Queen disappeared, they are building comb diagonally across

Discussion in 'Top Bar & other Alternative Hives' started by Baxter, May 8, 2011.

  1. Baxter

    Baxter New Member

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    This was a new package install, about 4 or 5 days after the install, found a mass of bees on the ground, under the tbh.

    I picked through the swarm, with a stick, found the marked queen, picked her up, along with a handful of others and dropped them back in the tbh. I didn't bother them for a while, didn't notice a lot of activity. When i did open the tbh, I noticed them building, the comb diagonally, accross several bars, haven't been able to locate the queen, haven't noticed any eggs, I do see where they are storing honey.

    Ok, what to do? Should I buy a new queen? What should I do about the misalligned honey comb?
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Re: Queen disappeared, they are building comb diagonally acr

    Hi Baxter:

    I'm not super familiar with top bars so keep that in mind when reading my answer. :oops:
    Was your queen clipped, that is, was one of her wings clipped when she was marked?
    It may have been that these bees decided to abscond and when the queen went to fly, she couldn't and just dropped to the ground with the rest of the bees "piling on".
    Now, to the issue of the crooked comb. All I could suggest is to carefully cut the comb piece by piece and then suspend it by means of wire or string, in line and below each of your top bars. Keep the sequence of the combs the same way you found it. (search the cut-out section on the forum to see how guys attach comb in frames from cut-outs)
    Hopefully the bees will simply reattach it to the bottoms of your top bars (can't see why they wouldn't) they way you want.
    I am not sure how you would have located the queen on comb built diagonally across several bars, suggesting that you would be unable to see what was going on inbetween the combs.
    Is there pollen being brought in? If so there is brood being raised and it is likely that she is in there.
    If you decide to try this, you will know if she is in there when you separate the comb, finding either her, or open brood/eggs.
    If not, order a queen.
    Let us know how you make out! :)
     

  3. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Re: Queen disappeared, they are building comb diagonally acr

    Not sure what to tell you about the TBH since I do not keep them, sorry.

    Sounds like they are trying to abscond, is the queen clipped? If she is that might be why she is on the ground, can't fly too good. If you were in a lang type hive I would suggest putting in a frame of brood to anchor the bees to this hive.
     
  4. Baxter

    Baxter New Member

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    Re: Queen disappeared, they are building comb diagonally acr

    Update on TopBar fiasco: the comb fell off of the bars, when extracting the 4 fused bars, there was no sign of eggs or larvae. I decided to purchase a queen, was going to pick it up this Friday, when I checked the hive this morning, they are building comb, it looks good as far as alignment, but there are so few bees now I question that a queen would be the solution. How would one go about buying a swarm from someone that has trapped one?
     
  5. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Re: Queen disappeared, they are building comb diagonally acr

    Check with Triad bee supply.
    475-5137. Your area code. They may sell you a lb. or two of bees.
     
  6. Baxter

    Baxter New Member

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    Re: Queen disappeared, they are building comb diagonally acr

    Thanks for the advice, gentlemen. I called Triad, they don't have packages, but do have nucs.

    I have decided, to buy five of the wax coated plastic frames, cut them, to fit the top bar hive inner dimension, then attach the cut foundations to top bars.

    Not clear on the next part, but John, with Triad, I think, will take the modified frames, turn them upside down, put them in a nuc, let the bees build comb, hopefully in a couple of weeks, pick them up, put the established frames in my top bar hive and be on my way.

    Sounds like a plan.
     
  7. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Re: Queen disappeared, they are building comb diagonally acr

    Glad to hear it. Be sure and let us know how it works.
     
  8. Murrell

    Murrell New Member

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    Re: Queen disappeared, they are building comb diagonally acr

    Remember that the cells are directional, they are pointed up a few degrees.

    I understand you want to start them one way then turn them upside down to install ? :confused:

    Murrell
     
  9. Baxter

    Baxter New Member

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    Re: Queen disappeared, they are building comb diagonally acr

    Murrell, I'm not sure about the last part, I may have misunderstood.

    John, with Triad Bees, is my Guru in this matter. I know he mentioned turning frames in a nuc upside down, maybe he was referring to existing combs in the nuc. I was just happy, he confirmed my idea to use wax coated plastic foundation, to encourage the bees to accept the top bar hive, was plausible.

    I'm going to cut the plastic foundation to top bar hive dimensions, affix it to a top bar. There ends my knowlege of bee magic. I'm betting it will work, based on his expertise.
     
  10. Baxter

    Baxter New Member

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    Re: Queen disappeared, they are building comb diagonally acr

    A final note on attempting to use a plastic frame with waxcoated foundation, to facilitate transfer from a NUC to a TBH.

    I picked the frame/foundations up this afternoon, cut them to the dimensions of the top bar traveler board and delivered the modified frame/foundations to John Pledger, Triad Bee Supply, 2 hours later.

    As I understand, Murrell, John is going to use the very flaw, in my own misinterpretation, you mentioned earlier, the bees preference for comb pointed up 15º, to influence them, to abandon the nucs existing comb.

    By inverting the existing comb, putting in the the modified plastic frame/waxed foundation, he's hoping the bees will decide to move to the more hospitable modified frame/foundation.

    Sounds ingenious to me, even if it doesn't work, it's downright clever.