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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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    1,973

    Default We Really need a good tool for transitioning from Lang to TBH

    Chop-and-crop - I think it's a pain, and can be a real hurdle for people new to beekeeping who want to start with tbh's. Lang nuc to tbh has to be made easier, for as it is, it makes the learning curve a little steep for beginners.

    Thoughts?

    Adam

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    26,079

    Default Re: We Really need a good tool for transitioning from Lang to TBH

    Here are a couple of ideas.
    A. Stick w/ what you start w/.
    B. Start w/ Lang and stick w/ it. Your equipment will be able to be transfered into someone elses operation.

    Why do you want to change from one to the other?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,973

    Default Re: We Really need a good tool for transitioning from Lang to TBH

    I have started with a Top bar.
    Nucs tend to come in Lang form.
    It's pretty much impossible to find packages around here.
    Nucs are preferable anyway.
    So we just need a better way of transferring one to the other.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,079

    Default Re: We Really need a good tool for transitioning from Lang to TBH

    Unless you are getting nucs on plastic foundation, why don't you just remove the bottom bar and the end bars and trim the comb to fit the tbh?

    Or throw out the tbh and get some Lang equipment.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia county, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,535

    Default Re: We Really need a good tool for transitioning from Lang to TBH

    He's asking if there is a better way than 'chop and crop' to transfer Lang frame nucs into TBHs.
    It's a good question, and one that applies also to folks who want to transfer their bees into TBH if they want to phase out their Lang equipment.

    My own question that directly relates to this is:
    We all know you can cut pieces of drawn comb and rubber-band them into position in a rectangular Lang frame pretty easily. So what is the equivalent method when you want to apply that piece of comb to a top bar? Do you also use rubber bands, and/or how do you keep it straight? How do you usually stick comb full of brood onto a top bar? I'm sure you'd have to do this in the case of a comb getting dislodged from its bar, which might happen for some reason.
    Wouldn't it be great if someone invented wire clips that could temporarily hold the comb in place on a top bar until the bees could reattach it firmly? Meanwhile, do people use bendable wire to do this, since it would hold the comb upright better than rubber bands could.
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    carrollton mississippi
    Posts
    113

    Default Re: We Really need a good tool for transitioning from Lang to TBH

    i've thought about taking a top bar, splitting it in half, drilling about 6 holes in each half right across from one another and using romex(soft copper wire) to hold the comb in...the wire in the middle sections longer and getting shorter as you get near the wall(just like the comb comforms) I need to try one and get some pics loaded...night try it tomorrow
    Disclaimer: I'm no expert. Use caution

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Brunswick, MD, USA
    Posts
    6

    Lightbulb Re: We Really need a good tool for transitioning from Lang to TBH

    Chopping things up should be a last resort. I've got two suggestions:

    1) Put your nuc on top of the bars with one bar missing. When they are ready to grow, they will build down onto the bars below. Once they are well established, remove the nuc. (Do I need to say make sure the queen is down below in the process?)

    2) Mount a nuc box to the end of the hive with a temp access hole between the two, then remove the nuc. Again, be sensitive to your hives' strength and the current brood position, etc.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    carrollton mississippi
    Posts
    113

    Default Re: We Really need a good tool for transitioning from Lang to TBH



    a pathetic drawing, but the top part shows how the wire would make a trough to hold the comb...the bottom is an overhead view of the bar showing it split and the wire holes...just a thought -never tried it
    Disclaimer: I'm no expert. Use caution

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    carrollton mississippi
    Posts
    113

    Default Re: We Really need a good tool for transitioning from Lang to TBH

    but what i'd really like to do is build a nuc, in the shape of my TBH....maybe 10 bars or so....that I could but a small swarm in..that way, the bars would be interchangeble i better get busy
    Disclaimer: I'm no expert. Use caution

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,077

    Default Re: We Really need a good tool for transitioning from Lang to TBH

    Some people build their tbh's to except lang frames.
    Probably the easiest way.
    Dan

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Bucksport, Maine
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: We Really need a good tool for transitioning from Lang to TBH

    These are the frames I use for cutouts. I used them also for crop and chop. But here in the video, I’m using them as feeders; turns out to be a very versatile tool for the Kenya top bar hive. Notice the wires that originally held the comb in place; they are not needed any longer but I just left them there. These frames are just scraps built “bee space” smaller than my follower boards. The wire is frame wire. These work great for crop and chop of wax foundation but so do the 75 cent bars that came in the nuc. I am not speaking from experience with this but if you could use a jigsaw on the plastic frames you might be able to crop and chop rather violently that way. There is always the box on top, the end, or the bottom modification route.
    http://www.vimeo.com/8911908
    Dave - PM me if you are interested in natural beekeeping in Hancock County Maine.
    http://www.davesbees.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    26,079

    Default Re: We Really need a good tool for transitioning from Lang to TBH

    Quote Originally Posted by Omie View Post
    Wouldn't it be great if someone invented wire clips that could temporarily hold the comb in place on a top bar until the bees could reattach it firmly?
    How about if you took a three ring binder and removed the outside and used the three rings to suspend the comb?

    Or how about two slats of wood that you could sandwich the comb between, hanging the comb that way?

    Could you hot wax brood comb to a top bar?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Bucksport, Maine
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: We Really need a good tool for transitioning from Lang to TBH

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    How about if you took a three ring binder and removed the outside and used the three rings to suspend the comb?

    No, They will pull out and the comb will fall.

    Or how about two slats of wood that you could sandwich the comb between, hanging the comb that way?

    No, It is nearly impossible to get just the right squeeze and not just cut it off in the process.

    Could you hot wax brood comb to a top bar?

    No. because the bees know how to attach the comb and don't think it is any of our business. Actually melting the wax by a human is not the same as the bees doing it.....trade secret! Check out the video I posted above; I failed more than once before I arrived at that solution.
    Sorry I answered inside the quote!
    Last edited by DavesBees; 06-09-2010 at 08:56 PM. Reason: Fat Fingers
    Dave - PM me if you are interested in natural beekeeping in Hancock County Maine.
    http://www.davesbees.com

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lansing, Michigan, United States
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    184

    Default Re: We Really need a good tool for transitioning from Lang to TBH

    this guy has an interesting technique with using bent nails.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jIuTGwUSfU

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,292

    Default Re: We Really need a good tool for transitioning from Lang to TBH

    I agree with KQ6AR, all my TBH's are built so their top bars are the same length as the top bars on standard frames. Mine are also deep enough for either 9-1/8" deep frames (one hive), or for medium depth (6-1/4" deep) frames. If your TBH's have sloped sides, as long as the top bars are the same length as standard frames, you would just need to cut off some of the bottom of the standard frames and trim the comb to fit your TBH. Heck, if your TBH is shorter from side to side, you could just trim down the top bars of the standard frames to fit also. You'd just need to shake or brush all the bees from the combs into their new TBH, first, then get a nice piece of scrap wood as a cutting board, get your jig saw and a sharp knife, since nucs are usually only five frames, that should take about fifteen or twenty minutes, and your standard frames are converted to top bars.

    To facilitate more accurate cuts with the jig saw a cutting jig could easily be devised, just make sure your jig saw blade is long enough to cut completely through the areas you plan to cut.

    Here's a link to a Frame/comb Trimming Jig I drew up just now -- it could be used with a jig saw or even a circular saw, adjust dimensions to fit your own equipment, the cutting guide can be free sliding on the base or locked in place with a few screws, depending on how you use the jig. The saw will get messy, of course, but if you're willing to clean the saw up later or even dedicate a saw to this purpose, it should quickly accomplish the goal. Be sure to cut and remove any support wires before they get caught in the saw blades, or you could damage your comb. It looks like this -->


    Of course, it could easily be modified into a cutting guide that would "cookie cutter" standard frames with combs to be identical Top Bars with combs. I recommend you first cut the comb into the correct size and shape with a sharp knife, then use the cutting jig to remove the wood of the standard frame so it is then correct in its new incarnation as a Top Bar with comb.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 06-10-2010 at 05:39 AM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  16. #16

    Default Re: We Really need a good tool for transitioning from Lang to TBH

    I recall that using a long top bar hive is used by many folks who transfer from lang nucs. there is some chopping. the bottom and side bars come off. And that's it. The hive body is in the same same as the comb after the rest of the frame is removed.

    That's one suggestion.

    other than that, I'm not sure how easy it will ever be mixing and matching between two different styles of hives. One simply wasn't made for the other.

    Big Bear
    No, I am NOT a bee "Keeper". Anything I post is just my opinion. Take it easy and think for yourself.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: We Really need a good tool for transitioning from Lang to TBH

    I just made my first full size (26 bars, 42" long x 17" wide x 12" tall) ktbh a couple weeks ago. I'm a beginner and it was still super easy. Took a day.

    Tools: skill saw, t square, and drill.
    Materials:

    Top Bars:
    - 16' of 2" (actually 1.5") x 1" poplar or pine. Cut into ten x 19" bars. Shave off 1/4" for brood bars. Lay these out side by side. This will be foundation (albeit it an upside down foundation) for the sides and ends.
    -16' of 1/2" corner molding or whatever is triangular and made of wood. Cut into 16" sections and nail to the bars as a foundation for the comb.

    Body:
    -One 3/4" x 12" 6' pine or poplar board from Home depot should be adequate for a 10 bar hive including both ends and one follower/divider board. Cut the follower board such that the top is 19" wide and the bottom is however wide you want it to be. The experts recommend that you take a 17" x 12" section of board, draw a perpendicular line down the center and then measure 2.5 inches to either side of the line and mark. then connect that point with the 17" top. Do this on both sides and you'll have an isoceles trapezoid(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isosceles_trapezoid) Use this as the guide for your side boards.
    -Twenty 2" wood screws

    Finish
    - Tung oil or latex paint. I used tung oil and it looks great and doesn't bother the bees.


    Place the follower board upside down (wide side down) on the top bars. pin it in pace tacks or brads so it doesn't move. Place the side boards on either side and end boards on the end. drill them in and you're done!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    powell wy
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: We Really need a good tool for transitioning from Lang to TBH

    seems like the perfect excuse to go with a tanz tbh, makes things so much easier and works like a champ.


    if i ever decide to switch styles the comb is already almost perfect for a foundationless frame or vice versa. after using my tanz you couldn't give me a kenyan.

    beebiker

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Oakland, CA, USA
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: We Really need a good tool for transitioning from Lang to TBH

    TBH is a broad category and very individualistic. In designing one you figure out what factors are important to you.

    I think this question is one you want to ask when designing and building your TBH as its easier to design your hive to make transfer from Lang frames simple, than it is to after the fact try to wedge/chop/adapt existing lang frames to fit a random incompatible hive design.

    Thus if fitting lang frames is something you anticipate doing, I'd look at a TBH design as others stated above that is dimensionally capable of just taking lang frames.

    The putative benefit of kenyan(sloped) TBH over tanzanian(rectangular) TBH is that bees don't attach comb to the sides. From my limited experience, and reading of the more extensive experiences of third parties, bees still attach to the sides, so if I were building again I wouldn't go with a sloped TBH.

    I also suspect that a long lang using foundationless frames will end up giving all the benefits of a TBH plus more flexibility. You can use top bars in it if you want, or you can use lang frames. You can design it to precisely fit 2 lang supers on top so you can vertically super.

    I noticed someone is advertising a 22 frame long hive in the For Sale area. This is a design I'd talked with friends about building. I haven't yet, so can't speak to it specifically, but it seems a good balance of flexibility and you can employ it either in TBH style or Lang style or combine the two if you wanted a TBH brood and Lang supers for example. It'll also make splitting into nucs simpler.

    Regardless, the short answer is that you should design your hive to suit what you want to do with it. If you want to be able to use frames you'll save yourself a lot of labor and waste less comb and brood if you don't need to cut and chop existing comb to fit.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    North Bend, WA
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: We Really need a good tool for transitioning from Lang to TBH

    I recently transferred some home-made totally non-standard and badly implemented frames built to fit in a night-stand drawer to lang gear, and I think the same technique would probably work for TBH transfer. Of course, you'd be discarding all that nice comb, but it's probably not natural cell size anyway.

    What did I do?

    I removed the homemade frames and placed them right on the bottom board _upside down_. I then placed an empty medium over it and put a medium filled with frames and foundation above it. So far, so good. The queen won't lay in the cells facing down and it only took about a week for the bees to start drawing out comb in the upper box.

    I don't see why this wouldn't work in a TBH. Just place a few frames lengthwise upside down along the bottom and let them move up on their own. I'll probably try it later this year with one of my nucs and see what happens.

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