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Adding bars to growing colony

 
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thesolarsailor
New Bee


Joined: 15 Sep 2013
Posts: 7
Location: Oregon USA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:58 pm    Post subject: Adding bars to growing colony Reply with quote

The swarm has been in the hive a full 7 days. I gave them 11 bars initially, opened it yesterday (day eight) and saw that bar 11 is 1/3 drawn. Pulled back bars 11-7 to check comb and all comb is nice and straight along the center of the bar. I was a bit worried about cross combing and am now much relieved. I did not feel it was necessary to open up the brood chamber at this time. I added 5 more bars to the end for a total of 16 now.

Someone suggested adding a bar (or bars) in the brood chamber so it does not get honey bound, this seems quite invasive to the natural functioning of the colony. With the speed they are building comb I have a hard time believing they would run out of space for honey production. Is there a standard practice or is it just personal opinion?

If it helps I have the entrance on one end and am letting the colony progress as far as they want across the hive.

I am leaning towards removing the follower and just giving them the whole hive in a couple more days.

What are your thoughts?
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AugustC
Silver Bee


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

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is generally best to insert new bars between drawn bars anyway as it helps keep them straight. I think it might have been me who suggested putting the new bars into the brood area. I don't mean right in the middle, I mean don't just add them to the end of the line. When there is a strong nectar flow the colony needs a LOT of comb to store the nectar whilst they are evaporating it. This can leave the queen no where to lay if you don't give space in the brood nest and the bees will swarm.
If you are worried add the new bar between the last brood comb and the first honey comb.
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Adam Rose
Silver Bee


Joined: 09 Oct 2011
Posts: 582
Location: Manchester, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe that there is no point adding new bars between the brood nest and the honey after the 12th bar in a top bar hive.

Take a deep breath, or just ignore this bit, if you don't like maths :

I asked Bernhard how much room a brood nest requires, according to his experience and calculations.

He answered : "one and half Warre boxes".

The surface area on one side of one comb in a Warre box is 30x21=630 cm2.

My calculations are that the surface area in a TBH is remarkably similar if you follow Phil's instructions for making the follower ( 15'' ie 38.1cm on top, 5' ie 12.7cm on the bottom, 60 degree angle, a metric 12 inches ie 3x9.5=28.5cm edge ). This comes out to a cross section of 627 cm2. In other words, the amount of comb supported by one top bar in a TBH is more or less the same as the amount of comb supported by one comb in a Warre.

Bernhard says there are 8 bars in a Warre box, so 1.5 boxes is 12 bars.

What this means is there is no point "expanding the brood nest" in a TBH after you have got to 12 bars for the brood nest.

In fact, 10 is close enough to 12 that even then it is unlikely to make any practical difference.

QED Smile.

PS in the tradition of pure mathematics, this is based purely on calculations. I have no data to back this up Smile.
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mannanin
Scout Bee


Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 259
Location: Essex. UK.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that hive is doing just fine from what you say. I would continue feeding in 3 or 4 (honey) bars at a time, just as you have been doing. I feed bars into the brood nest, but only when I want to expand the brood nest and keep it open as part of swarm prevention. Why remove the follower when its working fine as it is. It could be that little and often with adding bars, in combination with a follower is keeping them nice and straight.

I think Adam Rose (and Bernhard) are right about 10 -12 brood bars being the norm for the UK. I currently have a KTBH full from end to end with combs. Only 12 are in use for brood and have not seen them extend beyond that.
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Broadwell
Foraging Bee


Joined: 22 Jul 2013
Posts: 122
Location: UK, Kent, High Weald

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adam Rose wrote:

The surface area on one side of one comb in a Warre box is 30x21=630 cm2.


Pedantic perhaps but you were doing the maths so thought I'd mention – the top 1 cm of the Warre box is taken up by the top bars. So 30 x 20 = 600 cm2, would be truer.
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Adam Rose
Silver Bee


Joined: 09 Oct 2011
Posts: 582
Location: Manchester, UK

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Broadwell wrote:
Pedantic perhaps but you were doing the maths so thought I'd mention – the top 1 cm of the Warre box is taken up by the top bars. So 30 x 20 = 600 cm2, would be truer.


Excellent pedantry ! I like it ! Thanks.
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biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1051
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Surface area of a Warré comb = 600 sq cm

Surface area of a TBH comb = (380 + 125)/2 x 300 = 757.50 sq cm
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Adam Rose
Silver Bee


Joined: 09 Oct 2011
Posts: 582
Location: Manchester, UK

PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't get unplanned "4x2", so 28.5cm. But more importantly, you forgot to multiply by sin(60).
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madasafish
Silver Bee


Joined: 29 Apr 2009
Posts: 880
Location: Stoke On Trent

PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a TBH with 32 top bars. At peak flow earlier this year it had over 15 combs of brood. Needless to say, I had to AS it before it swarmed...
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AugustC
Silver Bee


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

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I split my hive in the middle of may.
It now has 14 bars of brood!
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biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1051
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adam Rose wrote:
I can't get unplanned "4x2", so 28.5cm. But more importantly, you forgot to multiply by sin(60).


I'm using the 'deconstruction' method:

A trapezoid with a top length of 15" and a bottom length of 5" has an average width of 10". If its vertical height is 12", then its area will be 10x12 = 120 sq in

120 sq in = 774 sq cm

(difference from previous result due to rounding and converting)

The theoretical volume per 38mm bar would therefore be 774 x 38 = 2.94 litres


Last edited by biobee on Wed Jun 25, 2014 8:55 am; edited 1 time in total
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jumbleoak
Scout Bee


Joined: 03 Aug 2010
Posts: 295
Location: UK, England, Kent

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

biobee wrote:
A trapezoid with a top length of 15" and a bottom length of 5" has an average width of 10". If its height is 12", then its area will be 10x12 = 120 sq in

120 sq in = 774 sq cm

(difference from previous result due to rounding and converting)

The theoretical volume per 38mm bar would therefore be 774 x 38 = 2.94 litres


It's more like 104 sq in / 670 sq cm / 2.5 litres, unless you are assuming the bees don't want a gap and have braced the comb all the way down both sides.
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thesolarsailor
New Bee


Joined: 15 Sep 2013
Posts: 7
Location: Oregon USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, I didn't expect a mathematics war over a simple question. Smile I opened the hive back to bar 5 which appeared to have some capped brood, added a bar at #6, #8, and 2 more on the end. They have the situation well under control so I am doing my best to stay out of their way while learning what I can about normal beehavior.
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mannanin
Scout Bee


Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 259
Location: Essex. UK.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats good, back on track with bees and glad to ditch the maths. So by my reckoning you now have 20 bars in there. Just for the record, can you confirm how many are now brood.
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thesolarsailor
New Bee


Joined: 15 Sep 2013
Posts: 7
Location: Oregon USA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is comb being built out to bar 14 ( a very small start) and brood on bar 8 as of yesterday. I estimate it was a grouping around 3" across in the center of the comb. I stopped moving the bars when I realized there was comb connected to the side of the hive on bar 7 and I had not put my knife in the tool box

I am trying to figure out when I should get my first newly hatched bees, I know they need to build comb before the queen can start laying but can't quite figure how much comb the queen would want to begin laying. The obvious answer is "enough to keep the brood nest warm" but that is a non answer answer. Today is day 19 so I am figuring another 3-4 days.
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biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1051
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jumbleoak wrote:


It's more like 104 sq in / 670 sq cm / 2.5 litres, unless you are assuming the bees don't want a gap and have braced the comb all the way down both sides.


I was using the same parameters for both, i.e. ignoring bee space, etc. This is the volume of the theoretical trapezoidal solid, defined by the width of the bar and containing the space below, and not the actual volume of a comb hanging from a bar.

In fact, the vertical height of the TBH comb is closer to 11" than 12", so that would give an area of 110 sq in = 710 sq cm and a volume of 710 x 38 = approx. 2.7 litres.
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jumbleoak
Scout Bee


Joined: 03 Aug 2010
Posts: 295
Location: UK, England, Kent

PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

^^^ We're talking about areas not volumes, but, yes, as I pointed out the comb area and that of the trapezoidal cross-section of the inside of the hive are (hopefully) 2 different things.
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