TOP BAR HIVE

I checked my TBH at Ourganics, Litton Cheney, a couple of days ago and was astonished to find it nearly full with brood end to end.  It’s never been as prosperous as this before and yet the season has been so awful (apart from March) so far. Other peoples’ hives on the same shared site are doing very poorly in comparison.

I took my harvest from this hive in March, of stores they didn’t consume during the winter. Real honey, not recycled Tate & Lyle’s as I don’t feed my bees.  I made the mistake of putting the bars from which I had cut the comb back, sitting next to each other instead of interspersing them between drawn comb. The result was that they drew comb at right angles to the rest under 4 or 5 bars.

I made some preparations and went again yesterday, removing 4 adjacent combs en bloc, placing them in a nuc, putting new bars not in their place but interspersed as I should have done in March. I checked that the removed comb has brood in all stages and plenty of bees (it might even have the queen!) and took it to my other TBH a few miles away.

I placed the bars at the front of the prepared hive, the bar immediately behind it having a good drawn comb on my preferred alignment. If and when they establish a colony there, I shall, in the fulness of time, get rid of the awkward comb.  I passed by that way this afternoon and bees were flying to and from the entrance so I presume all is well, but I would have been happier had I seen pollen going in.

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About chrissladesbeeblog

I have been keeping bees since 1978 and currently have about a dozen hives. I am a member of the BBKA where for many years I represented Dorset at the Annual Delegates' Meeting. I am the co-author (with Dave MacFawn of of S. Carolina) of "Getting the Best from Your Bees" and am working on a book of my own poems : "Bee People".
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