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Newish beekeeper trying out a top bar hive this year for the first time. Installed the package two weeks ago and the bees are off an running. Lots of new comb and for the most part its lined up where it should be, but a couple of the bars have double comb on them.

I built the top bars out of 1x2, ripped a groove down the center and glued popsicle sticks into the groove to give them a guide. The first bar closest to the end of the hive (and entrance) has this double comb, it's built on either side of the popsicle stick rather than in the center off the stick itself. Bars 2,3,4,5, and 6 all are positioned correctly but once they got to bar 7 they were starting to place two combs, again on either side of the popsicle stick. Bar 7 was the last bar before the follower board so it seems they are doing this at the furthest edges of the available space i've given them.

Since the comb on bar 7 was just being started, I went ahead and removed it. I added a few more bars to see if the extra space would help.

Any thoughts on what I'm doing wrong? Is this common with top bar hives? Any help would be appreciated!


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sugar pine Bee Beehive Insect Honeybee

11,641 Posts
I notice that you used 1x2s for 'bars'. If you didn't cut any off the 1.5" side (to make them thinner, say 1 3/8"), then that may be why the bees are not utilizing your bar spacing.

You could try making some 1.25" or 1.375" bars and insert them where you have removed the wider bars. Note that standard Lang frames are 1.375" center-to-center, not 1.5".
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