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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Clayton, Alabama
    Posts
    5

    Default new top bar quest

    If anyone could help it would be much appreciated. I have a number of hives (langstroth) but a friend gave me a new top bar and some of my hives are especially strong and huge this year so I though I would try to start a small top bar hive and experiment.
    But how would I do this- as I am used to the normal splitting procedure where I take bees, some brood capped honey etc and put in with a new queen, etc.
    In the Top Bar I'm not sure how this could work as the frames obviously wont fit. Can anyone share a method of doing this? Im assuming just putting the bees and the queen might not work.
    Much Thanks,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Accord, NY
    Posts
    333

    Default Re: new top bar quest

    Bees and queen would be like starting from a package. In my area (NY) it's too late in the year to do that, both for the new hive to build comb and for the old hive to raise a new queen. Might work in your part of the country, I don't know.
    To transfer combs, there are a few methods but I'd need to know how wide are the bars (how wide is the hive at the top.) Are the walls slanted (Kenya Top Bar Hive) or are they vertical (Tanzanian Top Bar Hive)? If the walls are slanted, What is the height of the hive and how wide is the bottom board?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    318

    Default Re: new top bar quest

    I started a new TBH from scratch on July 2nd with bees and a queen from an existing lang. No comb whatsoever. Just empty bars. As of last night, I have eight combs, not full size but nice. I've been feeding since the minute I put them in and have realized that I will probably have to continue feeding right up till winter. I have a lot of capped brood so, hopefully, a bunch will hatch in the next few weeks and they'll really pour it on. If so, they may surprise me and get themselves ready for winter. I'm in Tennessee so our seasons are similar. Until I see a big change, I'll continue the feeding and hope for the best.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Greensburg, Ky.
    Posts
    1,148

    Default Re: new top bar quest

    I started my TBH with a feral bee swarm that i captured may 6th. What you want to do is start them with 10 bars and have a follower board. Some ppl dont use them but i do. You let them have the whole space and you just might end up with a nightmare! With a follower board you can manage the space that they need as they draw comb. Always keep 2 empty bars ahead of them. After several weeks you want to make sure the queen isnt honey bound, you will have to add a bar to the middle of the brood area. Once they have that bar drawn out you can add another. That will build up your brood area and keep the queen busy. Everything is self explainitory as you go on. This time of year i dont think they are drawing comb too much and ask yourself if you can have them ready before winter. If you have already drawn comb then you attach the comb to the top bar and place it inside the top bar. You can use a cookie sheet and tie the comb to the top bar. The bees will attach the comb to the top bar and take care of the string later. There is several ways of doing this, just a matter of preference. Some ppl build frames to the same shape as their top bar hive. Either way it will be messy and sticky so have a water bucket ready to wash your hands. Hope this helps some! Good Luck!

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