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I've got a new top bar hive of italian hybrids installed from a package and they seem to be doing well, haveing draw comb on 22 of the 40 top bars thus far. The problem is that they haven't draw the comb very wide to fill the whole top bar.

I was wondering what everyone thinks about taking every other top bar frame and reversing it such that there is comb adjacent to the non-occupied side. There would be bee space violations that would stimulate them to finish drawing comb out to the other wall.

Then in wintertime when I move the divider i can have a more compact instead of long hive.

what do you guys think??
 

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Hmmm... my combs are never perfectly straight but they fit perfectly together like puzzle pieces. I would not be able to switch direction of every other comb, even if I wanted to. I've read that one should not change direction of combs.

Are you using a follower board? Or do the bees have full access to the 40 bars? If they have full access, my recommendation would be to move the follower board to reduce the space so they have more reason to fully build out the combs they've started. Less manipulation, more comb.
 
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