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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Doylestown PA
    Posts
    13

    Default Top Bar Swarm Trap Design Thoughts

    I've built a swarm trap that accommodates my top bars. My homemade design is a rectangle wooden box, which holds 8 bars. Has anyone had success with this shape swarm box. Should have I incorporated slanted side like my hives?

    My thinking is that since I will be checking in on the swarm traps, that I should be able to prevent any comb build up on the sides. Building a box is easy and uncomplicated.

    I'd like to hear how others have succeed with trapping and moving swarms from a trap to a hive.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,654

    Default Re: Top Bar Swarm Trap Design Thoughts

    You will have to move your trap to it's final location and expose yourself to a major deficiency of TB hives, collapsing combs.
    Your could trap with a full size TBH at it's final location.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    635

    Default Re: Top Bar Swarm Trap Design Thoughts

    odfrank,

    I've got 20+ foundationless hives -- horizontal top bar hives and Warre hives -- I've moved at least a dozen of them across town, over somewhat-rough terrain and I'm not aware of any comb collapse occurring due to these moves. I've also moved a LOT of TBH nucs to their final locations and I've not had them collapse later. Unless you're dropping them down the stairs or going off roading with them, I'm curious as to why you're having so much comb collapse.

    We use our swarm traps and nuc boxes interchangeably. They are 7 bar HTBHs with two holes drilled in them that can be closed with corks. At any given time in the spring I usually have 5-10 of them filled with swarms, filling with comb awaiting customer pick up. They are easily moved and I've not had any comb collapse on them due to moving.

    The only time I have comb collapse is post-swarm on the hottest days of the year when the colony population has dropped so much that they can't effectively cool the hive. This is a rare thing, but it does happen.

    Best,
    Matt

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,654

    Default Re: Top Bar Swarm Trap Design Thoughts

    I should have not answered, I have no TBH experience. But I have read several threads here on collapsing top bar combs. Maybe only in the heat.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Pinellass County, Florida
    Posts
    1,073

    Default Re: Top Bar Swarm Trap Design Thoughts

    I used a KTBH 14 bar and 14" wide so its small I used it as a trap out hive
    I moved it on a 90 plus day not much higher but at least 90+
    I had to take in an hour and 15 back to my house and it Had to be pulled early
    so there was only 4 combs built they all did well
    ODFrank
    I admit I was worried as you, I read more than I care too of Collapse on stationary hives in High heat this little colony has faired well so far I
    Its been cold here this year and so far they have hung in there for 4 months
    I have thought of making KTBH Nuc swarm trap with 3 or 4 full framed frames and even wax foundation it not Traditional but
    I don't want to derail this thread so I'll stop here

    Tommyt

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Marysville, WA
    Posts
    457

    Default Re: Top Bar Swarm Trap Design Thoughts

    Cacklewack,
    Thanks for sharing your experiences. I have 3 TBH's currently and I am growing to 12 this year. I haven't moved any yet but with some splits and hopefully some caught swarms I am sure I will need to and I must admit to being a little concerned about the comb collapsing.

    Mike
    Beekeeper? Shoot, my bees keep me!
    100 hives in Western Wa State

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Doylestown PA
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Top Bar Swarm Trap Design Thoughts

    I'm not as concerned about comb collapse as has been suggested. The prime swarm catching season for my area (Pennsylvania), won't experience 90 degree plus heat between April and mid-June. Of course there can always be a rash of heat to contend with.

    Comb collapses is only an issue with high temps and direct sun. Swarm trapping in my area would be done in shaded woods, which is cooler.

    My initial questions were more about comb being attached to the sides of my rectangle swarm trap. Hearing from those who have hands on TBH experience is very helpful.

    Even though I've spent good money on Phil Chandler's book and a host of other beekeeping books, there is little expert experience out there. The practical advice of Phil, McCartney Taylor and Michael Bush are most appreciated. I had the good luck, to have a chance run in with Les Crowder at the Santa Fe Farmers Market this summer. Les and his wife set me on a fun path for natural beekeeping.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: Top Bar Swarm Trap Design Thoughts

    I guess I would probably build a mini-hive of your main hives. If you have KTBHs then it'd probably be a good idea to have the sloped sides. If you keep TTBH then make a box. I have no experience yet to say any of this, but I would imagine that the transfer would be easier. Hard to say if the bees would build comb that wouldn't fit.

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