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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,
I am starting my second year with a TBH in Denver. I live in the city, keep chickens and bees and have an organic garden. Although I have had some issues (a lot!) with keeping my comb straight, my bees did very well over the winter and they swarmed a few days ago. It was the biggest swarm I have ever seen. It was amazing! I am thinking about starting a Warre hive or a Langsthroth foundationless and would feedback if anyone has experience with either. I have posted pictures on my blog.

http://citygardenbliss.blogspot.com/
It is nice to read about you all!
Diane
 

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Hello Diane and WELCOME to our friendly forum! :hi:


While I have never kept a Top Bar Hive I find them intrigueing. I believe there are several members here who have them. As far as foundationless Langs, we have a member named Omie who has some great experience on the topic and would probably be a wealth of information to tap into.
Did you manage to catch your swarm? Feel free to ask plenty of questions, you will usually get answers in short order.
Welcome again, and now I am off to read your blog. :wink:
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi PerryBee,
I did not catch the swarm for myself. I did call the swarm hotline and a nice couple came out and got the bees. It was really amazing how large it was. I hope the bees left behind are strong enough. They seem to be so far. I just posted under another topic, concerned my hive might be honey bound. I am taking an intermediate beekeeping class this Sunday, specifically for TBH so I am hoping they can answer some of my questions.
Thank you
 

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Make sure you stay on good terms with that neighbor, because most likely your bees will swarm to her tree again. I have basically three particular trees that get swarms every year. Sometimes the same branch.
Foundationless Langstroths are cool. I get the frames with grooved top and bottom bars and glue popsicle sticks in both. I have put these empty frames in the brood box interspersed with drawn comb as well as without drawn comb interspersed and had them do fine. But do it in the brood area. For one thing, I'm sure you already know this but someone else might not, the extra heat and need for a place for the queen to lay eggs will get comb drawn faster in the brood area, but also if you intersperse empty frames with drawn comb in the nectar storage area, they sometimes just add to the drawn comb instead of drawing the new stuff next to it. They can do that when all they want to put in the cells is nectar, but they won't make such big oversized cells in the brood area.

Sometimes wacky comb like your friend had can be caused by a hive not being level. They use gravity to draw their comb down, so if your hive is off level, they might start at the top of one frame and end up connecting it to the bottom of another frame, but the comb itself is straight.

I read your blog. That is a big swarm.
You mentioned wanting to plant native plants for the bees. My two cents says don't focus on "native" plants. Humans are not native to the Western Hemisphere. Neither are honey bees. European humans brought European bees here and most of the plants pollinated by our bees were also brought here by us. If you go back far enough we all came from somewhere else. Some people, plants and animals will always outperform other people, plants and animals that may have resided at certain locations previously. Too bad. Whatever passes as "native" today was a former "exotic" species at one time. And they most likely displaced and outperformed whatever were considered the "native species" present at the time.
 

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welcome aboard
 
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