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Transferring Langstroth Bees to a Top Bar Hive

 
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philbert
Guard Bee


Joined: 11 Jul 2011
Posts: 66
Location: Australia, Victoria, Latrobe Valley

PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:54 pm    Post subject: Transferring Langstroth Bees to a Top Bar Hive Reply with quote

I built a modified Chandler HTBH to fit my existing Langstroth box, and allow the bees to move downwards into it in their own time. I took this photo just after lifting the box off its baseboard and putting it on the TBH. I sealed it up afterwards using gaffer tape.



It's been about four days now, and the bees are building comb on the top bars Smile

I wrote up a longer version of the story with more photos on my blog.
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philbert
Guard Bee


Joined: 11 Jul 2011
Posts: 66
Location: Australia, Victoria, Latrobe Valley

PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So it's been a couple of weeks now, and the bees are yet to build comb in the TBH. They are definitely building their numbers (so the hive is healthy) and each night there is a grapefruit-sized cluster of bees hanging off the top bars under the centre of the Lang box.

I wondered if the fact the the TBH has a lot more light (having mesh at its base rather than a floor) than the Lang box was confusing the bees? Or is it the case that once they have filled the Lang box, they'll start building comb in the TBH? There was very little in the way of stores in the Lang when I put it on the TBH, so I imagine the bees have been building those up (it is mid Summer here).

If anyone has any advice or things I should check, please let me know!
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Trevody
Foraging Bee


Joined: 28 Mar 2010
Posts: 128
Location: UK, North Lincolnshire, Brigg

PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi philbert
I tried something very similar to your set up back in the summer of 2010, it was late in the season and did not work for me at all the bees made no attempt to move down even though the box that they were in was packed full, the bees would beard down from the top bars at night, but made no move to build comb, I changed my set up in the end by sticking a nuc box on the end of a mini top bar hive to allow the bees to move sideways, the bees over wintered in this hive and did expand side ways the following season, but I still had brood in 3 or 4 of the frames when I came to transfer the colony into a full size tbh so still had to do a bit of chop and crop.
Here is a link to my write up

http://www.biobees.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6647&highlight=transfer+hive

This was a similar thread that was running at the same time which has some useful info and links

http://www.biobees.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6604&highlight=transfer+hive

It may be that if it is early enough in your season and the bees fill the original frames to capacity that they may then move down.

interested to know how things develop for you

Trev
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philbert
Guard Bee


Joined: 11 Jul 2011
Posts: 66
Location: Australia, Victoria, Latrobe Valley

PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that info and those links, Trev. I will study them closely.

I think I may have seen one of those threads previously, or at least something similar because I wondered about constructing something along the same lines. However because I already had the completed TBH body, I went with this approach instead. It is still fairly early in the season, so I might give them some more time and if I still don't see any improvement I might try the 'horizontal hybrid hive' as you did.

Having now had TWO swarms abscond from a top bar hive, I am hesitant about mucking this colony around too much. They may not be moving into the TBH, but clearly they are doing well since the number of bees keeps increasing.
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Wyvern
House Bee


Joined: 07 May 2011
Posts: 24
Location: Statesville, North Carolina

PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried that very same thing last year. The bees clustered and hung out in the top bar hive but never built any comb. I finally built a Tanzanian so the frames would fit and fastened top bars over the frames.
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philbert
Guard Bee


Joined: 11 Jul 2011
Posts: 66
Location: Australia, Victoria, Latrobe Valley

PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, it's been another three weeks or so, and there's still no suggestion they're going to move down Sad

I guess I'm building a new hive that can take the Langstroth frames. I have a stock of old hardwood timber, so I might use that.
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Yaribee
Nurse Bee


Joined: 03 Feb 2012
Posts: 38
Location: Mullumbimby nsw Australia

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a similar result late 2011 here in Byron Bay Australia, the bees wouldn't move down to my top bar hive and ended up swarming... I still have the langstroth and am about to try another method by putting a small top bar hive on top, much like a super, but without the queen excluder.

I'm hoping the queen will lay brood in this top bar, if not I'll have to get a queen and split the hive. will post a pic once it's in place.

Ps i did get a swarm to move into my original top bar and they are doing well

Yari[/img]
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Barbara
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1581
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Yaribee

As regards your idea to make a top bar hive to fit on top of your Lang and hope they will build into it like a super, I think you may have problems with that because there is no means for the bees to climb up into the box above. In a super, they climb up the frames of foundation and draw it out but what will probably happen in your set up is that they will build up from the top bars of your Lang frames and you will end up with a mess that will be difficult to sort out. It is unlikely that the bees will climb up the walls of the box above and then chain down from the top bars above without some means of a ladder in the centre and even then you would get some bees building upwards either side of it.

Biobee recently suggested a different way to transfer by moving the original hive 3 meters away and turning it through 180degrees so that foragers can't find their way back and putting new hive on old site. Fastening some of their comb to top bars in new hive so that when the foragers arrive it smells like home and they start to deposit their loads. After 20mins when the old hive has less bees, locate the queen and carefully transfer her to the new hive and then brush in a couple of frames of nurse bees. (The new hive may need feeding to help with comb building). Close up both hives and leave them. You may end up with a split if the nurse bees in the old hive manage to rear a new queen or wait until all the brood has hatched and then brush all the remaining bees into the new hive or as Phil says "feed the brood to your chickens!"

This should only be undertaken when weather is settled and there is a good nectar flow.

Not sure if Phil has used this method or if he was just postulating....
Will try to find his post and link it, just in case I've got some of that wrong.

Best wishes

Barbara
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Barbara
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1581
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Again

Hopefully this is the link to the thread in question:-

http://www.biobees.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11084&highlight=crop+chop

Regards

Barbara
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biobee
Site Admin


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

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have not used that exact method (the one in the linked thread) specifically to move bees from one type of hive to another, but I have successfully used it to reinforce a split from a National to a TBH. The only difference was that the National was left to raise another queen.
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jumbleoak
Scout Bee


Joined: 03 Aug 2010
Posts: 295
Location: UK, England, Kent

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For all their supposed natural inclination to build downwards, it just goes to show that bees do whatever they want!
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biobee
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Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1055
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jumbleoak wrote:
For all their supposed natural inclination to build downwards, it just goes to show that bees do whatever they want!


That's for sure. It's their adaptability that got them through the last 100 million years.
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Yaribee
Nurse Bee


Joined: 03 Feb 2012
Posts: 38
Location: Mullumbimby nsw Australia

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow thanks for all the advice, I'm very grateful to hear this before I make another slow mistake, would have taken me weeks or months to find this out on my own.

Is there any evidence to suggest a Warre hive would work ontop or under a Langstroth? I haven't looked up this topic yet but it occurred to me, I mean they build down without any frames in a Warre right?

Chees

Yari
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biobee
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Joined: 14 Jun 2007
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Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can make almost any vertical transfer work if you put a squeeze on the bees in the upper box. If they can't go sideways, they will go down.
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Yaribee
Nurse Bee


Joined: 03 Feb 2012
Posts: 38
Location: Mullumbimby nsw Australia

PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm may still give it a go, will let you all know how I go in a few months
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recon
Scout Bee


Joined: 01 Dec 2009
Posts: 257
Location: England, herts, potter bar

PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok.

there was another way i remember...

take two of the frames out of the lang (side ones, if full of honey feed that back to them). replace with topbars (pref in the broodnest, if conditions are right) (they need to be same length as frames).

after they built on them and pref. there is brood in them. move them down into the topbarhive, replacing them with dummy boards (on outside).

as long there is enough bees, which it sounds like if they hang out in the topbarhive, especially if you use dummy boards to squeeze them, the bees won't abandon brood.. and will start building down under...

i haven't used this method myself but there was a thread somewhere about it. if i'm wrong here please let me know..

DD
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Yaribee
Nurse Bee


Joined: 03 Feb 2012
Posts: 38
Location: Mullumbimby nsw Australia

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks recon I was wondering about something similar.

How would you feed the honey back to them?

I've yet to finish painting the outside of my mini-top bar so will be a few weeks yet. Will keep you posted.
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philbert
Guard Bee


Joined: 11 Jul 2011
Posts: 66
Location: Australia, Victoria, Latrobe Valley

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

After 11 months of waiting for the bees to move down, I got impatient and decided to build a hybrid hive with a Lang box at one end, similar to what Trevody describes earlier in this thread. I had since successfully captured a swarm in my portable TBH, and they were rapidly filling it, so I needed another large TBH anyway.

I built the new hive over the course of two days (I'm guessing about 6 hours of work) before I had to travel interstate. When I returned five days later, the bees had built almost a complete new comb on the first top bar!


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Last edited by philbert on Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:12 am; edited 1 time in total
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biobee
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Joined: 14 Jun 2007
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Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This clearly demonstrates that bees will move sideways at least as readily as they will move down - more so in your case.
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philbert
Guard Bee


Joined: 11 Jul 2011
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Location: Australia, Victoria, Latrobe Valley

PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a theory that bees living a Langstroth hive (with a solid floor) won't move down into a space with an open bottom. The new hybrid hive has a solid bottom, so that may be a contributing factor as well - eg: there is no climatic difference for the bees to move sideways in this hive.
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yanyading
New Bee


Joined: 13 May 2014
Posts: 2
Location: Yibin, Sichuan Province, P.R.China

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was believe the standard TBH has solid bottom, then when you combine the La-- hive on the top and sealed, the 2 hives are one...

In the end you mentioned your TBH has open (net screen) bottom, maybe it looks the open air for bees...

I m new and from china so please forgive my english...
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