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A lot of questions

 
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Bleith
Guard Bee


Joined: 05 Apr 2014
Posts: 51
Location: West Dundee, IL. USA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:13 pm    Post subject: A lot of questions Reply with quote

New beek here. I'll keep it straight forward

1) I have 1 1/2" wide top bars. Do I need it wider for honey? The come is wider and harder to remove for inspection

2) do you add bars to the brood area? If so where, in the middle, toward the back?

3) when they start to cluster outside above entrance bigger than a softball, doesn't seem to be a beard since it isn't hanging, is that sign of a colony about to swarm?

4) already have about 3 full bars of surplus honey with more being built. Is that normal?

Package of bees installed April April 16th 2014. Here in the Chicagoland are of illinois USA. can't seem to find any top bar beekeeps

I have a lot of questions but these are the most pressing for me now.
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johno
Guard Bee


Joined: 08 Jun 2014
Posts: 60
Location: Limerick, Ireland

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:58 am    Post subject: Re: A lot of questions Reply with quote

Bleith wrote:
New beek here. I'll keep it straight forward

I'm also a new beek, but I think I can help.

Bleith wrote:
1) I have 1 1/2" wide top bars. Do I need it wider for honey? The come is wider and harder to remove for inspection

1 1/2" (38mm) should be okay. Try using a combless top bar at one end of the hive. Remove it at the start of the inspection and use that empty space to make manipulation easier. You can make a bar with no combguide and give it an extremely thin coating of petroleum jelly to stop comb being built on it.

Bleith wrote:
2) do you add bars to the brood area? If so where, in the middle, toward the back?

Put them in between 2 straight combs. This encourages the bees to build another straight comb. You can add bars to the brood area or the stores area. The bees will move honey around to keep the brood area the size they need it to be.

Bleith wrote:
3) when they start to cluster outside above entrance bigger than a softball, doesn't seem to be a beard since it isn't hanging, is that sign of a colony about to swarm?

I'm out of my depth here.

Bleith wrote:
4) already have about 3 full bars of surplus honey with more being built. Is that normal?

It sounds okay to me. It all depends on the flow in your area. Don't take it all, the bees will need it in the winter. Some people suggest only harvesting honey in the springtime. They take whatever stores the bees have left after the winter. That way, they shouldn't need to feed them syrup for the winter unless they've had a very bad summer.

johno
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JGW07
Scout Bee


Joined: 06 Apr 2010
Posts: 270
Location: USA, GA, Hephzibah

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I only have 1.5" bars and the bees do fine with it. If you're finding it hard to remove combs, you need to make space. Have the bees already filled the hive?

When you add empty bars into the brood nest, always keep at least two brood combs together.

When it gets too hot in the hive, bees will often cluster outside of it. They don't necessarily hang down.
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Bleith
Guard Bee


Joined: 05 Apr 2014
Posts: 51
Location: West Dundee, IL. USA

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for advice. I need to figure out how to straighten the comb that is slightly off center. All the comb was perfectly centered on the comb guide until they started to to make surplus honey comb. I don't have any intentions of taking much if any honey this season. I inspected the hive about a week and a half ago and all seemed great as far as the comb and brood. I checked to see today if it needed more bars and that's when I noticed that 3 bars were stuck together. All which are surplus so that's why I was wondering if I needed some spacers for the surplus come. I had heard they build larger honey comb. The other thing, is I only have room for about 6 more bars and it is only the middle of June. Hopefully they won't out grow the TBH.
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Bleith
Guard Bee


Joined: 05 Apr 2014
Posts: 51
Location: West Dundee, IL. USA

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

]I only have 1.5" bars and the bees do fine with it. If you're finding it hard to remove combs, you need to make space. Have the bees already filled the hive?

They just seemed to start building off center is all. Not sure how to fix it so the rest of the bars don't have this problem.
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rmcpb
Scout Bee


Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Posts: 447
Location: Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you have starter strips on the top bars? I would probably not do anything with this lot but would start adding bars near the entrance and push this lot toward the back of the hive so they can be harvested when the time comes.

Cheers
Rob
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Bleith
Guard Bee


Joined: 05 Apr 2014
Posts: 51
Location: West Dundee, IL. USA

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do have guides on all the bars. A triangle piece of wood that is pinned to the top bar. I will give that a try. Thx
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