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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Northern Minnesota
    Posts
    40

    Post

    Sorry if this question has been asked and answered?

    I'm soon ready to place Carniolan packages in my two new TBH's. Should I shake them in as I would in a Lang, or can I merely remove the can feeder and lay the box in the bottom of the hive and allow them to leave at their own pace, or will they just stay in the package?

    I read previous posts on how to place the queen, but found no information on the action insertion of the package.

    Thanks,

    Jim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    El Dorado County, CA
    Posts
    605

    Post

    if its cold i suggest shaking the bees out and putting the almost empty box in the back of the hive. last week i installed fiteen packages on a cold day by hanging the queen and then setting the package in the hive like last year. it was a mistake and im glad i went back, checked and realized they werent going to go forward and cover the queen. i went back dumped the bees with the queen. im glad i did but it made for twice the work.
    the next day i hived another fifteen packages down the hill a 1000' with beutiful weather. i dumped the bees with the queen this time. those bees were moving so much i know they would of found their way forward but fool me once shame on you-fool me twice shame on me.
    all that is gold does not glitter

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    1,649

    Post

    >.... putting the almost empty box in the back of the hive.

    Why not just shake all the bees out? When I shake bees into a hive they all come out of the box.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Northern Minnesota
    Posts
    40

    Post

    My only rationale was to lessen the aggravation factor on the bees. In my Lang hives, I do shake them in, but because of the "open" nature of a new TBH, I just wondered if it would work to just open it up and let them climb out and retrieve the empty box later.

    Thanks again for your comments.

    Jimmy

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Rhea County, Tennessee
    Posts
    127

    Post

    I just installed some Russians...one package in a Standard Lang, the other in a TBH...for comparison/fun.
    I had earlier installed two full sheets of wired, small cell foundation trimed to the sides, and four 1/2 sheets, also trimed to the sides.
    The TBH was actually easier, I think.
    However, it had not occured to me until I started to install them that one cannot install between the bars as in a LANG...duhhhh...it leaves the top open...
    I made an extra top bar, sawed out a square slot just large enough to drop the queen cage into...
    So, quick-fix, I dropped the queen cage in the slot after removing the plug, dumped the bees in the empty space one frame away from her, then shut it up. I reduced the entrance significantly at first, at least until a day or two after the queen is released.
    Second day, checked both for the queen's release, neither were released yet...many bees clustered around her, hanging in chains from her...no problem with them finding her.
    Comb already present, they seemed very much at home, and pretty calm.
    I poked a hole in the candy with a stick, with the TBH, too big of a hole and the queen bailed out immediately, into the TBH, thankfully.
    Replaced the TB with the hole for the queen cage with a regular TB, no foundation. I think I will add foundation to all, it just works SOOOOO well.
    Last night, marked queen was not found...very disappointing. Looked at all frames once again and found her, but without the white marking...maybe just a flake...did the workers remove the marking?
    Do watch for attachments to the wall though, I suspect I got one too close to a side and I broke the edge before I realized it, being fresh new comb...I'm going to drop an old hacksaw blade in the empty side of the hive to have handy for a comb-release tool.
    Oh well, so far so good with my first TBH...

    Roy

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Northern Minnesota
    Posts
    40

    Post

    Thanks, Roy...

    This will be my first experience with TBH's also. I'm using Carniolan's and if a fellow area beekeeper has his way, I may have an Italian package for comparison. I bought an extra package as a gift for him (he owns the extractor), but is insisting that we "trade" packages so we both can have a comparison.

    It's been beautiful weather here in northern Minnesota -- mostly in the 70's. No crops are planted, but will be within the next couple of days. My bees are bringing in pollen, from pussy willows I expect.

    I hope your first experience with TBH's is great! I'm really anxious to start mine. (My Langs are started, but I'm waiting for my last two packages for my TBH's. They arrive on May 1st.

    Jimmy

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
    Posts
    1,487

    Post

    Hi All

    Roy I am thinking you may have had a queen mixed in that package of yours. I doubt the marking wore off. I am thinking that you either have 2 queens or they killed the marked one.

    The problem I have had with my packages in the TBH is that if you hang the queen cage from the top bar they tend to comb in around the cage and mess up the comb. SOunds like a good idea to have a special TB to use for hanging the queen cage.

    It is agreat idea to have a top bar hive and compare with the langs.

    My strongest hive this year is a split I took off my Top bar hive last August. I am going to try to get 2 more splits off it this year.

    have fun!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Rhea County, Tennessee
    Posts
    127

    Post

    David,
    Interesting! Either way, I seem to have an active queen...a good thing. But wish I had spotted both earlier, could have used her elsewhere...
    I am glad I checked the queen the ext day, you are correct, they had begun to build comb on either side of the queen cage, I hated to remove that when I removed the queen-cage-adapted frame.
    Tell me more about doing your splits...did you add a new queen or move your queen to the new "nuc" and leave the old hive to make a new queen?
    These are building up so quickly, I may try a split if it is possible...but not sure exactly what to look for in a TBH...advice?
    You can do TWO splits in a season???

    Roy

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
    Posts
    1,487

    Post

    Hi Roy - yes the good news is you have a queen!

    Here is how I did my TBH split last year (and I plan to do the same thing this weekend).

    First you need a frame - either a modified top bar or a Lang frame - that you can tie comb in.

    I split into a Lang so I just take a frame with no foundation and use it.

    Go through your top bar hive. I built some brackets off the end so I can rest the bars outside the hive while inspecting / photographing / harvesting / splitting / whatever.

    When you get to some good brood, cut it up into sections and tie it into the empty frame. I use strips of burlap bags, about 1/2" - 3/4" wide strips. (some use rubber bands).

    Then put your brood into the new hive and start shaking bees. I shake / brush quite a few, at least 3 - 5 pounds worth, of the bees into the new hive. I don't really worry if I don't see the queen as long as you don't take all the brood and eggs and leave some in the old hive. But you must have some brood and eggs in both the old and new hives. I try to tie in 2 frames.

    Some of the young nurse bees will stay with the split, most of the older bees will go back to the original hive.

    That's it. I think they call it a walk away split. I think it is good swarm control for your top bar hive since you can't do checkerboarding.

    The vigor of the split hive is truly amazing. I think it gets you some good genetics too because you are using your local survivor bees.

    I made some foundationless Lang frames which I will use mixed in with drawn foundation this way you move towards a natural cell size which is better.

    Last year I didn't even treat my tbh with OA so I am hoping I have some surviving genetics here.

    Of course the new queen will mate with whatever (those little sluts! [img]smile.gif[/img] ) But it is fun to see what you get!

    I got some russian hybrid queens this spring, see what they do to the mix. Maybe some of their drones will mate with my walkaway new queen.

    I am going to try to do some grafting from my TBH survivor when it warms up a little bit more.

    have fun with it!

    [size="1"][ April 18, 2006, 12:18 PM: Message edited by: BerkeyDavid ][/size]

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Rhea County, Tennessee
    Posts
    127

    Post

    David,
    Sounds cool...
    Interesting term, "walk away split"...
    I made my top Bars to the same length of my Langs, only wider to close off the gaps and provide the bee space.
    I even did the little taper groove, but ended cutting some of them off to add starter strips, very much as with the regular wedge method.
    So...why not just put a TBH TB into a Lang type 5 frame NUC box, with four extra small cell foundations, then shake the bees in?
    I could later remove the TB, or I could have gone with TBs only even the LANG NUC box to start a new TBH...
    I am looking for SIMPLE and minimal mess!

    Roy

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,102

    Post

    I use my langstroth equipment all the time with top bars. I start all my tanzanian top bar hives now in a five frame medium nuc with top bars in it.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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