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  1. #1
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    Jun 2010
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    Polk Co, NC, USA
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    Thumbs down Nuc to TBH: what NOT to do.

    Just wanted to let you all see what didn't work when trying to gently work my nuc into the top bar...

    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...4&l=a4f38cc46c

    I think that they also have a queen cell hanging off of the bottom of the nuc frames, but I couldn't get a good picture through the screen.

  2. #2
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    May 2006
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    Accord, NY
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    333

    Default Re: Nuc to TBH: what NOT to do.

    Works as advertised. That's the way they build upwards. You could take the bottom off that nuc box and put the frames in it. Place them on top of the hive and let them build out to the other bars. They will also try to build their comb down from the frames to fill up all available space. You may want to fill some of the space under the frames with another box so you don't end up with such long comb. Once the brood nest is in the hive you can collect the frames and remove the nuc box. That's if you still want to do it the gentle (difficult) way.
    Depending on the length of your bars, chop and crop might be the easiest way. It's more traumatic for the keeper than the bees.
    Also, in your setup the frames are not oriented with the bars. Turn them 90 degrees or they'll build straight across the bars.
    The best way I see to deal with this is to move them to a Lang for this year. Next year you can put some top bars in the middle of the brood nest. When you have two bars of brood you can move them to the TBH and do a split.
    Good luck!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Nuc to TBH: what NOT to do.

    Nucs do not translate to top bar hives.

    If you really want to go "au natural" and do the Top Bar thing, you should populate with a swarm.

    Other than that is complete BS.

    Packages have nothing natural about them and torturing a nuc is simply cruel.

    Those poor bees put how much hard work into the comb that you are now deeming "worthless" because it doesn't fit with your top bar scheme?

    We're talking about bees here. Please make it easy for them. There's enough out there giving them trouble, beekeepers need to actually make things easier.

    I don't mean to be harsh but I am so sick of people attesting to be "nice" or "natural" or whatever and the bottom line is they have no thought for what the bees actually need.
    Erin Forbes, EAS Master Beekeeper
    overlandhoney.com

  4. #4

    Default Re: Nuc to TBH: what NOT to do.

    While I agree, it isn't perhaps the easiest or best way to install to a tbh with a nuc, I am picking up on some hostility towards the 'natural' crowd.

    let me preface this by saying that I only get bees from cutouts and swarms.

    I don't see the point to make life 'easy' for bees.

    In fact, in a 'natural' situation, that is, when bees ditch people and go pick their own place to live, minus our involvement, life for them is usually very not easy. Life for bees in a 'natural' setting is rife with conflict. pests, predators, adequate hive space or lack therof. 'easy bees' to me are not natural at all. Bees in such an environment are constantly in an adapt and overcome situation. If they don't, off to Darwin's Locker for them.

    Of course, I tend to think the same way about people. We always seem to seek out the 'easy' way when often, the path where we must overcome and adapt is the better route for us.

    that's just me though.

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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    Default Re: Nuc to TBH: what NOT to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maine_Beekeeper View Post
    I don't mean to be harsh but I am so sick of people attesting to be "nice" or "natural" or whatever and the bottom line is they have no thought for what the bees actually need.
    What are you talking about here? Who's saying they're trying to be "nice" or "natural" in moving a nuc to a top bar? The fact is that it's not always possible to get a package, or a swarm - and the langstroth is the dominant form of hive - and in some areas the lang nuc is becoming the dominant form available to begin beekeeping. So people are trying to figure out how to deal with it. To say that "they have no thought for what the bees actually need" sounds a bit like raving.

    People are using top bars for a variety of reasons. It's not all about being "nice" or "natural". And if that's your concern - they'd probably be better off if you just left them alone in the wild. There's nothing especially "nice" or "natural" about taking a big portion of their stores every season, or manipulating them to keep them from swarming, or rearing and selling Queens, propolis, beeswax, or royal jelly - or beekeeping at all for that matter.

    You say, "Those poor bees put how much hard work into the comb that you are now deeming "worthless" because it doesn't fit with your top bar scheme?"

    You mean like all the comb you break or scrape or remove every year from between your boxes and frames? Beekeeping involves a lot of manipulation - there's nothing natural about it. And any number of the things we've done to "make it easier"on them over the years could end up being the key to their extinction.

    You seem to be drawing arbitrary lines in the sand on morals and values, and it just isn't helpful to anyone.

    Adam
    Last edited by Barry; 06-30-2010 at 09:36 PM.

  6. #6
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    Jun 2010
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    Polk Co, NC, USA
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    Default Re: Nuc to TBH: what NOT to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maine_Beekeeper View Post
    Nucs do not translate to top bar hives.
    Amen to that. That is exactly what I am finding. The whole reason for this post is to save some other newbeek (and their bees) from going through this. But, being new to all of this I am learning. alot. painfully.

    [QUOTE=Maine_Beekeeper;556397]If you really want to go "au natural" and do the Top Bar thing, you should populate with a swarm. [/QUOTE}

    "'Au natural" is not really what I was going for. It is just a nice bi-product. Less invasive, less stressful. Less chemical, better pollination for my crops, teach my kids that bees are incredible, organized, amazing creatures? THAT is what I was going for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maine_Beekeeper View Post
    Packages have nothing natural about them and torturing a nuc is simply cruel.

    Those poor bees put how much hard work into the comb that you are now deeming "worthless" because it doesn't fit with your top bar scheme?
    I did indeed have to remove a lot of their hard work, not because I "deemed it worthless" but because I deemed it illegal. In NC you must be able to inspect each frame. Honestly, I think you took it harder than they did. I took it harder than they did too. "Torture" is simply not my thing. Mistakes, THAT seems to be my thing.

    But as far as making life "easier for the bees" I think that we all know this is a double edged sword.

    This is my very first attempt at beekeeping. It is off to a rocky start. I went to buy a hive yesterday and the local bee supply shop encouraged me to continue with this TBH for a few more weeks. I moved it around like ARAM suggested. LOTS of honey. Not much brood space. I see how this could work if I had the fortitude to remove all of their winter stores once they were in the TBH. I am moving them into a lang today then I am not going to mess with them again for a long, long, time.
    Last edited by Lauren; 07-01-2010 at 05:47 AM. Reason: forgot to add something.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Dexter, Maine
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    Default Re: Nuc to TBH: what NOT to do.

    Lauren,
    I am not a big fan of TBHs myself, most here in Maine seem to die out over winter, and that is not good for the bees I think if you want to use a TBH at some point you should go with chop and crop, (there is a great video on youtube) or with a swarm as stated, however I have seen alot of post were bees absconded from a TBH this spring.

    Anyway I see you move to a lang as a good one, as for "not going to mess with them again for a long, long, time" you will need to feed them, check on their stores and available space, as well as that NC state required inspection. Don't be discouraged to the point you become a "beehaver" your bees need to be worked, you will enjoy it (or you have the wrong hobby) and your kids will see the wonders of a super organism at work.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Nuc to TBH: what NOT to do.

    Lauren - I'm glad to hear that you got them a Lang box - your nuc will do well in it, and even better if you feed them while they build out their nest combs (feeding = wax secretion) Top Bar Hives really aren't that much less invasive or less stressful, and ofcourse the chemicals are all up to you in any type of hive. You can definitely keep bees in traditional equipment with minimal stress on the bees - it is 90% in your management, 10% equipment I hope your bees have a great summer, set up well, and winter strong. If that is the case, you'll likely have a swarm next year and you can install them easily into your TBH. Best to you and your bees, -E.
    Erin Forbes, EAS Master Beekeeper
    overlandhoney.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Columbia county, New York, USA
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    Default Re: Nuc to TBH: what NOT to do.

    Lauren, also keep in mind that it is quite possible to use foundationless wood frames (with starting guides in the frames) in a Lang...which is the direction I myself am slowly heading in.
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Austin, TX
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    Default Re: Nuc to TBH: what NOT to do.

    Thanks for posting your experience. I've considered getting a NUC at some point and it's good to know what does and doesn't work!

    Btw your TBH looks great! Was it built from plans? I'm especially interested in the roof. Looks similar but much better than the one I made!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Austin, TX
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    18

    Default Re: Nuc to TBH: what NOT to do.

    With your TBH setup I wonder if you could use the NUC box area below as a honey super (or lower lol). With a queen excluder between the hive and the box below and using either top bars, foundationless or even frames with foundation...

  12. #12
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    May 2010
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    Lumberton, NC USA!
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    Default Re: Nuc to TBH: what NOT to do.

    Lauren, I don't think anyone who has visited this site, hates to harm a honeybee anymore than I do. The one and only reason I began to keep these amazing creatures was to help boost their population here around home. However, I did realize that I have a responsibility to each and every "girl" in my hive and I should do what I can to ensure their survivability. This may include making a few mistakes but most importantly, learning from them! Trust me when I say, it will be worth the aggravation and headache once you can sit back and watch these natural wonders do their thing! I know this was a little off topic but I do not want to see anyone get discouraged from beekeeping just because an idea did not work out at the time! Get in there and learn them well and follow the Positive advice that you will get from this site and from members like the BigBear!
    "Death smiles at everyone. Marines smile back!"

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Bucksport, Maine
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    Default Re: Nuc to TBH: what NOT to do.

    Lauren,
    Great attempt, sorry it failed. But you haven’t failed. You have done more good than you can imagine with your post. But right now you need some help and that is what we are here for. I want to give you what I feel are your best two options right now. First, it is only your business what you do with your bees or how you keep them. You either need to do a crop and chop and get it over with so they have some time to get things straightened out or put them back in the Nuc box and order a couple of Langstroth hive bodies and 15 frames. You can try the foundationless route if you like. And if you use all wood not plastic you can do a crop and chop early next year when they have time to build up. If I lived nearby I’d bring you a couple of hive bodies and help you out. There is no substitute in this situation for a good mentor. Perhaps someone down your way could step up and help out a little. One question, are the nuc frames wood or plastic?

    Sorry I just went back and read that you put them in a Langstroth already. I'll leave the advice that won't be taken or already was. Good for you.
    Last edited by DavesBees; 07-01-2010 at 09:36 PM. Reason: Lauren was two steps ahead of me.
    Dave - PM me if you are interested in natural beekeeping in Hancock County Maine.
    http://www.davesbees.com

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Polk Co, NC, USA
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    201

    Default Re: Nuc to TBH: what NOT to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Omie View Post
    Lauren, also keep in mind that it is quite possible to use foundationless wood frames (with starting guides in the frames) in a Lang...which is the direction I myself am slowly heading in.
    I actually did put some foundationless frames (mixed with 3 regular frames) in the empty Med. Super. Once i saw how quickly those girls could make their own 6" X 12" comb (3 days!) I figured that would be easy for them. It seems to offer the best of both worlds, although I am already missing being able to look in the window.

    How about a lang with windows???

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Nuc to TBH: what NOT to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by NewBee512 View Post
    Btw your TBH looks great! Was it built from plans? I'm especially interested in the roof. Looks similar but much better than the one I made!
    Thanks! I looked up lots of plans, printed the one from barefoot beekeeper, then we tweeked the angles a little wider (more like the "golden Mean" from backyard hive. I am using the "We" kind if liberally. I left the basic plans there, asked Dad to wait for me to get back from work, came back and it was done.

    The roof he just came up with. (I'll post pics of the underside.) The metal is very hot, even with the end vents, so maybe a summer and winter roof are in order??

  16. #16
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    May 2010
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    Default Re: Nuc to TBH: what NOT to do.

    Whay not take the lang frames from the NUC, chop off the ends, and trim them to fit? I built my bars the same width as langs (19") and it works fine.

  17. #17
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    Jun 2010
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    Polk Co, NC, USA
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    Re: Nuc to TBH: what NOT to do.

    I want to thank you all for your advice.

    I do not have a mentor near by yet and I very much value your ideas and opinions. (anyone in western NC wanna take this challenge on???

    The girls are doing fine in their new home. I put feed on today and they were again gentle about it. The queen, however, was sitting on top of the frames- looking at me. I hope they stay, chop and crop seems incredibly easy at this point.

    Thanks all for the encouragement. Gotta say, I'm hooked.

    The only time one of the girls was really after me during all of this, I looked down and she was attacking a yellow jacket who was on my shirt. Wow.

    Looking forward to learning all that I can (and hopefully NOT the hard way!)

    Lauren PS I posted pics of the new set up.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Nuc to TBH: what NOT to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauren View Post
    Lauren PS I posted pics of the new set up.

    Can you give me a hint where to find them?
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Accord, NY
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    Default Re: Nuc to TBH: what NOT to do.

    Your new setup looks great. Congratulations!
    Quote Originally Posted by Aram View Post
    Depending on the length of your bars, chop and crop might be the easiest way.
    What kind of person quotes himself?!?
    Chop and crop would not have worked very easily in your case. It looks like your top bars are shorter than 19" so you would have had to cut the top of the frame also or let it hang over the edge of the hive in which case the roof would probably not have fit. Either way would have been messy and a lot of comb lost. Next year you can do a split into the top bar hive.
    Omie, here you go Page two

  20. #20
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    Default Re: Nuc to TBH: what NOT to do.

    Your equipment looks great, and what you tried was worth a try - great pictures.

    I don't use "top bar hives" but I do use top bars sometimes in my Langstroth hives - the bees like them just fine, I'm not crazy about them, but they are handy sometimes.

    Why not build your TBH wide enough to take bars that you start in your Langstroth hive? They usually start building near the middle and you could just put them in the TBH before they are fully built out or trim them to fit after they are.

    Since your TBH is already built you could also make some bars that are long enough to fit in the Lang initially, but cut almost through them so that they will easily break to the correct length for the TBH after they have some comb drawn on them. Only put starter strip on the end that you want to use to encourage them to start there.

    Anyway, whatever you do, don't give up because someone hacks on your plan.

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