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Thread: Splitting TBH

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Newfoundland, Canada
    Posts
    17

    Default Splitting TBH

    How do you split a TBH? I only have 2 bars on each end left!

    How do you deal with cross comb. All my frames are cross comb.

    I'm a 2nd year beekeeper but I really have little knowledge. I took a bee course about 10 years ago, read some books etc and I thought that I would be ok but the bees have been basically taking care of themselves.

    My "strong" hive has run out of space. I opened it up on Saturday with the thought of removing honey to give more space but didn't see any capped. I looked at about 3/4's of the frames and closed it back up because I didn't know what to do. I felt so helpless and disappointed in myself.. The frames had brood, drone brood, honey, pollen. At least that I'm what I'm thinking from pictures that I have viewed.. I didn't see a queen but it was kinda difficult trying to look in the cross combs. So some frames ended up getting damaged due to the cross comb.

    Also, when you add TB's due you add them on each end. This is what I was doing but I don't know if that is correct..

    I feel so awful for these bees... I thought that I could do this but now I'm worried that they might fly away and even worse into the neighbours yard.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,368

    Default Re: Splitting TBH

    Welcome to Beesource!

    You split a TBH just like a hive with frames. Move some of the bars and bees to a new hive. If you are expecting them to make a second queen you need to be sure there are eggs/larva so they can do so. If you are not sure where the queen is, makes sure there are eggs in both hives after the split.

    > All my frames are cross comb

    This is the core of the problem. If you want to manage the hives in the future, you need to find a way to fix this. Options include cutting off portions of the comb, removing badly malformed bars entirely, or cutting the comb off the bar and re-aligning it. Methods of holding it in place temporarily uses wire as a "basket" or as a series of "hooks".

    Read Michael Bush's top bar page:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm
    If you add/swap new bars, make sure you have a good comb guide on those bars. See the page above for more info.

    .
    Last edited by Rader Sidetrack; 06-24-2013 at 08:27 AM. Reason: spelling
    Graham
    --- Practical reality trumps philosophy!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    covington ga
    Posts
    170

    Default Re: Splitting TBH

    jen...dont give up....the bees dont read the same books.....doe as redar says...its good info...
    22 hives and holding

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Newfoundland, Canada
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Splitting TBH

    Thank you so much for the help!
    We are building a new hive and I was wondering if your top bars are the same size or do you have honey/brood bars. In my first 2 hives the TB are all the same size.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    Welcome to Beesource!

    You split a TBH just like a hive with frames. Move some of the bars and bees to a new hive. If you are expecting them to make a second queen you need to be sure there are eggs/larva so they can do so. If you are not sure where the queen is, makes sure there are eggs in both hives after the split.

    > All my frames are cross comb

    This is the core of the problem. If you want to manage the hives in the future, you need to find a way to fix this. Options include cutting off portions of the comb, removing badly malformed bars entirely, or cutting the comb off the bar and re-aligning it. Methods of holding it in place temporarily uses wire as a "basket" or as a series of "hooks".

    Read Michael Bush's top bar page:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm
    If you add/swap new bars, make sure you have a good comb guide on those bars. See the page above for more info.

    .

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Newfoundland, Canada
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Splitting TBH

    Thank you so much for the support I just might get the hang of this..

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,368

    Default Re: Splitting TBH

    I have both 1.25" and 1.5" bars. My TBHs are pretty much just like the ones in Mr Bush's TBH page I linked to above, including a triangular wood comb guide on the bars.
    Graham
    --- Practical reality trumps philosophy!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Default Re: Splitting TBH

    >How do you split a TBH? I only have 2 bars on each end left!
    >How do you deal with cross comb. All my frames are cross comb.

    Well, the second statement about cross combs changes the answer to the first question. IMO the only real solution at this point is that you need two more hives. If you want a top bar hive, then you need to make it the same size as your current ones except make frames for it. Then flip the TBH upside down and pull the box off and do a cut out. Cut each comb off the bar and tie it into a frame and put them in the new hive. When you are done with the cutout, you can divide the frames between that box and the one you just emptied.

    At this point if you don't feel comfortable building frames, you might be better off with a Langstroth hive because you can BUY frames for it. Then do your cutout...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Newfoundland, Canada
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Splitting TBH

    Thank you so much everyone for all the help and support, this forum is awesome!!

    I did a split yesterday... I couldn't find the queen so I just split them up, gave them each all the frames they needed and closed them up. I have the new hive turned opposite of the original hive that they came from. I noticed today there isn't very many bees leaving the new hive and they aren't coming back to it... The original hive is buzzing with lots of activity. I'm wondering if I should just leave them alone or if I should switch the hives. Put the new one where the original one was..
    Would the queen still be in the original hive? Is that one of the reason the bees are going back to it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,368

    Default Re: Splitting TBH

    The foragers are likely all going back to the original hive, so activity in/out of the new split is much less. If this bothers you, you can switch the placement of the two hives.
    Graham
    --- Practical reality trumps philosophy!

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