I’m sort of dreading today’s work. I’ve neglected the two top-bar hives I keep at the Veteran’s Memorial Community Garden in the East End. I let them go it alone for too long, and they’ve built a hive of cross comb. It’s bad.
So, today I’m determined to take my rubber bands and my zip ties and my serrated knife and get things straightened out over there.
To make matters worse, one of the colonies creating severe cross comb is also living in one of the hive bodies that succumbed to a TBH design flaw. Some of the cedar fencing I use for the hive bodies is simply too thin to hold the weight of a hive full of bars loaded with bees and comb and honey. Under tremendous weight, the cedar siding begins to bow. When the siding bows out, the top bars, which usually rest on the edge of the siding, slip down so that the comb squishes onto the bottom of the hive. And in this recent heat, the wax melts on the floor of the hive. None of this is good.
I’m gonna face the music today (because our high temperatures should only reach 80 degrees…which means I can work with the comb without it disintegrating in my hands). I intend to spend hours doing right by the bees that I previously neglected.
Comb by comb, I’ll cut the cross comb from the bars. Then I’ll reattach the straightened comb to its bar using either rubber bands or zip ties. Or both. Then I’ll place the newly reattached comb into a new, improved TBH.
I will reward myself with lunch at Eli’s. :)
I’ll take pictures of it for you. If I remember.