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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Papaikou, Hawaii, USA
    Posts
    90

    Default Close them in? (swarm)

    Today I placed my first swarm in a Top Bar hive. It has been two hours, its 1 PM now, and sunny.

    I have successfully re-hived five various swarms into Langstroths, but this is my first TBH attempt.

    I sprayed some HBH / 1:1 sugarwater in the box before placing them, and surely got the queen. This was the biggest and tightest swarm I have gotten to date.

    This swarm is from about 300 feet from their original Langstroth.

    It has been two hours. An hour after the initial capture, I recovered about 200 bees from the original swarm location (my allergic neighbors tree, she is NOT loving me at all right now), and moved them to the TBH. I then closed up the top and opened the entrance to let the ones that were in the air find their way in.

    I moved my swarm bucket into the garage, and within a few minutes a couple hundred bees made their way in the TBH entrance.

    What I am seeing at the entrance now, about an hour after the second bee dump is just a few bees doing short flights of only a few feet. They are on the walls and festooning some of the bars already.

    Do I need to close them in for three days, or will the HBH serve to anchor them? It was suggested by my TBH friend to close them in, but he doesnt use HBH in his.

    What say you?

    Thank you in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: Close them in? (swarm)

    Put some brood comb in there. Maybe you can cut some out of a frame and make some kind of a basket on a top bar. I have never lost a swarm when I added brood comb, although I don't have that much experience. I got that suggestion from more experienced beekeepers here.

    Ted

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Papaikou, Hawaii, USA
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: Close them in? (swarm)

    Quote Originally Posted by taydeko View Post
    Put some brood comb in there. Maybe you can cut some out of a frame and make some kind of a basket on a top bar. I have never lost a swarm when I added brood comb, although I don't have that much experience. I got that suggestion from more experienced beekeepers here.

    Ted

    Thanks Ted.

    Not possible though. All my other hives are Langstroth on wax foundation. I didnt have anything I could put in there.

    I just checked them, they really look to be entering the hive with stores. My langstroths are not near my flower garden, this TBH is right in the center of the garden and already I can see they are all over the nasturtiums, basil, etc., that had not been getting a lot of attention.

    I feel optimistic that they are setting up house here. Its a great spot, I hope they agree!

    I agree, brood comb is great. I added a frame to all my swarm catches in the Langstroths, and havent lost one yet!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,872

    Default Re: Close them in? (swarm)

    They are festooning so they aren't planning on leaving. They're drawing wax already so just relax and enjoy your new TBH.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Papaikou, Hawaii, USA
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: Close them in? (swarm)

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    They are festooning so they aren't planning on leaving. They're drawing wax already so just relax and enjoy your new TBH.
    Thanks Ray!! Yep, they are festooning. This morning they were looped all over the inside of the the thing...my daughter looked in and said they were doing monkey arms, LOL!

    ! I hope they are going to build in the right direction, but I really am thrilled that they are considering the TBH home. I LOVE the observation window.

    I was going to get a TBH nuc for this, I am ticked pink to have that $!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,872

    Default Re: Close them in? (swarm)

    I luv to hear your excitement! Just keep an eye on them thru that window and if they start drawing comb differently than what you want, then go in and repair it so it runs correctly. Beekeeping is the best hobby ever, glad to have you aboard for the ride.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Papaikou, Hawaii, USA
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: Close them in? (swarm)

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    I luv to hear your excitement! Just keep an eye on them thru that window and if they start drawing comb differently than what you want, then go in and repair it so it runs correctly. Beekeeping is the best hobby ever, glad to have you aboard for the ride.
    Thanks Ray!! I am really jazzed to have the TBH up. Its been sitting empty for months, I had one swarm leave it, and I had just last week asked a friend to put together a TBH nuc for me. But I thought yesterday when my bees swarmed, what do I have to lose...and hoped that if I doused the thing with HBH maybe I would have a shot...I cant tell you how great it is to know I made a good call, and that they stayed in even though I didnt close them in. I was at our club meeting and one gal there is running 40 TBH, which is so awesome! I am happy with my 7 langstroths, but this was something I so wanted to try. I feel I am hooked already!

    I need the langs to move to some pollination spots, but I have several places I can install a TBH as well, so YAY!

    Anyway.....

    I did not open their window again today, but early this morning they were festooning perpendicular to the bars, which made for a lovely view through the window but I am thinking thats not the way they should be doing it. A few of them were hanging off the bars in the direction of the bars, and there was a big ball at the back I counldnt see through so who knows what they were up to.

    So maybe they were figuring it out. They sent out a couple of ladies who requested I step away, so I want to give them some time.

    Question is, what do I do to fix it if they build the comb in the wrong direction?

    The entrance is so busy!! Its really awesome.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,872

    Default Re: Close them in? (swarm)

    Once the comb gets an inch or more hanging down, cut it off and tie it to a topbar correctly with cotton string. Once you get a couple going right way, they'll use them as guides to draw the rest. Keep a watch on them.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    3,178

    Default Re: Close them in? (swarm)

    IF they act like my swarm did last spring the queen will be laying in cells as soon as they are started. They only need to be drawn out about a quarter inch. once that brood is in the cells it is unlikely they are going to leave. It only took a day, two at most for them to have brood in the hive.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Papaikou, Hawaii, USA
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: Close them in? (swarm)

    Thanks Daniel!

    I checked the window this morning, and did not see any cross comb. They were mostly not "awake" yet, still all in a big slab at the back of the hive, with a few making their way toward the entrance. I could not see any comb through the mass of bees. It would be awesome if they made the comb in the right direction~~

    I can see flakes of wax on the floor of the hive, too. I cant wait to see what they are up to!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Papaikou, Hawaii, USA
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: Close them in? (swarm)

    Just wanted to say that so far, these bees are doing great!

    They did not crosscomb, and I can now see comb through the window. Its really wonderful to be able to see them at work. I am going to pick up another TBH sunday for the other side of the garden. Not sure when it will have bees in it but I will be ready. Thanks for all the support!!

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