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Erichalfbee 

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Could I ask all new members to put their location in their profile please. It helps anybody answering your questions to know where you are. We may be a small island but conditions and climate vary enormously
Thanks
 

Fish 

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Hi I'm Nick from West Dorset. I've kept bees for a few years and now just have one hive. It's big and busy. I have a top bar hive ready that my son built for me and I would like to try and split my hive to inhabit it too - or possibly start afresh with a nuc. Does anyone have any experience of attaching brood to top bar hives. Most nucs come in standard framed and my other hive is national. Be good to know if anyone has any tips. Is chopping up frames and tying them on an option? Also I'm always keen to hear how much stores you would normally leave over winter and how much fondant . thanks in anticipation
 

enrico 

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I have never used a TBH but I imagine if you split your national next year you could shake a split in.
I brood box full of stores should see you through winter. Fondant should be considered from January onwards depending on the weather, insulation etc.
Welcome to the forum, can be lively but loads of info and help
E
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Glanaman,Carmarthenshire,Wales
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Too many - but not nearly enough
Hi I'm Nick from West Dorset. I've kept bees for a few years and now just have one hive. It's big and busy. I have a top bar hive ready that my son built for me and I would like to try and split my hive to inhabit it too - or possibly start afresh with a nuc. Does anyone have any experience of attaching brood to top bar hives. Most nucs come in standard framed and my other hive is national. Be good to know if anyone has any tips. Is chopping up frames and tying them on an option? Also I'm always keen to hear how much stores you would normally leave over winter and how much fondant . thanks in anticipation
I wouldn't consider moving them into the TBH now - too late really to make a split now that would come to any good.
Yes, if needs be you can take away the side and bottom bars and cable tie the top bars and comb onto the new top bars of the TBH but an 'easier' way would be to wait until swarming season, catch a swarm and dump that into your topbar.
 
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elainemary 

House Bee
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Hi I'm Nick from West Dorset. I've kept bees for a few years and now just have one hive. It's big and busy. I have a top bar hive ready that my son built for me and I would like to try and split my hive to inhabit it too - or possibly start afresh with a nuc. Does anyone have any experience of attaching brood to top bar hives. Most nucs come in standard framed and my other hive is national. Be good to know if anyone has any tips. Is chopping up frames and tying them on an option? Also I'm always keen to hear how much stores you would normally leave over winter and how much fondant . thanks in anticipation
Hi, most of my hives are single brood. I leave the bees a super of their own honey. Given all the work they’ve put in, it’s fair to share the harvest. Better for them too - minerals, vitamins, pollen in honey etc. I then top up mid sept with syrup and give fondant as insurance depending on how mild it’s been - usually Jan.
 

elainemary 

House Bee
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Hi, most of my hives are single brood. I leave the bees a super of their own honey. Given all the work they’ve put in, it’s fair to share the harvest. Better for them too - minerals, vitamins, pollen in honey etc. I then top up mid sept with syrup and give fondant as insurance depending on how mild it’s been - usually Jan.
Ps any excess stores not used eg in brood box is useful for making up Nucs the following season.
 

madasafish 

Queen Bee
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Hi I'm Nick from West Dorset. I've kept bees for a few years and now just have one hive. It's big and busy. I have a top bar hive ready that my son built for me and I would like to try and split my hive to inhabit it too - or possibly start afresh with a nuc. Does anyone have any experience of attaching brood to top bar hives. Most nucs come in standard framed and my other hive is national. Be good to know if anyone has any tips. Is chopping up frames and tying them on an option? Also I'm always keen to hear how much stores you would normally leave over winter and how much fondant . thanks in anticipation

My first hive was a TBH 10 years ago..I chopped and cut each National frame so the topbar plus foundation would fit into TBH,

Bought a 5 frame National nuc and assembled the following tools beside the TBH
A workmate or similar to hold frames.

A simple frame stand (or some wood to stick in workmate which will act as one.
A woodsaw. (just in case)
A wood lopper. (used to crush and cut the national frames with bees and brood. The sharper the better,
Cable ties.
A pair of wire cutters - your frames will be wired and you will need to cut them if the lopper does not.
A stanley knife with a sharp blade.
A small steel ruler to cut.
Cable ties
small drill or screwdriver
Pliars to tighten cable ties.

Firstly you want to measure your top bars.
Then superimpose a National top bar on top - this can be a paper exercise.

Work out what length to cut off the top bars.

Then make a card triangle with a flat bottom which fits inside the TBH so the top of the triangle is horizontal and fits under the underside of your tbh topbar.Trial fit under a topbar to ensure it fits.

Then cut the Triangle sides so they are as deep as the National brood foundation and they are approx 10mm away from each sloping wall of the TBH. This gives you a template for cutting the brood foundation with bees. (You need a template: you don't want to take any time to measure with bees around you. Check it under a topbar in the TBH so it all fits.)

Find frame with Queen leave till last.

A.
Shake bees from one National frame into TBH


Place each frame flat on workmate and carefully cut with knife foundation from side and bottom bars = leaving wire to prevent it all collapsing when you lift it up.
Hold frame vertical - or place in a frame stand or get someone to hold it.
With loppers cut off side bars from bottom bar. Cut off side bars from top bar
Remove side and bottom bars cutting wires with wire cutter.
You may need to shorten end of National topbar so it will fit under your TBH topbar inside the TBH...(Check before you start )
Place under TBH top bar - in middle leaving gaps at either side (pre marked with your card triangle) and attach topbar National (now with a triangle of comb with flat bottom) to TBH bar with cable ties through holes in foundation (drill or cut) - 3 - one middle and one each side about 3 cms along from end of foundation.
Remove surplus cable tie with wire cutters
Place in TBH.

Repeat from A.

When you get to frame with Queen, either shake her CAREFULLY in TBH or lift her out and place on frame in TBH .As you are a beginner, shake unless you are used to handling Qs.

Rehearse in mind every step.

I wrote out a ToDo list with every step itemised so I had everything I needed and knew what I was doing before I started. It took me 30 minutes to do the actual cutting etc once I was ready to begin.
I was on my own.

No plan? It may be a mess.
 
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