What would be the best way to transfer a Nuc to a TBH? Nuc being 3 frames (deeps) of bees and brood with two frames of food stores.
I'd say you have the direct method and the indirect methods.
The direct method is to make a frame that fits your top bar hive and cut the comb out of the deep frame and cut it to fit the top bar sized frame and tie it in.
The indirect method is to build a top bar nuc that takes your size top bars or something to go on top of the nuc and let them move up into that and put those bars in the top bar hive.
It might be handy to have some frames for the top bar hives for capturing swarms from trees and houses etc.
If you've never tied comb here is some ideas how it works.
[This message has been edited by Michael Bush (edited February 23, 2004).]
Why not just take the bottom and top off your nuc, set it inside the back end of your TBH and put the bars back on? Reduce the entrance somewhat and put the TBH where you had the nuc. (If you do not, you will lose the nuc field force.) As quickly as the bees can finish raising the brood they have in the nuc they will move up near the entrance to the TBH.
Another way would be to put a top on the nuc with a small hole (3/4 or one inch) bored in it, matching a hole in the bottom of the TBH. Close off the entrance to the nuc and set the TBH on top of the nuc. Queens do no like to lay in comb below the entrance to the hive and as quickly as the bees can build her some comb in the TBH she will be up there. Once the brood is out of the nuc the bees will clean it out.
I'm trying to start a TBH this spring. I was going to be purchasing the nuc(Ox did you get my email?)from a local (Tulsa) beekeeper. The way that he sells nucs is you bring him the container (deep sized),and he trades out five frames for for five frames. Three frames of bees and 2 of food. I don't have a nuc box so I will be taking a deep lang. I will have 5 deep frames to transfer to a TBH. My TBH will be a sloped side - 15" at the top and no deeper than 12" Was what I had in mind. Ox do you sell nucs? You are not that far from me....
This is going to be a problem of TBHs - You almost always will have to have a swarm or a package to start a new hive.
What about this idea. Some how attach the nuc to the underside of the TBH with a hole into the bottom of the TBH, and blocking the nuc entrance leaving only the TBH entrance forcing the bees to start drawing comb in the TBH and working up into the TBH? Later remove the nuc attachment and cover bottom entrance.
28: No, I don't sell anything but after learning that a fellow in Tulsa wants $75 for nucs and $25 for queens I may go in the bee business. I am going to try to split some hives and fill three TBH's and a nuc or two this spring.
Make yourself a nuc box. Cut two pieces of 2x8, notch out a corner for frame rests. Make the pieces so that they are the same depth as your lang deep PLUS 3/4 INCH. This extra 3/4 inch permits you to just nail on a bottom and drill or cut out a small entrance in the 2x piece. Then take two pieces of any kind of scrap board or plywood and make sides--just make sure that your inside length is the same as the inside length of a Lang. The top can be like the bottom. If you cut out your rabbets deep enough to leave a top bee space you can use any flat board for a top. You can make this in a couple of hours using sheet rock screws and your drill to assemble it. Go get your bees, put a piece of screen over the entrance and a strap around the hive to hold the top on and go to the house. I made three of these last week, though I had plenty of materiel and so made conventional tops and bottoms. Beats paying $26.50 plus shipping.
People put Migratory covers on top (which are just flat boards with cleats) of a hive all the time. I have trouble with enough bee space when I have PermaComb on a frame rest, so I add a spacer under my migratory covers.
I run all mediums so, for swarm boxes I often buy a deep (5 frame nuc, 8 frame box or 10 frame box), cut the frame rest rabbet deeper to 3/4" deep and cut the boards down to 7 1/4" or so and then put a flat bottom on, drill a hole for the entrance and make a migratory top. I've also made them from scratch from a 1 x 8 for the sides.
A 3/4" deep frame rest rabbet leaves you 3/8" bee space on the top which is nice especially for swarms where it's hard to get the lid back on and not squish some bees.
A three frame nuc isn't very big. Seperating that small amount of bees from brood/comb by shaking them into a tbh would probably kill them. They don't have enough bees to keep a large enough area warm. Drawing comb would be a difficult task in a temperate climate.
I would let the colony develop using standard equipment and then transfer them later in the season. It will be warmer. And more young bees will have been raised.
If a transfer must be done now. Find a way to keep the brood and comb intact.
The bees will do the best when we our management imitates what the bees do. Pick a time when the bees naturally divide by swarming. Then shake or transfer what the bees would do when swarming. At that time the colony will have the population, age distribution, food resources, warmth and the inclination.
[This message has been edited by topbarguy (edited February 24, 2004).]
I am going to try to produce TBH nucs for next spring. Should be fun if nothing else