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Colonizing a TBH from a nuc?

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New Bee

Joined: 13 May 2014
Posts: 1
Location: Alabama, USA

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 3:00 am    Post subject: Colonizing a TBH from a nuc? Reply with quote

I've been trying to colonize a new TBH from a nuc for the last month or so, but I'm still having problems getting the bees to move up into the hive body. The roof of the nuc has a two inch hole the leads up into the hive. So far the bees are reluctant to move up into the tbh, however last week they started building comb vertically up into the hive. The comb collapsed onto the side, and I moved it up to the top bars, pinching it between two bars. I thought this would help them figure out what they should be doing, but still no dice. I've also moved the feeder up into the hive body, thinking that that would help encourage them to move upwards, but still nothing. Any help or advice is greatly appreciated. I can also post pictures of my setup if it helps.
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Site Admin

Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1059
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are wasting your time trying to get bees to move up - that is counter to their normal behaviour, which is to move down. They always start at the highest point and build their combs downwards and back-fill comb above them with honey.

You need to re-think this and read some of the relevant threads here. A book or two would also be a good idea.
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Silver Bee

Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 613
Location: Malton, North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have a full hive body available move your nuc frames into there and add top bars to fill out the area. Remove the topbars before the fill out the full square shape of the hive body.


Make a small topbar hive with one side missing fit your nuc to the side of it having cut a BIG hole in the wall (the bees may not like this). Join them together. Well done you have now made a frame to topbar converting hive.

If you can find the queen put her in the top bar side and put a queen excluder in between. As the brood hatches on the framed side remove the frames and move the dummy board along until you only have the top bar side available. Otherwise the queen will likely move onto the fresh comb being built in the topbar side anyway.
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Golden Bee

Joined: 04 Apr 2009
Posts: 1681
Location: Canada, BC, Delta

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The easiest why to transfer from one hive type to another in my mind is to grow the colony to a good population in the original hive style. Once they are populous place the hive you want the bees in on the stand that colony occupies and shake half the bees and queen into the new hive. The original colony should be set near the new hive so that when all brood has emerged (about 3 weeks) you can shake the remaining bees out of the hive to join the new hive.

You should make sure that you dispatch the new queen before shaking and remove the hive from the area.

You would need to place the nuc into a box that will hold at least 10 frames so they can build to a good population. 5 of them could be as top bars that can be trimmed and cut to length once they are empty of bees.
I'm not as serious as I look!
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