top bar hive

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Grandad Jim 

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Hello, Last year I was lucky enough to collected 5 swarms from 2 local feral colonies, but I had ran out of conventional hives so finished up housing 3 of these swarms in a long top bar hive divided into 3 sections, 1 entrance in the front, 2 at the back. All these colonies have come thro the winter OK and seem healthy and happy. Whilst top bars are interesting they are almost impossible to manage, especially as the bees in one section have built the comb across the bars which are now a solid block! I have now built a couple of new commercial hives and would like to transfer the bees form the top bar into these but have no idea how to do this. Any advice would be appreciated.

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oliver90owner 

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I think I would carefully cut the top bars to fit inside the frames and tie them in place with cable ties or similar. May be fun doing it!!

That will use up your couple of hives. The 'across the bars' colony can wait until later!

Regards, RAB
 

sherwood 

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double problem here in that to transpose them you are going to have to move them 3 miles away or they are going to reoccupy the hive again.
How about making up an adapter to sit on one end at a time using ply that will let you locate say 8 commercial frames at right angles to the top bars and effectively doing a bailey comb transfer on one end at a time. when the queen moves upstairs fabricate a queen excluder to keep her up there wait 21 days for all worker brood in the bottom box to hatch.
locate the commercial frames in the new hive put this beside the tbh on a sheet with a ramp to the entrance and effectively do a shook swarm onto the sheet with the remaining bees from that section of the top bar hive.
 

Chris B 

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I would guess these are swarmy bees. I would also guess you won't get them transferred using a "gentle" method as described before at least one of them gets building queen cells. In your position I would either:

a) Use a shook swarm (or would that be a gently brushed swarm?) to get all 3 colonies into their new homes. You need a 3rd new hive obviously. I would do this in 2 or 3 weeks probably, but before they swarm. You could steal a frame of brood from the existing commercials to get the 3 new ones going.

b) Or if time or equipment is scarce, simply set up bait hives as a temporary/permanent tactic
 
T

Tom Bick 

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Is it possible to place a commercial hive over the top bar hive with bit of adjustment and get the bees to move up into the commercial hive.

You may have to make things fit in a strange way at first but you got this far and it may work.
 

Brosville 

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"Whilst top bars are interesting they are almost impossible to manage" - I'm a little at a loss to understand what you mean - certainly if you've got some cross comb it may need some sorting out, but what is it you're trying to achieve that appears impossible with a top bar hive?
 

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