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Building 'across' the bars

 
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lindaapril
Nurse Bee


Joined: 23 Apr 2012
Posts: 35
Location: Essex, England

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:34 pm    Post subject: Building 'across' the bars Reply with quote

Hello,
Took 'delivery' of a swarm on the 20th May. They seemed to settle in ok. I did just move out a follower board to see that they had enough room.
Yesterday, still, warm weather, decided would have a proper look.
Oh heavens, they have been very busy, building, but they have built across seven bars.
First piece of advice I have is to do something about it as soon as possible. AAArgh.
Do I have to cut through all of the comb in the direction of the bars? Put an empty bar inbetween.?
Help! Advice please.
Linda
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AugustC
Silver Bee


Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 613
Location: Malton, North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to confirm, are you saying the bees have built comb which all span 7 different bars?
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lindaapril
Nurse Bee


Joined: 23 Apr 2012
Posts: 35
Location: Essex, England

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello August C,
Tried to send you a message earlier so I hope I am not repeating myself.
On the initial look, it was when I had tried to gently lever the first bar away and very little was happening, thought it was propolis holding things together so was pushing through when realized was cutting comb. Didnt know what to do so 'shut up shop'.
Went to look at bees again after receiving your reply. Moved out the left side follower board. Next to the board was solid with bees. I blew on them a little to get some idea of what was behind them Could see the edge/end of 5 combs. Quite thick and deep.
Moved out right follower board, , levered away first bar, this caused one comb to separate, still joined to next bar in. Cannot see into hive.
Have thought I should have taken a mirror down with me to perhaps get more idea.
Anyway going by the size of the 'edges' of the combs they are fairly substantial.
Will look with a mirror but do think I am going to have to deal with quite a lot of'cross work'!
Don't relish being destructive, what does one usually do?
Ideas very welcome indeed.
Regards, Linda
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Dexter's shed
Scout Bee


Joined: 16 May 2014
Posts: 307
Location: Grays, Essex, UK

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

maybe best to leave alone for now, wait till autumn to try to remedy
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Adam Rose
Silver Bee


Joined: 09 Oct 2011
Posts: 586
Location: Manchester, UK

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never tried any of these methods but you could try one of:
1. Make a 2/3rd length follower ( with plywood probably ) perhaps even 3/4 length. Take the existing follower out, put the new "follower" in, then a couple of bars, then the real full length follower. Maybe the bees will decide to follow instructions in the brand new space between the 2/3rd follower and the full follower. Or, maybe they won't ! I would try to build the new "follower" so that it goes down below whatever comb that has been built the "wrong" way, so you have a chance that the existing pattern doesn't continue under the 2/3rds or 3/4 follower.
2. Allow the bees to build a square of fixed comb. In other words, an area of "wrong" comb that is basically square. Now, take all the bars out, somehow attach new bars perpendicular to the existing ones, and rotate the square, using these new bars to attach the rotated comb to the hive. You will now just leave this area of comb but have the remaining bars horizontal.
3. Give up. Build a bait hive exactly the right size, take whatever comb and bees you've got, put them in the bait hive and let it produce swarms for you next year which with any luck will build comb the "right" way.

There are probably sensible combinations of these three methods available to you. For example, you could try (1) and then if that doesn't work morph it into (2) or (3). You could also think about rotating the hive through 90 degress in combination with any of the above.

But I have no practical experience of genuine horizontal cross combing. Perhaps other people might comment.

Adam.
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Garret
Golden Bee


Joined: 04 Apr 2009
Posts: 1681
Location: Canada, BC, Delta

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You may find it helpful to trim back the edges/ends of the combs so that the crossed comb spans as few as 4 bars. Once this has been done you can shift these bars away from the entrance more into the honey area.

Ahead of time make up two split bars so that you can clamp sheets of foundation between using deck screws of the right length, Cut the foundation to fit your hive only leaving a bee space around the edges. Place one on either side of the crossed bars.

This should get them on track and re-orient the brood nest near the entrance, The crossed comb can be pulled out later if it is not needed to hold winter stores or wait until next spring when they are less likely using it.

So what did you use for guides?
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