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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I installed this package of bees into a freshly built hive about 2 weeks ago. I gave them 8-10 "brood" sized bars. I have some spacers for the "honey" bars but have not used any yet. It appears as though they are pretty close to occupying all of the bars as you can see in the photo. When is it generally accepted to give them more bars? Is there a technique for adding additional bars? Like where in the list to insert them, how many at a time, etc? Thanks for your input :thumbsup:

 

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Yes yes and yes. lol.. Anyway to actually answer your questions. You have a beautiful bunch of bees there. Normally speaking you want to give your girls plenty of room in a TBH. Never let the girls fill out all the way over to the follower board. When they get to within a Bar away from it, add more. Now for what bars you want to install.. The brood nest at this point is what you want them to work on. A good TBH should have a min of about 16 brood combs, then honey. To work on brood combs, slide all the bars over execpt the very first one that has drawn comb. Then place a fresh bar between two that already are in use and drawn out. This will entice them to draw straight comb. Remember to cut all brace comb loose first. Then for the other end of the cavity, add about 3 bars at a time as they will draw them out prettty quick when they need them as in right now.
 

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Never let the girls fill out all the way over to the follower board. When they get to within a Bar away from it, add more... Then for the other end of the cavity, add about 3 bars at a time as they will draw them out prettty quick when they need them as in right now.
Clearly, no one told my bees the rules. I have a 24-bar tbh and from the start, the girls built the comb on the first bar next to the follower board, which is currently splitting the hive in half. They are building forward towards the entrance. I don't care and they don't seem to care, but they sure aren't being conventional!

My plan is to keep bar 1 next to the follower otherwise follow the plan you have laid out. Add a brood bar between existing brood bars and make sure they have at least three bars in front of the entrance. All mine are 1 3/8" so I don't have to worry about which type of bar they are building on.

The only problem I forsee is that the follower board has a feeder attached to the "back" side, but eventually, I will need that space to expand to the entire 24 bars (although, technically, you might say it's 25 bars as the follower is needed to fill up the space inside the hive). Without the jar, the feeder comes up about 3 " from the floor of the hive. I think it's removeable, so I may have to take care of that eventually.
 

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>When is it generally accepted to give them more bars?

The rule of thumb is to double the space the have when they have occupied 70-80% of the space they have. So if they have filled 70-80% I would double their space.

>Clearly, no one told my bees the rules. I have a 24-bar tbh and from the start, the girls built the comb on the first bar next to the follower board, which is currently splitting the hive in half. They are building forward towards the entrance. I don't care and they don't seem to care, but they sure aren't being conventional!

I find most bees don't read the books... If I had a 24 bar tbh, I'd use it for a nuc or a bait hive and build a 33 bar, 48" one...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That's just a follower board. The whole hive is 44 inches long or something. I gave them 3 more bars yesterday and plan to give them two more sometime this week.
 

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... I have a 24-bar tbh ... They are building forward towards the entrance. I don't care and they don't seem to care, but they sure aren't being conventional! ...
Well, in other part of the globe it is indeed an old conventional method of beekeeping in the long horizontal hives with frames.

This method minimizes the danger of swarming, minimizes the overall time spent by a beekeeper on a single hive and at the same time maximizes the honey yield from such a hive.
 
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