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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Posts
    105

    Default Splitting bees from Top Bar to Langstroth

    I'd like to split my two top bar hives into langstroths.

    What I'm planning on doing is finding the queen of the TB and putting her, along with a bunch of bees from the same hive, into one deep box with fully drawn out frames from my other Langstroth hives (in storage from the honey harvest last year). I'll then place this split Langstroth near the entrance of the TB to reduce drift. I'm then hoping the TB hive will raise a new queen and everyone will be happy.

    Does my plan seem good enough?

    Also, we're getting regular days over 50 degrees here (yesterday was 62) when is best to do the split?

    Would it be a good idea to cage the queen for a few days or should they accept her and the hive without problems?

    Thanks for your input.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    595

    Default Re: Splitting bees from Top Bar to Langstroth

    I'm not an expert, but your plan sounds fine enough. As for timing, wait for drones to emerge with the expectation that if yuor drones are popping, then the same is true for other bees i nthe area. this will ensure that your new virgin queen can find enough suitors during her mating flights.

    This is all just based on stuff I've read, so don;t consider this first hand experience!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,712

    Default Re: Splitting bees from Top Bar to Langstroth

    Quote Originally Posted by ilivetobealive View Post
    I'd like to split my two top bar hives into langstroths.

    What I'm planning on doing is finding the queen of the TB and putting her, along with a bunch of bees from the same hive, into one deep box with fully drawn out frames from my other Langstroth hives (in storage from the honey harvest last year).
    This doesn't sound like it will work very well. If you were planning to move brood from the TBH then it would essentially be a cutout and should work. But just moving bees and a queen from a hive next door may result in them just going back to the hive they started in.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Splitting bees from Top Bar to Langstroth

    Are you saying the queen will resort back to the other hive? This is why I suggested caging her. Also, I have a friend who wants my TBH as I'm going Langstroth only. What if he took the hive at the time of the split? This way the remaining bees only have one hive to return to?

    I'm basically trying to create a "package" of bees using my TBH to build a Langstrogh...in hopes the TBH will raise a new queen.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,712

    Default Re: Splitting bees from Top Bar to Langstroth

    I also have several TBHs and have built some Lang equipment this winter. My TBH bars are less than 19" wide, so I will screw some 19" bars to the TBH bars with comb, bees, brood & eggs, and hang those in the lang equipment, along with some regular foundationless frames.

    My lang bodies are all mediums so I will need to stack two mediums to fit the TBH bars inside. This will be the first time I have tried this, so I cannot say with authority that it will work. We'll see.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Branson, MO
    Posts
    576

    Default Re: Splitting bees from Top Bar to Langstroth

    If you don't move any brood to the Lang. your queen may go back unless she is in swarm mode and if so you would not want to put her back in front of the TB. If you put her and some bees in a Lang. I would put a couple of brood combs in with them and set the hive away from the TB.
    Just what I would do.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: Splitting bees from Top Bar to Langstroth

    >Are you saying the queen will resort back to the other hive?

    Very doubtful, but the bees may all return. Some brood is the best bet to anchor them. Even if you have to cut some out and tie it into frames.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8

    Default Re: Splitting bees from Top Bar to Langstroth

    Quote Originally Posted by ilivetobealive View Post
    Also, I have a friend who wants my TBH as I'm going Langstroth only. What if he took the hive at the time of the split? This way the remaining bees only have one hive to return to?
    This sounds like the best option. It would be better if he had a queen, though, although if they have eggs they might make their own queen.
    Greg Whitehead, Ten Mile, TN
    Blog - http://gregsbees.blogspot.com/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Branson, MO
    Posts
    576

    Default Re: Splitting bees from Top Bar to Langstroth

    Even if your friend takes the TB I would put some brood with the Lang. the queen may decide to leave if you don't if your queen was not in the mood to swarm.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,871

    Default Re: Splitting bees from Top Bar to Langstroth

    Yes, I'd make the split into the Lang as your friend is taking away the TBH. Shake a bar or two of bees from the TBH into the Lang as you make the split, choose bars with open brood to shake from as they will be mostly nurse bees on the frame to shake into your queen right Lang. Leave the Lang in the same spot, or close to it, where the TBH was. You should get a decent shook swarm split in the Lang, and your friend will get a queenless split that should make a queen of their own.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Splitting bees from Top Bar to Langstroth

    My last question would be: Is it too early to do the split? I live in Salt Lake City. The daily highs have been in the 60s and are expected to get much warmer this week into the 70s...but we'll most likely have a few more freezes before winter gives up here in Utah.

    The TBHs are incredibly healthy. I did an inspection and the hives are nearly full (4 foot hive), even this early in the season. Being their 3rd year I fear they may swarm if I don't split them but that may be another month or so.

    They are bringing back a lot of pollen and any open feedings I've offered have been ignored which to me means they are already getting enough food.

    Thoughts?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Southern half, UK
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Splitting bees from Top Bar to Langstroth

    If you put a queen excluder above the floor, beneath the brood box, of the Langstroth as well a frame or so containing eggs and brood you should have more success, otherwise you risk the queen flying off because she doesn't like her new home. A few days should be enough, until she's confirmed as laying. Maybe give them some food too, some syrup or a frame or two of stores cut and tied into Lang frames?

    Be careful not to let your friend rattle the frames too much when they move the tbH, or they could damage eggs that would become a new queen.

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