I think it's important to be able to inspect the brood nest, especially
closer to winter when diseases start showing up. If you leave them alone
or if for some reason you can't check the hive often enough, it'll
increase the amount of crosscomb/attachments/messes that they make- it's
one of the disadvantages of TBH that you really do need to be able to
get into the hive 'often enough' (I admit I"m not always the best at
making the time to do this regular maintenance I'm preaching about).
Once you've corrected side (or floor) attachments, they usually don't
re-build them for a while, so more frequent maintenance makes
'maintenance in general' easier.
Crosscomb is sometimes genetic, I"ve heard- are your three hives from
the same genetics?
You can always feed the bees later if you end up losing a lot of honey
comb when you try and do the maintenance and worry that you're not
leaving them enough honey. Some people in organic beekeeping recommend
feeding honey rather than sugar water (though some point out that nectar
is thinner than honey and watery syrup might be easier for them to take
in), so you could just give them their own honey back if you
accidentally harvest it and didn't intend to.
Carolyn Chaney wrote:
> Hi everyone,
> I have three thriving TB hives now, and it is indeed three times as
> much work! Every time I've gone into the hives this season, I've
> found cross comb and comb built between two bars and even comb stuck
> down on the floor, so that going in means making a mess. As a
> result, in this late summer I've harvested a few combs at the back of
> the hives, cleaned up the mess in back, and left the rest alone...I
> worry about what might be going on further forward, but I worry more
> that if I break up too much honey comb, I'll not leave enough for the
> bees for winter. What do y'all think? Is it better to leave the
> brood and forward honey combs alone? Or am I asking for more trouble
> in the spring? I'm starting to wish for Langs, so I need a pep talk.
> I must say, that all three hives have produced lots of honey this
> year, even the two new ones. Last year I didn't get any, but this
> year I 've had honey to give away and enough to see me through the
> winter. Yum!
> Carolyn Chaney
> cchaney@... <mailto:cchaney%40sfsu.edu>
> > "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious
> > life?"
> > --Mary Oliver
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]