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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When first starting out with a package of bees how many top bars do you start with? All of them?

Mike A.
 

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My TBHs (and many others) need ALL bars in place or else there will be unintentional holes/entrance/exits in the hive. They are similar to the ones here ....
http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm

You could fabricate a divider/folllower board that replaces one or more bars, but I didn't see any advantage to that. From my point of view, that just gives small hive beetles additional places to hide from the bees.
 

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Bush Farms says in order to get the bees to build neat and straight comb do not leave the queen cage in the hive... How do you introduce the queen into the hive from a package of bees?
 

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I'm new to bee keeping, and my package of bee's should ship 04/07/14. I've done a lot of reading and joined two bee clubs. asked lot's of questions.
When the bee's arrive I plan to hang the queen cage between bars 3 and 4 on a 6'' wire. With 12 bars and follower board feeder.
Once the queen is out of the cage. I will move the follower board and feeder to the back of the hive.
 

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I would always have all the bars in a hive. If you have a follower you could limit them to half of the hive or so (depending on how big half the hive is...). I direct release my queens. Poor queens are an issue and sometimes the bees move next door, but I don't have problems with them leaving the hive unless it's to move next door to another hive which they do whether the queen is caged or not.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beespackages.htm
 

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If you can cover the screened bottom you may have better luck. Sometimes packages abscond when there is too much light. Then again sometimes they abscond for no known reason.
 

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I put them in a 10 bar space to begin with. The 10 bars and then a "beespace" follower to reduce their area a bit then the rest of the bars.

With the packages I did direct release because the queen had been with them several days. After I dumped the bees into the ten bar area I put about half of the bars in. I then took the cork out of the queen cage, held my thumb over the hole, gently put the cage down on the bottom of the cavity toward the covered side and she walked right out into the bees. I took the cage out, put the rest of the bars in and closed it up.

For requeening I tried both push-in cage and hanging the queen cage. I lost one because of a push-in cage failure but the ones I let them release from cages all worked. I'm still learning though, just starting my third year, first spring with overwintered bees.
 

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I have made a few changes since that pic. I added a bottom board on a hinge so I will keep in closed most of the time. ( I'll let the bees let me know if they need more air. bearding and such.) I also added 2" screened vents on both gables. ( found them at true value hardware) I also made one bar with six holes drilled and screened to help vent to the dead air space above the bars. Summer time temps. get over 100 degrees where I live.
I have a lot to learn and am open to new info.
 
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