Please support Friends of the Bees to keep this forum free to use.

Natural Beekeeping International Forum
low-cost, low-impact, balanced beekeeping for everyone

 Forum FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileYour Profile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Please Read The Rules before posting.



(country selected automatically - UK/USA/CA/AU)
Bee's built combe across all the bars!

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    beekeeping forum -> Beginners start here
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Batesy'sBees
New Bee


Joined: 11 Feb 2016
Posts: 4
Location: Petersfield, West Sussex UK

PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 2:06 pm    Post subject: Bee's built combe across all the bars! Reply with quote

Hey, I settled my swarm in last Spring, and left them to it, by the time I realised, they were building across all the bars, they were well established... I read on the forum somewhere at the time (now can't find thread), that is was best to leave them bee until the following spring, which is pretty much with us... They are busy bringing in Pollen.... SO when and how do I rectify this to set them up building with the bars correctly.... Also I can't access how much honey they have in stores, it smells very healthy and fragrant.... They are bringing in plenty of pollen on warm days, but not noticed nectar.... Whilst not wanting to feed them sugar if I can avoid, I am also slightly anxious that they could be low on stores.... I have made up some fondant for them, but they have not found it yet.... I made a bit of a trail yesterday, and some got the message, so hopefully they have taken it..! Any advice on both points welcome... thanks..
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1564
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi and welcome

Congratulations on getting your bees this far and hoping they continue to thrive.... their progress sounds good so far.

Can I ask you to update your profile with your country and county or state.

I haven't a clue where in the world Petersfield is, but if it's in the UK, I would suggest that it's probably still too cold to be doing major work like cutting and reattaching comb as the colony will be open for a considerable length of time during the process. I would be looking for a day next month when it's at least 15C and calm and sunny.

They will only eat the fondant if
a) they find it and can access it easily

and

b) they need it.

Some people heft the hive to assess stores. This is the time of year when they will start to use a lot more as they begin to raise brood. I would say that you have done all you can do for them and it's really just a question of finding the right weather conditions to do the job

Have you decided on a method for reattaching the combs to the top bars and have you improved the comb guides on your remaining blank bars to prevent further cross combing?

Hope it all goes smoothly. Preparation is really important so that you don't have to leave the hive open any longer than is absolutely necessary.

Best wishes

Barbara
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
alexg
House Bee


Joined: 25 Oct 2015
Posts: 14
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Bee's built combe across all the bars! Reply with quote

It`s better to feed bees with natural honey. If you decided to feed bees with sugar then you need to use organic raw sugar only.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
trekmate
Golden Bee


Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 1123
Location: UK, North Yorkshire, Bentham

PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 8:25 am    Post subject: Re: Bee's built combe across all the bars! Reply with quote

alexg wrote:
It`s better to feed bees with natural honey. If you decided to feed bees with sugar then you need to use organic raw sugar only.

Only feed honey that has been taken from the hive you are feeding or risk passing on disease pathogens. Refined sugar is the best option if you have no suitable honey. Unrefined sugar can cause dysentery. NEVER feed shop-bought honey. It has usually been heat-treated during processing which increases levels of Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) and will harm your bees (http://beetime.eu/hmf-silent-enemy-in-honey-and-bee-food/)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Batesy'sBees
New Bee


Joined: 11 Feb 2016
Posts: 4
Location: Petersfield, West Sussex UK

PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks.... I am in West Sussex, UK.. Not had many warm days still.... And i don't have a method planned to realign the combe... This I need advice on! But in theory you are saying I will be able to cut the complete combe's off the bars, and reattch then the correct way to the bars...?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1564
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi. If you have oil seed rape anywhere near you then you can't afford to delay doing the job too much longer. Choose a day when it's reasonably comfortable to be outside in a T shirt and not too breezy. Give yourself plenty of time in the middle of the day and if you know any other beekeepers who can help, even if they use framed hives, another pair of hands is always helpful.

Preparation is key to it going smoothly, so have everything you need readily to hand. As regards the method, You Tube is going to be your friend on this as it will take me a thousand or more words to describe what you can watch in a few minutes. I can recommend OutOfaBlueSky but definitely watch a few before you decide which method/equipment to use. Some people staple a bit or chicken wire onto the underside of the top bars and then bend the ends down and in to form jaws that spike into the comb and hold it. I think OutOfaBlueSky uses hair clasps.

I've only needed to make slight adjustment at one end with mine where it was veering offline and I was able to cut that end off the bar a few inches and gently bend it back into line and then pin it straight with a bamboo barbeque skewer but this won't work if there is a significant cross comb problem.

Hopefully someone else will post some photos of the chicken wire jaws I tried to describe above.

Good luck with it.

Barbara
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
Batesy'sBees
New Bee


Joined: 11 Feb 2016
Posts: 4
Location: Petersfield, West Sussex UK

PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks.... I was just reading some other posts, one of yours mentioned masking tape slings? I like the sound of that, simple, and they can remove it... Worth a go?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Houstonbees
Guard Bee


Joined: 25 Jul 2012
Posts: 81
Location: Houston Tx, USA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What type of hive do you have? Makes all the diff in the world as to how you should proceed.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1564
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes masking tape works but it can be a bit fiddly on top bars... it's a lot easier with frames. I use masking tape to attach old brood comb to top bars for bait hives and the nice thing about it is that it's so thin that it doesn't stop the bars butting up together snugly.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
Batesy'sBees
New Bee


Joined: 11 Feb 2016
Posts: 4
Location: Petersfield, West Sussex UK

PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2016 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, I am on a Chandler Top bar. I will check out the vidoe's mor on reattaching. The hair clip looks easy, but like they say tricky, to take out again (can it not stay in?), or i will try the chicken wire method... What I am still uncertain of is how to start.! As they are all across the bars, what do I do with them whilst cutting some off and reattaching!? Cut them all off and place them in a seperate box then reattach them one by one and place them back in the hive.. take the whole lot out and place into another box, cutting one off at a time, reeattching to a new bar and replacing back in the hive, in the same order of course... What to do with the bee's on each combe during the process!!?? Also its going to be tricky with gloves on to work with chicken wire, but I think they will be slightly aggro, judged on some of their previous defensive attitude! Any advice? i don't have a smoker, and generally have been ok with out any protection. Just the occasional sting... Maybe worth borrowing a smoker for such major distrurbance? And finding some kind of medium glove that will deflect some stings but allow working...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Houstonbees
Guard Bee


Joined: 25 Jul 2012
Posts: 81
Location: Houston Tx, USA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2016 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Batesy, someone else is going to have to take it from here as I have no top bar hive experience since I've got Warre's. It does sound like you'll have to cut the comb apart and reattach to the top bars to straighten out the cross comb but others on this site that run top bars can give better advice. If you do a total cutout and reattach, you are going to need a good bee suit, gloves, and a smoker. They are going to be quite angry with such an invasion!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1564
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2016 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK. Here's how I would do it....

I would set up a work table a few feet away from the hive and have plenty of spare top bars.
I would attach a couple of laths across the top of the top bars, perpendicular to them and screw to each bar so that the whole lot can be lifted out as one and carefully placed upside down on the work table. Make sure to release any comb attachment to the sides of the hive before you start to lift. The flying bees will return to the hive, so you will have less bees on the comb. Start with the least populated comb on the outside of the nest and work inwards. Shake or brush any bees on the comb into the hive and then reattach to a new top bar and place in the hive, as you rightly say, maintaining the correct order. Hopefully, by the time you get to the brood combs, you will have developed a bit of skill at reattaching. Once you get to the brood combs, inspect each one for the queen before you move it from the table. The queen will not be able to fly as she will be too fat so if you drop her on the ground she won't be able to make it back into the hive.... she may scuttle about on the comb though and will probably look for a dark corner to hide. Work slowly and steadily. When you find the queen, place her in the hive gently, rather than brush or shake, but if you get to the last comb and you haven't found her, don't worry too much as if you have lost her they should still be able to replace her with an emergency queen providing there are eggs or young larvae. It is worth checking the ground or even placing a sheet on the ground between the hive and the worktable before you start so that she will be easy to find. A cluster of bees may develop around her if you do drop her.

Snug fitting latex surgeons gloves are great for maintaining dexterity and will offer some protection from stings although at this time of year the bees are usually less testy. "Marigold" type washing up gloves are also quite good although I have problems with the fingers being to long(I have short stumpy fingers) and the loose finger tips irritate me and get caught under/between bars when I'm working. Marigolds offer better protection from stings though and the long gauntlets are helpful as they provide wrist protection. Make sure they are under your suit cuffs, so that bees can't crawl down into them and get nipped.

That's the best I can suggest. If your weather is anything like it is here today, this would probably be the day to do it, but don't rush into it if you are not prepared or it's too cold or windy where you are.

How many bars are they on?

And yes, I agree a smoker will be helpful but don't be over enthusiastic with it. A gentle puff here and there is all that's needed.

Wish I lived closer and could offer you help. It would be great if another more local forum member could volunteer, even if they don't have any experience....two pairs of hands and eyes are so much better than one and it would be a great learning experience, so... anyone else reading this, don't feel you need to be an expert to offer help.

Good luck with it and if there is anything else you are not sure about, just ask.

Very best wishes

Barbara
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    beekeeping forum -> Beginners start here All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

SPECIAL OFFER FOR UK FORUM MEMBERS - Buy your protective clothing here and get a special 15% discount! (use the code BAREFOOTBEEKEEPER at checkout and be sure to 'update basket')



Are the big energy companies bleeding you dry?


Is way too much of your hard-earned family income going up in smoke?

Are you worried about what could happen if the ageing grid system fails?

You need to watch this short video NOW to find out how YOU can cut your energy bills TO THE BONE within 30 days!

WATCH THE VIDEO NOW



(country selected automatically - UK/USA/CA/AU)

Conserving wild bees

Research suggests that bumble bee boxes have a very low success rate in actually attracting bees into them. We find that if you create an environment where first of all you can attract mice inside, such as a pile of stones, a drystone wall, paving slabs with intentionally made cavities underneath, this will increase the success rate.

Most bumble bee species need a dry space about the size a football, with a narrow entrance tunnel approximately 2cm in diameter and 20 cm long. Most species nest underground along the base of a linear feature such as a hedge or wall. Sites need to be sheltered and out of direct sunlight.

There is a spectacular display of wild bee hotels here

More about bumblebees and solitary bees here

Information about the Tree Bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum)

Barefoot Beekeeper Podcast



Now available from Lulu.com


Now available from Lulu.com


Now available from Lulu.com


4th Edition paperback now available from Lulu.com

See beekeeping books for details and links to ebook versions.
site map
php. BB © 2001, 2005 php. BB Group

View topic - Bee's built combe across all the bars! - Natural Beekeeping Network Forum