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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Central Georgia
    Posts
    3

    Default TBH and moving in a swarm?

    I'm new to beekeeping (hence my name ) and have a question: There's a beekeeper in a neighboring county who has probably 25 - 30 Langstroth hives and has swarms every Spring. He has offered to sell a complete hive, bees and all, but I'm thinking more along the lines of wanting TBHs and I can probably just buy a swarm from him. He usually collects his swarms by just shaking them into a five gallon bucket. Can I just get the bucket (of course with holes in the lid for them to breathe) and move them into MY TBH? Would I just remove the bars and shake all of them into the hive? Would i need to start a line of purchased beeswax on the top bar strips to get them on their way? Will they just take up house in that hive or is there a chance that all of them will just leave? If I do get them in their hive this year, will I collect any honey this year, or will it be next year before I harvest any honey? Please help! I feel like I may be in over my head LOL!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,988

    Default Re: TBH and moving in a swarm?

    Welcome to Beesource!

    Yes, you could just shake the collected swarm into the TBH. However, the sooner that this happens after they are collected by the "swarm catcher", the better.

    Absolutely, there is a chance they will not like your hive and abscond. I would recommend putting 3-4 drops of lemongrass oil (LGO) on the wood inside the hive. Do not overdo the LGO! If your TBH has an open screened bottom, close it off with a board at least until after the colony has built comb and brood.

    Don't count on getting honey this year. The bee and weather gods may smile on you, or not!

    Read Michael Bush's comments about TBHs and in particular, comb guides, here:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Central Georgia
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: TBH and moving in a swarm?

    Thanks a lot Rader! I just wasn't so sure how to go about putting them in and getting them to stay. Hopefully, soon he'll have one and I can get started!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,988

    Default Re: TBH and moving in a swarm?

    FYI, build a second TBH, put in the LGO, and leave it outdoors and empty thru swarm season. You just might get a swarm moving in for free.

    Your chances of being a successful beekeeper are much improved with 2 or more hives compared to just one. More here:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfaqs.htm#howmanybeginner
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Wichita Kansas
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: TBH and moving in a swarm?

    Radar has some good advice. I've started many a topbar hive using this method.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Central Georgia
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: TBH and moving in a swarm?

    Thanks everyone! Working on a second one now!

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