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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
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    218

    Default Started a TBH from a crop and chop Langstroth split, questions.

    Bit of back ground..... I'm in Australia and the gum nectar flow is just starting to really get going in my area, the bees I have are Italian "Lingustica" honey bees oh and this is my first foray into bee keeping though I remember helping my Grandfather when I was a child more than 30 years and a different country ago....

    Ok so I received some Lang frames (2x stores and 3x brood) from a friend plus ~1.5kg of bees. I cropped the combs to fit my top bars and now ~one week later added a bought queen one day ago. I'm wondering when can I remove the zip ties I used to hold the combs in place? I ask as the bees are actively sticking the bars together with a mix of wax and propolis, the gaps between them are ~4mm (1/8") to 6mm (1/4") in places, and some bees are now using the vent gap between the roof and hive body as an entrance.

    They haven't started to lay new comb on the blank top bars as yet as I think there is still lots of room in the combs I transferred. The hive is a 13 bar "swarm capture" box I built to get started with. When I see them drawing new comb on the blank bars I'll move them over to the 30 bar hive I have in reserve.

    Oh how do I post images? I keep getting a red dot with exclamation mark......

    Thanks all.

    Cheers, Thomas J.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Essex, England, UK
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Started a TBH from a crop and chop Langstroth split, questions.

    When you transfered the cropped combs into you TBH, did you place alternate empty top bars between the combs? If you have a good flow on they should build new comb on the top bars helping keep them on the straight and narrow. This should keep a decent bee space between old combs and new combs. I suspect at the moment the existing gaps between the transfered combs are causing a problem. I would remove the ties only when you are sure the combs have been well secured by the bees. No exact time scale but remember if there is a good flow on they will be subjected to quite a bit of weight, so dont rush to remove the ties. Sorry but cant help you with posting images.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    218

    Default Re: Started a TBH from a crop and chop Langstroth split, questions.

    Thanks Teabag, no I didn't, I did think about it though and can do it tomorrow I expect. A picture would make this so clear, the gap is where the bulge of the ties as they pass between the bars prevents them from making contact/closing the gap. Would it be too soon to disturb the girls seeing as I just 30hrs ago introduced the new queen?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: Started a TBH from a crop and chop Langstroth split, questions.

    When I did my chop and crop I used wires through the bar and found that if they stuck out into beespace at all the bees started building comb on them. With the wire I could just break the burr off and bend them in more but understand you can't do that with the ties. On mine I could see where they had attached to the bar so knew when I could cut the wires, hopefully you can too. I didn't have a flow on which may make a difference but I didn't alternate empty and crop bars, I just fed a single empty bar next to the brood bar towards the honey side every week or so as they drew out the empty bar. I did have an empty in the honey area but they never touched it. The reason I didn't alternate more empty bars in is when I started my first hive I got too aggressive opening the broodnest and got a bar of chilled brood due to it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,199

    Default Re: Started a TBH from a crop and chop Langstroth split, questions.

    I find the simplest way to post images is to open a free account at a site like Photobucket.com, upload images there, then copy the link they provide and paste it to Beesource. You have the option of just providing a simple link to the photos, or displaying them inline in your post.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada BC Delta
    Posts
    436

    Default Re: Started a TBH from a crop and chop Langstroth split, questions.

    It would be best to leave the hive alone until you see the nest starting to expand with new combs being built. You've just introduced a new queen so unless the nuc was very populous this could take at least as long as it takes for the first round of brood to start emerging of the new queen. Once you see new combs being built you could remove the ties or work new bars in at the entrance end to push the existing combs toward the harvest area of the hive allowing you to cull them over time.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    218

    Default Re: Started a TBH from a crop and chop Langstroth split, questions.

    Ok I now have a photobucket account.....

    This is my current hive, it's a 2' capture/nuk box with 15 bars: http://s1339.beta.photobucket.com/us...tml?sort=3&o=7
    The zip ties: http://s1339.beta.photobucket.com/us...tml?sort=3&o=0
    The big hive (now painted and ready to go when they out grow their current home) this one is 4' and holds 30 some bars: http://s1339.beta.photobucket.com/us...tml?sort=3&o=6

    To update some info and where things stand now.... The queen is free from her cage, and I presume laying (couldn't see her in a cursory inspection today) and the bees are MUCH livelier now than they were even just yesterday. They have begun adding comb to the old donated combs, but they had started that before the queen went in anyway.

    I'll leave them alone for a few weeks to get settled and let the new queen get the population up some before I do much tinkering or think about moving them to the big house er hive.

    Cheers, Thomas.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    218

    Default Re: Started a TBH from a crop and chop Langstroth split, questions.

    Ok I tried to post a reply yesterday but it seems to have been eaten by the ether.....

    I now know the queen is free of her cage (it's on the bottom of the hive now) and the tenor of the bees has become much more 'vibrant or active' still very little pollen being brought in. It's the rare bee that has even slightly yellow baskets, but lots of foraging is taking place. I'm not very worried about this (for now) as there is significant pollen stores in both the honey combs and a bit in the brood. I did shift the bars around a bit, moved one donor bar to the opposite end of the hive so that there is honey at both ends now and spaced those out from the brood with a blank bar at each end of the brood 'block'.

    http://s1339.beta.photobucket.com/us...tml?sort=3&o=1 This is the zip tie issue I'm worried about, they bulge out as they go between the bars and this leaves a 4mm (1/8") to 6mm (1/4") gap in places (some place its big enough that the bees use it to access the roof space).

    This is the big hive that they will eventually move over to: http://s1339.beta.photobucket.com/us...tml?sort=3&o=6 1.2m (almost 4') 30ish bar span.

    Anyways thanks for the tips and the info.

    Cheers, Thomas.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Denison, Texas
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: Started a TBH from a crop and chop Langstroth split, questions.

    Those zip-ties aren't that thick. Take your hive tool, breadknife, what have you, and pry all the bars to one side.
    You'll want to close as much gap as possible. The bees will propolize whatever gap they can't fit through.
    After you remove the ties, you can clean up the edges of the bars during your visits inside the hive.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    218

    Default Re: Started a TBH from a crop and chop Langstroth split, questions.

    Yeah that's the big issue the bars are getting quite thick propolis edges atm. Oh well Sunday this hive gets moved to the big hive as they have out grown the transfer/capture box. There is comb on every bar down to within 2" of the floor..... And all in less than 30days too! The new queen's first crop of workers haven't even emerged yet either (23-26th should see that happening)!

    Cheers, Thomas.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    218

    Default Re: Started a TBH from a crop and chop Langstroth split, questions.

    Just a quick update: Colony has been re-hived, found there was new brood on most comb, but as expected mostly in the midsection (my hive is a center of long wall accessed). Some almost cross-combing was also fixed.

    Lots of honey curing, so I added 6 extra top bars too. Only saw a couple of beetles, so I guess it's all good and I can start settling into a weekly inspection routine.

    Now I'm wishing I'd had the brains to take some photos!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: Started a TBH from a crop and chop Langstroth split, questions.

    Sounds like things are going good! Hope you squished those beetles!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
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    218

    Default Re: Started a TBH from a crop and chop Langstroth split, questions.

    Now that goes without saying! LOL everyone I see and can catch gets squished.... Haven't seen many and so far none in my traps.

    Picture of the new hive where the old (on ground) used to sit: http://s1339.beta.photobucket.com/us...38b6c.jpg.html
    Last edited by praxis178; 01-20-2013 at 09:17 PM. Reason: Additional info

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: Started a TBH from a crop and chop Langstroth split, questions.

    Nice pic! Do you like the bottom center entrances? My bees didn't particularly like them so I plugged them and drilled two upper entrances on both side ends (only the one side is open, the others are just in case I need to put a split or nuc in the other end). They seem to like that much better. It wasn't a problem until I tried to move the brood nest away from them, then they would let the brood hatch out of that bar and abandon it in favor of of ones closer to the entrances. Maybe I just have fussy bees!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    142

    Default Re: Started a TBH from a crop and chop Langstroth split, questions.

    Enjoyed this thread. Looks like they are off and running and soon you will be swamped with bees. Just try to stay ahead of them spacewise by inserting empty bars in the brood and honey spaces so they don't get the urge to swarm on you.
    Cheers
    Rob

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    218

    Default Re: Started a TBH from a crop and chop Langstroth split, questions.

    Yep that's my biggest fear that I run out of space! I can see why this type of hive requires more work as you have to stay on top of it space wise to keep them from swarming. Quite the learning curve I must say!

    @Colleen O. So far they seem quite happy with the low down central opening. When they expand a bit to reach more towards either end, they are two bars from the right hand end as pictured, I have a follower board in at the other end then three bars to the first comb bar I'm expecting to see them become more inclined to want t dictate terms. The present set up is leaving about 10-12 bars worth of growth space all told at present.

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