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Discussion Starter #41
Be advised the bees don't really like the plastic foundation (I assume what it is).
They only use it when have no other choices and do it reluctantly.
You may or may not care, but at least be aware.
If want to use it - it still takes some learning.
I would not be too excited just yet.

Wax foundation is better.

If anyone, LJ has much to add on this very subject.
:)
I'm not sure what the foundation material is made of. It is tan colored with some brown streaks running through it and has a 'waxy' smell to it. It is not slick like plastic, rather waxy feeling. Do the companies make 'wax foundation' or is that something strictly made by bees?
 

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So, are these (the hardware cloth and the screen) just examples of things to attach to the bars as a guide for the bees or are the ways to fix a broken comb? I'm a little confused now. I have plenty of screen and HC (I raise chickens and ducks and I fortify the coops and runs with HC), but if these are just to use as guides I'd rather place Popsicle sticks or just plain sticks on the bar as a guide. Please correct me if I'm thinking incorrectly about this.

Thanks!

TBB
The guides for new construction, of course.

As far as fixing the existing combs, the 1/2 wire will be folded as "C" or "S", but not "L" and the sharp ends of the wire will be protruding (so to insert them into the combs for re-attachment), not "ends are cut".
 

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I'm not sure what the foundation material is made of. It is tan colored with some brown streaks running through it and has a 'waxy' smell to it. It is not slick like plastic, rather waxy feeling. Do the companies make 'wax foundation' or is that something strictly made by bees?
Bees make no foundation; bees make comb.
Companies make both plastic and wax foundation.
You can not really confuse plastic and wax - either material is obviously either plastic or wax.
Plastic foundation is to be "waxed" so to entice the bees to use it (bees will not use not "waxed" plastic).
Sounds to me you have plastic - tan is one of usual colors of plastic; you can not see light through it either.
 

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Discussion Starter #44
Also, while I'm thinking about it let me ask a totally off-subject question.

When entering the hive, to do work, do you only puff smoke into the entrance of the hive or do you also puff it into the hive body once it's opened up? The reason I ask is because I am afraid the honey I extract (I'm talking way on out time-wise) would taste like the smoke. I'm not sure that would be a big hit...smoked honey!

"Good morning dear! Would like a Smoked Honey Biscuit this morning?"​
<gag>
 

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Your honey will not taste like smoke.

If your bees are mild, smoke may not be even needed, like at all.
I only use water sprayer in some situations (just too lazy to start the smoker).

But other bees and/or other situations do require smoke (these will be hotter bees or different projects).
The hotter the bees, the more smoke is needed to work them.
For somewhat hot bees, you need to smoke into the hive before you open it and let it sit 1-2 minutes (however you do it).

Without hand's on practice and experience, whatever I am saying you may forget tomorrow.
All this info is widely available.
 

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Discussion Starter #46
The guides for new construction, of course.

As far as fixing the existing combs, the 1/2 wire will be folded as "C", not "L" and the sharp ends of the wire will be protruding (so to insert them into the combs for re-attachment), not "ends are cut".
I see!
 

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Discussion Starter #47
Bees make no foundation; bees make comb.
Companies make both plastic and wax foundation.
You can not really confuse plastic and wax - either material is obviously either plastic or wax.
Plastic foundation is to be "waxed" so to entice the bees to use it (bees will not use not "waxed" plastic).
Sounds to me you have plastic - tan is one of usual colors of plastic; you can not see light through it either.
I inspected the foundation a little closer. It does seem to be plastic, coated with wax I suppose. It is a bit sticky.
 

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Discussion Starter #48
Your honey will not taste like smoke.

If your bees are mild, smoke may not be even needed, like at all.
I only use water sprayer in some situations (just too lazy to start the smoker).

But other bees and/or other situations do require smoke (these will be hotter bees or different projects).
The hotter the bees, the more smoke is needed to work them.
For somewhat hot bees, you need to smoke into the hive before you open it and let it sit 1-2 minutes (however you do it).
Mine do seem pretty calm, maybe Italian bees. I'm not sure.

Without hand's on practice and experience, whatever I am saying you may forget tomorrow.
All this info is widely available.
I know, I'm sorry. I hope I haven't worn out my welcome by asking so many irrelevant and dumb questions.

Thank you. TBB
 

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TBB - there's a couple of things I want to mention before signing-off for today (we're in very different time-zones) - the first is that there are very few definitive answers in beekeeping, which unfortunately makes life tough for a beginner.

For example - Greg has just said "All this info is widely available." which is perfectly correct. There are umpteen Internet sites 'out there' which cater for prospective and first-year beekeepers - BUT (BIG but) - some of those are sound, and some are ... well, a tad flakey. So how does a beginner tell one from the other ? Short answer - you won't be able to ... yet. So - if you should come across advice which is contradictory (and that is guaranteed, by the way) or vague, or has a bad smell about it - then this is the place to return to for clarification.

With contradictory advice in mind, that's a feature of beekeeping that one just has to get used to. Perhaps the most relevant example for yourself right now is the conflict which exists between attitudes towards the treating of pests.

The last thing I want to do is burden you with too much information, but there are several problematic pests, of which there are two in particular you really ought to be aware of.
The first is SHB (Small Hive Beetle) which can very quickly trash your entire honey crop. We don't have SHB in Britain (yet - and long may that continue), so I'll leave it to others to fill you in on how best to deal with this nasty little bug.
The second is a mite called Varroa Destructor, the name of which is entirely appropriate, for it stealthily decimates colonies and is generally considered to be the No.1 cause of colony deaths world-wide. So - should you treat your colony (and with a view to the future: your 'colonies') or not ?

Well, we're back to that contradictory advice thing again. I treat, some beekeepers don't.
The reasons for treating vs. non-treating aren't so much complex as they are long-winded - so I'd encourage you and anyone else new to beekeeping to research this yourself, as I don't want to risk influencing beginners with my own particular bias on this subject.
'best
LJ
 

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Discussion Starter #50 (Edited)
For example - Greg has just said "All this info is widely available." which is perfectly correct. There are umpteen Internet sites 'out there' which cater for prospective and first-year beekeepers - BUT (BIG but) - some of those are sound, and some are ... well, a tad flakey. So how does a beginner tell one from the other ? Short answer - you won't be able to ... yet. So - if you should come across advice which is contradictory (and that is guaranteed, by the way) or vague, or has a bad smell about it - then this is the place to return to for clarification.
I guess I am a bit confused as I thought BeeSource was one of the sites I could go to for first-year questions and even further learning. When I first began keeping poultry I joined a site called Backyard Chickens and that was the best thing I ever did. Any question or concern I ever had was answered. Yes, multiple times I would get a myriad of answers and it was up to me to choose. However, there is no other poultry site I would ever go to for answers. Some questions even dealt with life or death situations (of my birds). And the wonderful thing is, I am now one of the people who is able to welcome and help the new poultry keepers.
ETA: I also am a fan of Phil Chandler's books and videos.

Perhaps the most relevant example for yourself right now is the conflict which exists between attitudes towards the treating of pests.
The last thing I want to do is burden you with too much information, but there are several problematic pests, of which there are two in particular you really ought to be aware of.
The first is SHB (Small Hive Beetle) which can very quickly trash your entire honey crop. We don't have SHB in Britain (yet - and long may that continue), so I'll leave it to others to fill you in on how best to deal with this nasty little bug.
The second is a mite called Varroa Destructor, the name of which is entirely appropriate, for it stealthily decimates colonies and is generally considered to be the No.1 cause of colony deaths world-wide. So - should you treat your colony (and with a view to the future: your 'colonies') or not ?

Well, we're back to that contradictory advice thing again. I treat, some beekeepers don't.
The reasons for treating vs. non-treating aren't so much complex as they are long-winded - so I'd encourage you and anyone else new to beekeeping to research this yourself, as I don't want to risk influencing beginners with my own particular bias on this subject.
'best
LJ
Actually two weeks ago I did see and remove two SHB. I am certain there are more in the hive, but there is no way for me to see/find them. My husband "heard" that putting a Swiffer duster in the bottom of the hive would trap the beetles. Uh, NO, it did not trap any SHB, but it did trap two of my bees. One was already dead and the other was trapped and there was no way for me to get it loose. I also placed an SHB trap (oil and ACV) in the hive. It is actually made for a Lang, but we are using it in the TBH. It hasn't trapped any beetles either.

As far as Varroa mites go, I hope there are none in the hive. My colony is very, very small and probably wouldn't last long if they got a foothold in the hive.
 

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Discussion Starter #51
I'd encourage you and anyone else new to beekeeping to research this yourself, as I don't want to risk influencing beginners with my own particular bias on this subject.
'best
LJ
This is just my opinion, but I believe all beginners, of any subject, want as many answers as possible (whether biased or not) so they can make up their own mind.

In the chicken world, there are soooo many things that some people swear by while others rebuke it. Take DE (diatomaceous earth) for example. There are some poultry keepers that swear by its use in MANY areas. I, on the other hand, have no use for the stuff, for many reasons, but I won't go into why I think it's bad here.

Being biased just means you have a very strong opinion regarding something. Generally there is a substantial reason for a strong belief or opinion.
 

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I guess I am a bit confused as I thought BeeSource was one of the sites I could go to for first-year questions and even further learning.
Perhaps if I re-phrased that to read: "If you should choose to visit any of the umpteen Internet sites 'out there' which cater for prospective and first-year beekeepers - BUT (BIG but) - some of those are sound, and some are ... well, a tad flakey."
What I was trying to convey is that there are dozens of those kind of sites on the Internet, invariably started by one and two-year 'experts' and very few run by beekeepers with any serious mileage behind them.

I also am a fan of Phil Chandler's books and videos.
He is considered by some to be a kind of 'guru', who's target audience is the impressionable beginner and the gullible. I suspect you yourself may have bought into his ideas before acquiring a hive (?) - which is why you bought a Top Bar hive, which is what he promotes as part of his 'Natural Beekeeping' (whatever that means) ideology.

So - you then ran into problems with your Top Bar Hive, but have since shown enthusiasm for frames complete with foundation - which, although I don't like foundation myself - I fully agree that kind of setup is far more suitable for a beginner. But Chandler views what you have just purchased with absolute contempt. Try telling him that you've bought a Langstroth hive complete with frames and foundation, and see if he'll still speak to you ...

This forum is the best I've yet found on the Internet - not only because of it's extensive knowledge-base - but because of the tolerance shown here for beekeepers with different ideologies to one's own. Which is precisely why I stopped posting on Bio-bees a long time ago - because of the intolerance shown there towards anyone who dares voice a contrary opinion or challenge the party-line in any way. I note that the Bio-bees forum is now conducted behind closed doors.

As far as Varroa mites go, I hope there are none in the hive. My colony is very, very small and probably wouldn't last long if they got a foothold in the hive.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news - but ALL honeybee have some Varroa mites - and it's impossible to get rid of them permanently.
'best
LJ
 

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I guess I am a bit confused as I thought BeeSource was one of the sites I could go to for first-year questions and even further learning. .......
TBB, you are free to ask and people are free to ignore your questions OR answer them.

But really, these same questions have been asked many, many times before and answered many, many, many times as well.
On BeeSources. In Detail. With pictures and videos.
And many other sites too.
My favorite way to search is to go to Google and try something like this - "cross comb beesource".
Take your time, find these discussions and learn from them.
 

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Discussion Starter #54
TBB, you are free to ask and people are free to ignore your questions OR answer them.

But really, these same questions have been asked many, many times before and answered many, many, many times as well.
On BeeSources. In Detail. With pictures and videos.
And many other sites too.
My favorite way to search is to go to Google and try something like this - "cross comb beesource".
Take your time, find these discussions and learn from them.
Thank you for this. It really helps quite a bit. The funny thing is I have been unsuccessful in finding details on cross comb problems until I found this site. And y'all have been most accommodating. I really do appreciate it.

I will, however, continue to search for more answers as you've suggested.

TBB
 
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