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Cross Comb in new hive


Top bar hive question :
I have half a hive full of what appears to be a thriving community of bees. Started in mid April. I have a dividing board parallel to the top bars in the middle of the hive. There is an opening at the bottom of the dividing board large enough for bees to walk under.

Will they eventually pass under this divider and begin to make comb on the empty side once to starting side is full to capacity - without me removing the dividing board?

The reason why I’m asking and the reason why I’m hesitant to remove the divider is because the bees have established an intricate labyrinth of cross comb on their brood section making it impossible to remove top bars in the traditional way for inspection. I thought perhaps if the divider was left in place and they passed under it to begin new comb foundation on fresh bars, then they might begin this construction in a normal pattern along the length of the bars.

I am hesitant to disrupt them at this stage just for the purpose of re aligning the foundation in the brood comb bars. I assume the queen is ok and thriving because there is good activity at the entrance and i haven’t seen hide nor hair of a single drone this far in this hive. The workers are working hard.


help. anyone with a suggestion would be great


Hi Arbitus!

Thanks so much for reaching out with your great question! Generally, bees will not move under the divider board to build more comb from the empty top bars on the other side. They like to have back to back comb with bee space separating them, so they are not likely to build comb on either side of that divider board. I would recommend keeping a close watch on them as they start to build fresh comb, and while it is still white and empty of brood or honey stores, you can move it back in place onto that top bar.

The extensive cross combing in the rest of the hive can be fixed, though it will likely be very messy while there is still honey and brood being stored. I might wait until spring to pull the combs out and remove the pieces that go askew for the bees to fill in with fresh comb later, while still retaining some of the original structure.

I hope this helps!