FERRAL HIVE CAPTURED.
Last week I picked up a hive. It was in a large loudspeaker box (including
speakers). This was suspended from chains in a covered patio attached to a
house. Couldn't ask for a better location as far as the bees are concerned
as it was sheltered from rain and heat and unlikely to encounter any ant
problems. However a resident was alergic to bees, so it had to go.
The workers look like five stripe italians but the drones look more like
Russians or Yugoslavians. They are very mellow and do not pursue more than a
couple of yards (meters) when disturbed - unlike my previous wild mix which
would chase all the way to the house (20M).
This weekend I sawed it open and transferred most of the worker brood comb
to six wild comb frames (similar to those on the web site). Very messy and a
lot of work. They are now in the CK3 (60 degree Kenyan with narrow bottom
vent) to which I added external stiffeners and lots of screws (the liner
wauld warp inward in hot weather which worsened attachment problems). I
also added hanging grids, mainly to restrict the vertical extent of the
comb. I recovered about 3L of honey, with a lot of honey comb left lose in
the hive for the bees to feed on and a lot of mixed comb left out for
The literature recommends 35mm for non-african bees. However, all wild comb
that I have ever seen appears to be on a 38mm spacing. My experince with
35mm has been that the bees tend to fatten the comb at the developing end,
which encroaches on the space for the next comb to be built - this next comb
is then bent off of the centerline of the bar and this defect gets
progressively worse as more bars are filled, even though all combs are
started on the centerline.
I have fabricated a new bar design - this is simiar to Steve's and
Satterfield's, but instead of a grove for starter this has a ridge
projecting below 5 degree sloped cheeks. It is all made by sawing only - no
fabrication required. The ridge bottom is rubbed with wax as a hint. Cut
from 3/4 inch (18mm) (1 inch nominal) board stock, the extreme ends are
milled back as shown on Steve's page. I ran off four 35mm as an experiment,
but the next set will be 38mm wide and some may include a variation on
steve's vertical passages. My neighbor (who uses Langsroths) says that free
access vertically is important when using supers.
Any opinions concerning bars?
Best wishes to all,