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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Went out to check on the hives today, made myself wait after checking them days 0, 0.5, 1, 1.25, 1.5, 1.75, 2 and 2.5 :)...today is day 7 after package install into home made TBH.

Hive 1
Beautiful straight comb, these girls are doing GREAT. Couldn't ask for a more picture perfect hive, watched the queen for awhile, saw eggs and they have already built on 7 bars. Just great.

Hive 2
Knew there was a problem the second I tried to pry apart a bar. This hive built the queen cage in on day 2 and I lost a whole comb taking it out. The ENTIRE HIVE was cross combed. It was a mess! :eek::eek::eek::eek::eek: I didn't know what to do, but I do know after reading that if you let it go, it only gets worse. So I did what any ambitious new BEEK would do, tried to fix it. Well that didn't work. The comb was so soft and fragile that I couldn't get it to stick back to the bar, I've tried tape, zip its...it was hopeless. In the end, I was able to reorient 2 combs to somewhat straight and removed the rest.

I'm heart broken, they worked SO HARD, the comb looks great, eggs, pollen, nectar....I don't know what to do with it. Can I reattach it? Suggestions would be nice...its so heavy from the nectar that I don't see any way to logistically reconnect it. (Old comb I imagine is much easier to work with). I've taken pics so you can see the difference between what hive one looks like and the surely disaster I created with hive 2.

I never saw the queen in hive 2 :(, I looked and looked, but didn't see her (she's marked). I really hope I didn't smash her...the bees did have eggs and their butts were in the air, so that was reassuring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Maybe masking tape sling? See this thread: http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?297754-How-to-reattach-comb
Also read Michael Bush's article "Don't hang the queen between the frames" on this page: http://www.bushfarms.com/beespackages.htm then read the rest of the website...
Okay, I really pissed the hive off now...but i was able to make a sling for about half that comb. I hope it works...if i killed the queen, at least they have eggs to raise a new one up right? :)


Thanks for the quick response!
 

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Okay, I really pissed the hive off now...but i was able to make a sling for about half that comb. I hope it works...if i killed the queen, at least they have eggs to raise a new one up right? :)


Thanks for the quick response!
Glad you got them some comb back. Do you have a way of monitoring the comb without getting into that hive? You might want to leave them alone for a bit. Even if you can just look up through the screened bottom to make sure they aren't messing up comb.
 

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I had a very similar experience - made the huge mistake of attaching the queen cage to the top bar...it threw off my entire hive & I went in a week after install & had a mess. Over the past few weeks I have been correcting & loosing comb & quite a bit of brood comb. The hair clips wouldn't hold, the combs are way too soft. I tried wire ties & tape, nothing would stay. I finally resorted to leaning comb on the bottom/side of the hive & letting the girls hatch those out. One month into the install, & with a lot of little corrections of comb (& a cup full of rendered wax), I finally feel like the "girls" & I have an understanding & the combs are coming in straight. However, my colony is now on the small side & I see little or no honey stores so I am still holding my breath. I hope they can recover! I know how you feel! I believe the bees can & will recover but I do not feel like a good bee-mommy quite yet!!! I hope you have a queen in that hive & that someone can set your mind at ease on this message board that the colony will bounce back!!
 

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you can also make a few bars with 1/2" hardware cloth for attaching the comb to. a few different ways to build them but Pat on here uses them very effectively.



 

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First year as a top bar beek...I had a lot of luck by putting almost full (triangle shaped) foundation on bars 1 and 3 with a queen cage release between 2 and 3. Worked out, 10 straight frames today, 2 weeks in...maybe do a couple up just to get your girls reoriented...I just put a groove with popsicle sticks to hold them...I was scared to death of crosscombing...
 

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Could you maybe take a nice drawn bar from the good hive and give it to the other hive, to help with getting them drawing their own bars in a more acceptable fashion? Just be sure not to move the queen over with it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you all for your quick responses.

I also saw a video on youtube last night which the comments pointed to making sure the hive was level. I went out this morning and sure enough the moisture and weight of the hive had unleveled since being placed. I releveled it-hopefully that will do the trick

I'm hoping they take the shotty patch work I did with the masking tape sling, I did it around the comb (top to bottom) instead of side of bar to side of bar because it wouldn't stick. Hope that works?

I did see that one of the pieces did break off and now I have comb at the bottom of the hive. Should I bug them again and remove this or just let it go till I do my next check in a week?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
UPDATE***

I couldn't help it, not knowing if I killed the queen so i went out and checked today. Guess what i discovered?? Capped brood AND I saw the QUEEN!!!!

I had two of my tape fixes not make it and I removed those pieces and all the new comb they are building is STRAIGHT!

They had sucked the 1:1 dry so I refilled that for them (which is strange because there seems to be plenty of nectar and pollen coming in). I really don't want to feed, but I think I'm going to at least till the first generation hatches.

I paid for my visit today though...I went out to put the 1:1 behind the follower without a veil on thinking it was safe...nope, took one right in the ear, they didn't like being disturbed today.

Okay that's all, thanks for everyone's help. This is SO MUCH FUN!

God Bless
 

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oohhh... how exciting someone passing on some of my advice :banana:

Like i said the masking tape sling has worked from me with really fresh comb. I always have a roll of masking tape with me during an inspection now.
Here is a picture of the comb I reattached with the masking tape sling two weeks later. You can see what is left of the masking tape across the top of the top bar. All the rest was removed by the bees themselves.
The main thing it to leave them alone for a while and give them a chance to recover.

IMG_3724.JPG
 

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It's so wonderful when you get good news after them scaring the bejesus outta you ...I went out today and checked my other three hives ( I have two I'm worried about ) and --------booming brood in all and saw the queen in one!! :)

Happy for you, enjoy!
 

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That masking tape sling photo is gorgeous, AugustC! It's comforting to know a hive can recover brilliantly from such seemingly dire straits.

DrBee, somehow i missed your update! I'm very very happy for you.
 

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you can also make a few bars with 1/2" hardware cloth for attaching the comb to. a few different ways to build them but Pat on here uses them very effectively.
That is awesome. Thanks for pics JakeDatc.

Glad your fix worked Dr Bee!
 
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