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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    533

    Default Transfer tbh to...

    So after running tbhs for two seasons, I have been unable to convince them that swarming is a bad idea. Even last year when I had a first year queen they swarmed. This year they started producing multiple (12+) queen cups. So I split them before they swarmed. I took the queen away with a few combs and a few shakes of bees. Now that they have made three combs with solid queen cells, I intend to make two small nucs with two of the combs with cells.

    So next year, it is certainly possible that my bees may fill out all of my tbh equipment. I have one 4ft, one 3 ft, and three nucs. So it is certainly possible. I guess I don't really want to build any more tbh equipment. What I do have is empty warres and langs. So what's the easiest way to transfer bees from my tbhs to my warres or langs?


    With langs I could always just shake bees from the tbh into a few combs donated from one of my langs I suppose. Would I have to use a full warre box with comb to do the same? Any other ideas?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
    Posts
    2,675

    Default Re: Transfer tbh to...

    I'm about to do a "cutout" on my TBH and tie combs into frames and put them into Langs.
    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Cloverdale, B.C., Canada
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Transfer tbh to...

    I have been experimenting with transferring KTBH bees into lang boxes. I am trying 2 different styles, but have been too lazy to try a 3rd option which would likely work best. When/if it actually works I will post about it with pics, but here is how I am hoping it will work:

    I take a lang box full of frames and put it on a bottom board; then I put an empty lang box on top; then I put as much of the colony on 17" top bars (w/ comb, bees, brood, queen, honey,pollen) as will fit (this is the part with the 3 options comes in, more below); then wait, and wait, and wait; once the bees have filled up the top box and start moving into the bottom box look for the queen, once you find the queen in the bottom box then slap a queen excluder on between the boxes; eventually the brood in the top box will hatch out, the lang box with frames will become the brood box, and the top box will become the honey super and get back-filled with honey; harvest the mess of comb that the top box has become.

    The 3 options I can think of for putting the top bars into a lang are these: 1) very lazy method - just put the top bars onto the lang box sideways (comb will run perpendicular to the frames in the box below), I am expecting this method to fail due to the bees continuing to build comb the same direction in the bottom box and make a mess of the bottom box, but it was too easy a method to not try it. 2) Build a frame around the top of the lang box, I used 1x2s, so that the top bars will fit in the lang box running in the same direction as the frames in the bottom box. I am expecting this method to work much better, and it is still quite simple.

    One disadvantage of those 2 methods are that you need to wait until the bees build out all the comb to completely fill the lang box to the edges, and during this time you will not be able to remove the combs and inspect the hive. This is where 3) should work best. Install 2 boards in the lang box that are the the same dimension and angle of your top bar hive and then put 2 boards on the bottom so that the bees can only access the hive area of the top box. Basically it will be a top bar hive inside a lang box. The bees should move down to the bottom box more quickly since they won't need to build out all the combs to the sides of the lang box, and you will still be able to inspect the colony as needed while you wait for them to move down.

    The shaking method you mentioned is likely the quickest and easiest way to do the transfer. I guess I had too much time on my hands and was curious to see if any of the methods above will work.

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