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Nuc from standard hive to vTBH

 
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Erkki
New Bee


Joined: 24 Feb 2015
Posts: 4
Location: Karjalohja, Finland

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 10:00 pm    Post subject: Nuc from standard hive to vTBH Reply with quote

Hi,
I am new here so sorry if this has been already covered (couldn't find it). I have 3 Farrar hives I bought as nucs last spring. My plan is to make a nuc from each of them, i.e. 3 nucs and have hopefully 6 hives to overwinter next autumn. I have built 3 vTBH's for the new nucs. Now my question is how to best make the nucs from the Farrar hives and get them easily into the vTBH?

Should I just make artificial swarms and dump the bees in the TBH? or...

Mainly I have been thinking of growing comb on top bars in the Farrar boxes (they would fit). So when I add the first box to the Farrar hive this coming spring I could add top bars in the brood area and later when they have been built I could transfer them as a nuc into the TBH. Would that work?

I would be greatful for any ideas on this.

Thanks,
Erkki
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biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1051
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never heard of a Farrar hive. Do you have any photos?
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Erkki
New Bee


Joined: 24 Feb 2015
Posts: 4
Location: Karjalohja, Finland

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a normal frame hive, just that the boxes are smaller (lower). Can be used mixed with Langstroth boxes which is the standard hive in Finland. I chose it to avoid problems with my back.

I tried to link a photo but the system doesn't allow me. The link is below just add the http-stuff in front and add the dots.
erkki(dot)photoshelter(dot)com/gallery-image/Mehilaiset/G0000uumltn09Pec/I0000ykX5RA1vdcI/C0000x931NRs5AH8

Anyway my question would be the same if I had any standard frame hives.

rgds,
Erkki
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biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1051
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To make a photo show up here, you have to go to the image itself, right click and 'copy image url', post that here and enclose it with the Img button.

Like this:

[img]image_url.jpg[/img]

The image url should end with .jpg or .png or it will not work.
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Wink
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AugustC
Silver Bee


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

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What you are suggesting can work quite well Phil discribed it in detail in an earlier thread:

http://www.biobees.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=15514&highlight=chop+crop

The main options are:
1) Shook swarm, as you suggest.
2) Chop and crop, cutting the comb to the correct dimensions.
3) Hive substitution, as above.
4) Grow down or grow up, rarely works.
5) Making a "coverter hive", growing the colony horizontally from an old sized box to a new sized box.

All have pro and cons obivously and it depends how much in the way of brood you need to sacrifice at any point.

best of luck
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Barbara
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1564
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi

I'm not sure why you would want to move to vertical top bar hives when

a) You could just use the existing hives in a more natural way..... foundationless etc

b) you appear to want to avoid problems with your back caused by lifting heavy boxes filled with honey in which case an horizontal TBH may be more appropriate... of course you would still have the decision of how to populate it.

The key with "growing" your nucs on top bars within the existing hive is position and timing of removal so that you get the right mix of bees, brood and stores on the bars you want, ideally together with a queen cell. I tried this once and ended up with about 70% drone brood on the top bars I put in. I also got queen cells of course and some stores but very little worker brood which is really what you need for a new colony to thrive. I think the timing of when I put them in and the fact that the colony were previously being constrained by worker brood foundation meant that they saw the top bars as a great opportunity to build drone brood cells on them as it was approaching swarming season. I think it is likely that if you have foundation in your existing hives then this may happen to you too.

Personally, I would be more inclined to wait until they swarm, place bait hives and/or a Russian scion nearby and regardless of whether you catch the prime swarm or not, split the remainder to populate your new hives. You could perhaps cover your bets by using an antificial method with one colony and leaving the other to swarm....
... then again I'm just a huge fan of swarms and encourage people to "allow" swarming whenever possible. I spent too many frustrating years trying to prevent it. Now that I am mentally comfortable with it and accept it for the "wonder" that it is, I see many more benefits to it than the alternatives.
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Erkki
New Bee


Joined: 24 Feb 2015
Posts: 4
Location: Karjalohja, Finland

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks zaunreiter for posting the photo. It's not that I didn't know how, but the system does not allow for newbees to post links (less than 5 posts => no links).

For the time being I will have the Farrar hives and the vTBH side by side - therefore I would like to avoid destructive methods like "chop and crop". Phil's posting about "hive substitution' method of transfer" is exactly what I was looking for and I think I will pretty much do that as advised in the text. Thank you AugustC for linking it.

Barbara mentioned the risk of ending up mainly with drone brood and that was my main worry too. I have used the method of putting an empty frame in the Farrar hives and then cutting them out for varroa prevention. When you put only one empty frame in the hive it will be 100% drone brood. I hope if putting 3-4 frames one will get also worker brood. On the other hand Phil mentioned that it is nothing to worry about. I wonder what he meant with that?

rgds,
Erkki
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