May 10, 2010

What Does This Mean?

Highs have only been in the low 70s, and even much colder, so why the beard?
I don't think they're hot, just crowded. There is brood on the 15th comb and 7 queen cells going, so the colony is booming. We put in the last two top bars, so now they're on 22 bars, and are considering supering the hive soon. We're hoping the extra storage space will stop them from going into full swarming mode.

We have a couple of burning questions on how to super a TBH, though. Namely, should we super over the honey area in the back, or over the front so the foragers don't have to travel all the way through a very crowded hive? And do we need a queen excluder, like the one mentioned here?

'The Johnson hive which is used in Uganda is an "improved" fixed-comb hive. It provides for a separation of honey combs from brood combs by using a piece of five-mesh (five holes per 2.54 cm) hardware cloth (called coffee wire in East Africa). The workers can pass through the wire while the queen cannot, thus the comb constructed on the side of the hive opposite the queen contains only honey.'

We're checking with the forums for advice.


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