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Transfering colony from layens to warre.

 
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Jenny Mc
House Bee


Joined: 06 Aug 2016
Posts: 16
Location: granada.spain

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:38 am    Post subject: Transfering colony from layens to warre. Reply with quote

I acquired a layens hive with colony about 5 weeks ago and I want to transfer them to a new warre hive.I am planning to cut and crop the frames,I have prepared the new hive bearing in mind any future problems I can think of,like ensuring adequate shading,ant deterant,etc.I have read and watched as much as I can find,but am a little nervous as this is my first colony and I don't want to make unnecessary mistakes Is there a prefered time of day to do this?and are there any special considerations to take into account as far as a layens hive is concerned.The colony seems strong and is bringing in loads of pollen at the moment,but are bearding in the afternoons because of the heat we are experiencing at the moment(32_38),I live at an altitude of 700 metres so it gets cooler at night(18 ish,sometimes lower)Any suggestions on how I can level out these fluctuating tempuratures within the hive or are the bees able to sort this out for themselves without too much stress.If I need to modify the hive in some way I want to try and do it before I move the bees over.
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Adam Rose
Silver Bee


Joined: 09 Oct 2011
Posts: 582
Location: Manchester, UK

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have two points to make, one about timing and the other about the mechanics of doing a crop and chop between the two hives. And then I'm going to suggest an alternative !

1. Timing

In the UK, there is no way I would do a crop and chop at this time of year. The hive you are transferring the bees from will be full of heavy honey bars which will be difficult if not impossible to crop and chop and the season is drawing to and end, so the bees will have no time to recover, build up and get back on track. If you are going to do this in the UK, you would do it in late April or perhaps 1st May, when the honey stores in the hive are at a low but the main spring flow has started.

This is because in the UK we more or less have a six or seven month season starting in April and ending in September. There is a small summer dearth but it's nothing like what happens in hotter, drier places. It may be that conditions in Granada are different and that the summer dearth is the time when stores run out, and the autumn season has a strong flow, equivalent to or greater than the Spring flow. Either you will know this or you should ask local beekeepers.

2. Mechanics

I have done one crop and chop from a British National to a Chandler sized top bar hive. Doing this is not too difficult. The widths of the two hive types are the same. The top bar has a slope of 60 degrees while the national frames are vertical, so on each frame you are basically discarding a triangle of comb on the sides. While this is fairly traumatic, it's not too bad - the core of the brood is in the middle of the frame, so you transfer most of it without damage and with surprisingly little disruption. A lot of the time, it's pollen rather than brood, or even empty comb, on the bits you chop and discard. The length of the frame and depth of the TBH are more or less the same, so you do not have to cut through any comb horizontally and attach it to new bars. In other words, there is a 1-1 correspondence between frames in the old hive and top bars in the new hive.

But going from Layens to Warre is a completely different situation. I have never seen an actual Layens, but from the internet I see that the frames are slightly wider than a Warre ( 36cms vs 30cms ) and nearly twice as long ( 40.5cm vs 21cm ). This means that you have a much more difficult problem than doing a UK national to Chandler sized top bar. Ignoring the width problems, you're going to have cut right through the middle of the frame ( and therefore right through the middle of the brood nest ), and the re-attach this to a new top bar, before putting the top half into one part of the Warre and the lower half somewhere else in the Warre. Each frame will give rise to two top bars, one of which is remnant of the old frame and one of which is brand new. What used to be the core of the brood nest will now be distributed into different places in the Warre.

I'm not saying this is impossible, but it's not something that you should attempt without a lot of planning and forethought. You will have to know in advance how you are going to chop horizontally through the frame ( presumably it will have foundation with wire supports inside it ) and how you are going to re-attach the lower half to a Warre top bar. It will be a lot more traumatic for the bees than a National to Chandler sized top bar hive, so the better you can time it the better it will be for the bees.

3. Consider Alternatives

Perhaps you should consider some alternatives ? There are probably a few, but one which might be quite easy to do at the right time of year is a Taranov Swarm - see for example http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/taranovswm.html. This is basically a method of splitting the colony, which has the advantage that you end up with two colonies. and while you do transfer bees, you do not transfer any comb. In a way, this is a slightly more controlled version of "let them swarm, catch the swarm, and put the swarm in the new hive". You could also consider doing a shaken swarm, which is where you transfer all the bees from one hive to the other, leaving all the comb and brood behind.

Adam.
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Jenny Mc
House Bee


Joined: 06 Aug 2016
Posts: 16
Location: granada.spain

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I take your point on the timing.My problem is I think they need more space and better ventilation before the winter.I have also been thinking it was not going to be that straight forward as the layens hive therefore comb will be much deeper.I don't know what would happen if I removed the bars in the bottom box.The main pollen flow is feb.march which is almond then poplar then olive which are all grown round here commercially with rosemary,thyme and other maquis plants,We have 5 acres of herbs and flowering plants which I hope will give us a boost when other stuff is not flowering.I will definately take your advice and consider alternatives.I am very glad I posted on here and thanks for your help.
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Jenny Mc
House Bee


Joined: 06 Aug 2016
Posts: 16
Location: granada.spain

PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,I have thought about this a bit more and realise maybe I do not need to do anything at this point, The bees will swarm when they are ready to move and I need to watch for swarming behaviour.They are probably going to beard because of the heat in their new hive as well as this is how they deal with the heat.I think I may be a little over enthusiastic as I am new to all this.
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AugustC
Silver Bee


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

PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that is a sensible choice. The very best time to do any transfer is in spring when the colony is actively engaged in growth. At this time of year they are looking to consolidate ready for winter not expand. Get them through winter and move them next year. best of luck

Here is a post from my blog of converting nationals to topbar
https://augustcottageapiary.co.uk/2016/05/28/underwear-teaches-us-change-is-good/

and here is one with a video where I went from a framed nuc into a warré
https://augustcottageapiary.co.uk/2016/06/23/too-much-for-one-post/
look under Queen Hunmanbee
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Jenny Mc
House Bee


Joined: 06 Aug 2016
Posts: 16
Location: granada.spain

PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice AugustC.Hopefully I have avoided making a big mistake.
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