A curiosity

Discussion about all the various types and configurations of topbar hives.
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trili
Freshman Beekeeper
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Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2015 3:50 pm
Location: Placerville, CA

A curiosity

Postby trili » Fri Oct 16, 2015 1:24 am

My top bar (bear damaged in late spring) hive is giving me concern. There is not much capped honey. Brood is spotty, but is also spotty in my other colonies so it is probably normal seasonal drop in brood. Also it seems as if there are fewer workers and nurse bees in the top bar. I did spot the queen and she seems strong. The curious thing is that I put a tray of honey soaked, crushed comb (crush / strain remains) into the hive to feed, thinking they would leave the wax in crumbs as they recovered the honey. This is my experience from a prior, similar feeding. Instead, after about a week, I checked to see if they were ready for more, and they had actually built the pile into a comb castle, from the bottom up. :?: It looks like there is still a lot of honey to be had, and I expected them to stash it in the regular combs. I did not know that they would recycle the wax. I wonder if I should leave it (my inclination), or remove it.

fruitveggirl
Freshman Beekeeper
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Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:48 pm
Location: Greater Hartford, Ct
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Re: A curiosity

Postby fruitveggirl » Fri Oct 16, 2015 10:32 am

So sorry to hear that your hive was hit by a bear. I completely empathize since that's happened to me twice, including once at the end of this past July:http://happyhourtopbar.blogspot.com/2015/07/buttercup-cant-catch-break.html.

I've heard that bees will recycle fresh soft wax, but not the old stuff. In any case, I think they can draw new wax faster than they can recycle it. I'd remove that old wax and feed them really heavily. As much syrup as they will take every day/every other day to get them drawing new comb. You'd be surprised how quickly they can do it. My nuc that got hit by a bear this year hadn't filled up the hive by the end of September, so early October, I started giving her 2 quarts every day/other day. Within about a week or so, I couldn't fit the jars in anymore.

Good luck!
http://happyhourtopbar.blogspot.com/ -- A chronicle of my misadventures and mistakes with TBHs

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trili
Freshman Beekeeper
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2015 3:50 pm
Location: Placerville, CA

Re: A curiosity

Postby trili » Fri Oct 16, 2015 7:26 pm

fruitveggirl wrote:So sorry to hear that your hive was hit by a bear. I completely empathize since that's happened to me twice, including once at the end of this past July:http://happyhourtopbar.blogspot.com/2015/07/buttercup-cant-catch-break.html. ........As much syrup as they will take every day/every other day to get them drawing new comb. Good luck!


Thanks for the tips!
My intent was to try and get them to get the honey off the wax and store that in the existing empty combs in the hive. I purposely did not vigorously strain the crushed comb (from different hive), so that I could feed the honey back to the damaged top bar hive. They do not need to build more comb at this time as there are several empty complete combs. I did plan on feeding after they cleaned the honey off the crushed comb. I did not expect them to build comb in place from the bottom up. I can not really tell if they are storing the honey there or exactly what is going on.

fruitveggirl
Freshman Beekeeper
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:48 pm
Location: Greater Hartford, Ct
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Re: A curiosity

Postby fruitveggirl » Fri Oct 16, 2015 8:18 pm

Oh, I see. Yeah, building comb from the bottom up. That's happened to me on a couple of occasions when a comb has fallen. Although the bees seem, but to prefer that comb not touch the floor of the hive, they *really* don't like it when there is a gap above the comb. They're interesting little creatures, but I assume they have a reason for all the things they do because they're smart like that. :geek:

They might be storing honey in that comb, though, since you mentioned that it's fairly intact & they're building on it. I'd remove it, crush & strain it, then feed the honey back to them that way. Otherwise, you might end up with a mess in the hive.
http://happyhourtopbar.blogspot.com/ -- A chronicle of my misadventures and mistakes with TBHs


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