Florida
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: TBH is a learning curve. What disasters have you had?

    Quote Originally Posted by BWrangler View Post
    Very helpful BWrangler. Thank you.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Grand Junction, CO, USA
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: TBH is a learning curve. What disasters have you had?

    There are some great books on top bar beekeeping, and NOW is the time to read them, we have a few months of cold weather and no hive management. My first years I did Warre and did not read because " I can figure it out " I was very unsuccessful in my attempt, but I did get me feet wet, and create a true love of the hobby. Don't look at things like that as a failure, or disaster, a fiend told me if you aren't making mistakes you aren't learning anything. I dropped the Warres because it just doesn't work for me, but I did go with KTBH which I really enjoy.
    I like the hands on, I like being in the hive a lot. All that to say, if you feel like switching keeping style do it, if one style works better for you do it. You know better then anyone else what you feel comfortable with that includes equipment, keepig style, time constraints, harvest practices, etc. Many people get very passionate about why they keep bees the way they do, and I am one, but I don't press other who don't do it the way I do. Have fun, don't give up because of a set back.

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