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Why cant you put top bars in nationals?

 
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Chicken
New Bee


Joined: 06 Mar 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Leicester UK

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 5:45 pm    Post subject: Why cant you put top bars in nationals? Reply with quote

As title really, is there any reason for not using top bars in standard nationals?
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biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1055
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can, but if you use side-by-side bars there is no vertical transition, so you can only use one box.

Also, if they attach to the sides, how would you know before you remove a bar and break the comb?

This subject has been discussed many times - I suggest you do a search.
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trekmate
Golden Bee


Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 1125
Location: UK, North Yorkshire, Bentham

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could use the top-bars only from frames which would fit in castellations or with spacers. You'd still have the side attachment problem though. Simplest option is to use frames with a short (1 inch) starter strip of foundation.

Using top-bars amongst frames in a brood box is one way of getting bees into a hTBH. Also worth a search if that's your intent.
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WileyHunter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 13 Jan 2014
Posts: 125
Location: Batesville, IN USA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As stated already, sure it "could" be done, but seems like it would be too much trouble.

Rather than just putting top bars in, why not run with empty frames? You'd get proper spacing to allow the movement between boxes, have a side bar for the gals to attach to rather than the box itself, and don't need the foundation (but could still provide a starter strip if wanted).
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rmcpb
Scout Bee


Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Posts: 447
Location: Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wiley got it spot on. Why do you want to make a vertical hive into a top bar? If you have a good reason like moving to a top bar then it would be worth the effort otherwise, just run them in frames with no foundation. That is how I run my langs and it's working really well"
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catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1495
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can run your nationals in the same way as Warrés but the boxes are really a bit too big unless you have a very strong colony and a national brood box full of honey is very heavy!

I know of someone in the local association who only uses national supers and you could use these in the same way as Warré hives reasonably easily.
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obcarskas
Guard Bee


Joined: 27 Mar 2015
Posts: 54
Location: chester, england, uk

PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2015 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jaja ! i like this idea...i am building top bar hives but just bought second hand national hive which has some old comb that is useful as bait...

but reading this i see by using just empty frames that could be done ! and useful to then transfer some to a tbh !

not yet knowing if there are any bees around i add ! but never say never !
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andy pearce
Silver Bee


Joined: 30 Aug 2009
Posts: 663
Location: UK, East Sussex, Brighton

PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have used a strong national to build comb for a htbh. It is very simple...you need a narrow eke to cope with the depth of the wood you are using as the top bars (happy to explain this further if anyone is unclear) and I started by adding one to a brood box then slowly introduced more between existing frames. I allowed the queen in to lay and when I had six good sizes combs, some with brood, I trimmed them to fit a normal htbh and popped a swarm in I had hanging about. This colony was alive yesterday when I had a peep through its window and checked some margarine tubs filled with (my!) honey I use as contact feeders over single large holes in two top bars at either end of the occupied part of the hive.

In terms of using a national as a warre, I have had little success in getting colonies to move down before swarming (national brood to brood), maybe there is a perceived size limit going on, and although I am a big bloke who works outside predominantly, I do not like the lifting, it is too heavy to be controlled. I have made moves to try an all super system but frankly it is going to use a lot of supers and I do not want to buy more. If I am going to stick with framed hives I will start framed Warre when I set up where I end up for more than a few years. I am inclined to ditch the national completely and stick with horizontal top bar and Warre. There are plenty of people out there who will buy second hand nationals so I can get a bit of money back on the costs of the hives.

A
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