Expanding Top-Bar Hive
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Great Falls, VA

    Default Expanding Top-Bar Hive

    The bees in my Top-Bar hive have stopped building comb backwards after their original manifest destiny push. About half the box is entirely empty and they're just focusing on the front (which is kinda getting overcrowded now, bees often are seen overflowing out the front entrance. There are spacers on the last half of the hive to encourage them to build honeycomb in the back. Can I shift some frames around to encourage more hive building? Are there some techniques? I've already rubbed beeswax on the frames.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Dane County, WI, USA

    Default Re: Expanding Top-Bar Hive

    Just shift your bars backwards and "checker-board" in a couple of empty bars into the brood area.
    May build some more.

    But do no more than 1-2 empty bars at this point.
    Since you are in VA (see - mid-summer dearth), they are probably done with comb-building due to lack of incoming nectar.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Aylett, Virginia

    Default Re: Expanding Top-Bar Hive

    Greg nailed it. There is no nectar and no pollen coming in right now. The bees are in contraction mode. You may be able to stimulate wax production by feeding heavily and giving pollen sub patties. That would be a personal decision, and could cause you to go into winter with a hive that is too strong for the accumulated stores to feed. Around mid-August things should get better, just need to get through the next four weeks.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.


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