Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 49

Thread: tbh swarmed

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    key largo,florida, usa
    Posts
    16

    Default tbh swarmed

    i have a tbh that swarmed twice. i,m a new bee and i just trying to understand how to stop this from happing. i have read a lot on mr bush web site
    my top bar is mr bush design it had 18 bars full out of 32 and they swarmed it was booming with bees i noticed some queen cups being built
    did not take action i did not really understand what to do from what i have now read should i have been putting empty bars in the broods nest is this correct.
    i have a few caped queen cells in the hive now i guess i just have to wait and see.
    thanks for the help Franky

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Houston, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    125

    Default Re: tbh swarmed

    was the 19th bar full of honey?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    key largo,florida, usa
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: tbh swarmed

    no the last three bars were not even completely drawn out just a little caped honey on top edge.

  4. #4

    Default Re: tbh swarmed

    I've been keeping my bees confined, and only adding a few bars in the brood nest each week as needed. I don't know if this is the right thing to do or not, but I have not seen any signs of swarming. I just know you don't want to keep them too confined or too open. I may actually start adding more bars to the brood nest, as many as I can based on how many good bars of straight comb I have available. Unfortunately, my bees are still trying to build a little crooked. As soon as I get a real bee suit I imagine I'm going to get in there and reshape all the bad comb to try and line them out once and for all. As is, I just keep cutting the cross comb as needed.

    Let us know if you figure anything out! Thanks.
    After 20 months I'm over a 20 hives and growing. See my videos! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8fVrmUsyYlRuASdX6UQk1g

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    227

    Default Re: tbh swarmed

    Some people call TBH's swarm machines. The best advice I seen (here at the bee forum of course) is to move honey comb back from the brood comb and move all the comb back from the entrance. The queen wants to keep the brood together and won't cross honey comb to lay discontinuous brood, so you need to set it up so that there is empty comb around the brood. Also brood laying works towards the entrance, so have free space between the comb and the entrance is suppose to help. They build fast so frequent management seems to be necessary.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    318

    Default Re: tbh swarmed

    I think the secret is, as mentioned above, to keep empty bars in the broodnest to give the nurse bees plenty to do. We've had them swarm when we didn't want them to, and then couldn't get them to swarm when we did want them to.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Dripping Springs, TX USA
    Posts
    297

    Default Re: tbh swarmed

    It helps to keep a piece of a plastic queen excluder stapled over the entrance holes of a TBH as well as a clipped queen.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    key largo,florida, usa
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: tbh swarmed

    well i just took a look in my top bar and at the front entrance of the hive.bars 1 and 2 were full of caped honey and i found a 4 fully caped queen cells
    bar 18 has more like 30 % caped honey what should i do remove honey bars 1 and 2 or take 18 out what about queen cells leave them alone ???

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,458

    Default Re: tbh swarmed

    Speaking from experience, keep the bees confined with the follower board. I had one abscond due to the fact the follower board was placed too far back. Think about it, a regular lang is ten bars wide when a package is installed. I install with 6-7 bars. My nucs are 5 bars. They seem to do real well in the nuc even when there is 5 lbs. of bees in them.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,723

    Default Re: tbh swarmed

    Quote Originally Posted by captcatfish View Post
    i noticed some queen cups being builtdid not take action i did not really understand what to do from what i have now read should i have been putting empty bars in the broods nest is this correct.
    Moving some empty combs to the middle of the brood nest will help, but once all frames are full not much you can do. Once the hive is choca with bees, they have nowhere to expand any more they will swarm, as top bar hives are not expandable.

    Quote Originally Posted by captcatfish View Post
    no the last three bars were not even completely drawn out just a little caped honey on top edge.
    This is the issue with long hives, if it's too long the bees don't naturally like going too far out to the side they will sometimes swarm rather than work all the way out to the far end, which is why other hive designs are verticle.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: tbh swarmed

    Something that I have been thinking about. This year before the dandelions bloomed I shifted things back and put empty brood bars between the brood nest and the entrance. That gives them some room to expand. I then tried to add empty brood bars in the brood nest. I was worried about adding to much to quickly, but in the end I didn't add enough. Today I found queen cups all over the brood nest.

    So next year i will add around 5-8 empty bars towards the front. Then as soon as the dandelions start I need to add 2 bars somewhere in the brood nest weekly.

    So that is likely my plan for next year. As for this year, i caught them in time and performed a cut down split. I don't have an issue with swarming, but I want to catch them before they do.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,408

    Default Re: tbh swarmed

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm#management

    Q: What is different about the management of a top bar hive or long hive?

    The need for empty bars in the brood nest during prime "reproductive" swarm season to expand the
    brood nest more and prevent swarming.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    key largo,florida, usa
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: tbh swarmed

    Well guys thanks for all your help.
    I,m in need of more help now. I thought my bees were doing great in the tbh. I just checked them and i found queen cups with larva
    with them. Looks like they are getting ready to swarm again. I have been putting bars in to open the broods nest i guess did not put enough of them in to keep up
    They are starting to back fill the broods nest with honey. Is there anything i can do to stop them from swarming at this point.i added more bars to the broods nest
    harvested 2 bars of honey probably to late ? I do not want to make a spilt.. I have langsroth hives too but i really enjoy my tbh i just wish i could stop this from happing.
    I think i,m starting to get the idea of opening broods nest. to late now,. Thanks in advance Franky

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    key largo,florida, usa
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: tbh swarmed

    Well here we go again my top bar swarmed again. seems like they swarm every two months added bars in broods nest i even moved them back from the entrance and poof there gone very frustrating can some one please help me? i have know idea.this is the third time in less than 6 months.i,m ready to turn my tbh in to a planter for a herb garden.

  15. #15

    Default Re: tbh swarmed

    Swarming is typically induced by two things: overcrowding and overheating. The former can lead to the latter. If your hive is sitting in full sun, the bees are going to have a hard time keeping it cool, and they may sense they are crowded because they can't cool the hive. That's just a thought. I'm I'm Houston TX and my four TBH's sit in almost full shade. I've seen no signs they even want to swarm. Granted that could be a false positive, but just something to chew on.
    I suppose another cause for swarming could be a really strong flow. What's in bloom for you? Are the bees booming? Think about it: a strong flow will induce a population boom, which could result in crowding and overheating...and swarming. It's in the bees' nature to swarm when the survival odds are best, and from their perspective, it doesn't get much better than a strong flow!
    After 20 months I'm over a 20 hives and growing. See my videos! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8fVrmUsyYlRuASdX6UQk1g

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,723

    Default Re: tbh swarmed

    Quote Originally Posted by captcatfish View Post
    can some one please help me? ....this is the third time in less than 6 months.
    Don't think anyone can. As previously stated, TBH's are not expandable so once they are choca with bees there is nothing you can do, other than split it into two hives. If you don't want to keep splitting it, you just have to watch them swarm.

    That's why all other hive designs are expandable, ie, you can add unlimited boxes, or whatever, to them to make more room. Except skeps, which are meant to swarm to make increase.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,438

    Default Re: tbh swarmed

    Quote Originally Posted by captcatfish View Post
    i,m ready to turn my tbh in to a planter for a herb garden.
    Don't do that, they make better feed troughs!

    Is it possible that your hive is too small for your area? I wouldn't think Micheal's design is too small, assuming you built one like he describes on his site out of 1x12s. I assume that were you are there is very little "off season" for the bees. If they are crowded they will swarm. That good thing about top bars is you can do pretty much what you want to do, but there isn't much consensus on the best way to do things. Some say front entrance, others say side entrances, as you can move the the entrances farther back towards the honey storage. If it is an issue with the size it is easy enough (usually) to make a bigger hive to put the bars into. I'm starting to ramble.

    Tomas is a top bar beek in Honduras, I assume the climate where you are is closer to his (although I think he is in the mountains). In any case, he may have some insights on top bar beekeeping in tropical climates. You may want to search his posts to see how he does things, or get in touch with him.

    Oldtimer is on some kind of personal anti-top bar hive Jihad, not sure what that is about. (oh no! Now I have done it ) Seems like there are a decent number of top bar beeks out there that are happy with what they are doing and their results. Some even have hundreds of hives.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,723

    Default Re: tbh swarmed

    Jihad?

    Actually, I was just telling the guy that there is nothing he can do about swarming in his situation other than split the hive. With top bar hives, that's just a fact around the design. Accusing me of a jihad won't change that although it may make you feel better, if you want to stifle a full discussion of the issue.

    If you are in an area where swarms don't matter such as a non suburban area without close neighbors, then no worries, just let the bees do what they do. Some of my friends top bar hives swarm and they don't even know they swarmed, things just carry on.

    And oh. I currently have 4 very small TBH's in my back yard, I use them as mating nucs so I got the swarming issue down. Should mention that incase somebody wants to spin it i'm running a jihad or something.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,438

    Default Re: tbh swarmed

    Good to see you have a sense of humor!

    You can actually do something besides a split. You can put them in a bigger hive. That hive can be deeper, wider or longer. All depends on what you prefer and what the problem is, and what you can do based on the current bar and comb size. A lot of folks have tiny "garden" top bars. The comb volume is less than a medium and may be less than a shallow. That small size is definitely going to produce a hive that swarms. Others have them made from 55 gallon drums and they pull huge frames of comb. I was surprised when captcatfish said that he had a hive based on M. Bush's design, as that is a decent size hive.

    All hives can swarm, even well managed hives. Certain types of bees are more prone to swarm than other types. He could cut those bees out into a Lang and still have several swarms a year.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada BC Delta
    Posts
    420

    Default Re: tbh swarmed

    In my view MB's hive design is a bit small. If you want to stay with that size you will have to relieve the population pressure at times. Shaking a package of bees from the hive at key times may be helpful. Removing the queen with cell pinching and new queen introduction could be part or another option but doing nothing is most likely going to result in a swarm being issued no matter the hive.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads