Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Fixing Top Bars that are Too Long

My DH spent a good deal of time over the spring putting our hives together with such careful measurements. You can read about his efforts on my other blog. However, we encountered a snag during the install of the top bar nuc I'd ordered. When I originally placed the order for my nuc, I very specifically ordered 19" top bars. When I picked the nuc up, though, I found that my bars had been cut to 22" long.

Having the extra length wasn't a deal breaker because the comb still fit beautifully into my hive. The trouble came when I tried to put the roof back onto the hive. Because of the extra length, the roof didn't fit properly and actually flipped a bar over as I lowered it onto the hive. Naturally, this offended the bees, and I was immediately chastened by a well-deserved sting to the arm when I tried to fix it.

After racking our brains regarding the best way to solve this problem, I put in a "Help for the love of mercy" request to the BeeSource forum. I really love the people on that site. They tend to be very generous in sharing their knowledge and experience, and I've learned so much just from reading their responses to questions.

After reading through the responses to my query, DH and I settled on the following approach:
  1. I lined up the bars so that we would only have to cut one side of them. (Fortunately, this was possible because of how the comb was fixed to the bars.)
  2. After dark, I plugged up the entrances so that the bees couldn't fly out.
  3. In the morning, DH took a circular saw and sliced off the ends. 
  4. I opened the hive entrances.
It was that easy. The whole affair took less than a minute. No jackets or veils required. When I opened the hive up, it was as though nothing had happened. The bees were completely content through it all. 

Don't you love it when things just work out? :-)

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