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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Australia
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    218

    Default Hybrid TBH/Lang hive. Was: Bees won't move up into super, why?

    Ok so last autumn I, after having to split my bursting hive had a small problem, the fall flow was so good the small colony I split off the main hive was rapidly outgrowing it's new home.....

    What to do? Build a bigger TBH or go radical? I opted to go radical, I would put a lang style super onto my capture/swarm trap sized (14 bar) tbh. So the next question was how to make it work? topbars don't allow the girls access to the space above them after all. So this is what I came up with: http://i1339.photobucket.com/albums/...psefd55883.jpg the result is a top bar that is the right width for brood comb, but also provides an ~10mm or 3/8" gap between each bar. There that sorted out access, but now I had 13 virgin bars with no comb on them and a hive with 14 bars or drawn comb.....

    What I did was after building the super (http://i1339.photobucket.com/albums/...ps6f4f8432.jpg) I gradually over winter with copious feeding swapped out the used bars and placed them in the super to be cleaned of honey and so any brood could be raised. Here in Australia where I am brood rearing goes on more or less all year, only slowing a little during winter when the forage is low. I moved one or two bars every fortnight and after they were either free of brood or honey (or both) they went to the freezer and then into storage. They are going to let me get a new hive going very soon actually ;-)

    Now that spring is well underway and the girls are foraging like the nectar daemons they are they have started to draw bomb on the foundation I provided on the modified lang frames in the super (the frames are ~8cm/3" shorter than normal), so it would seem to be working at this point. I will report again near the start of summer on how they are doing and if they need another super or if I just start robbing them of surplus.

    Cheers, Thomas

    PS this is how the hybrid looked at the start of winter: http://i1339.photobucket.com/albums/...psd7884bd0.jpg it looks a bit more lived in now ;-)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: Hybrid TBH/Lang hive. Was: Bees won't move up into super, why?

    Thanks for starting the new thread on your hybrid hive. I have been working on a design for a similar hive but using several 8 frame mediums over a TBH and a Warre` style roof. I plan to build it this winter and put it into service in the spring.

    How has inspection gone with the long super? Is it heavy? When you said ~3" shorter do you mean width? That probably helps with the weight.

    Did you let them fill the top bar part first and then add the super? Did they move right up?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
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    218

    Default Re: Hybrid TBH/Lang hive. Was: Bees won't move up into super, why?

    It's getting heavy, it's probably going to end up close to a full deep in weight I guess. I'll know more when I take it off and scale it full in a month or two.

    The frames I modified were 1/2 depth standard lang ones, to modify them I reduced the length of the top and bottom bars by 3", so in my case while the frames still run cool-wise to the entrance, there are 14 frames across the "width" of the super. I.E. the super is wider than long, so if look at this photo: http://i1339.photobucket.com/albums/...ps6f4f8432.jpg where the bit of wood is to the right, is roughly where the entrance is below in the TBH "deep" brood chamber.

    They kinda did, mainly to take care of the relocated brood and to move stores, now that there is a big flow on they have begun to draw out fresh comb, so I guess they are happy enough for now. ;-)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    142

    Default Re: Hybrid TBH/Lang hive. Was: Bees won't move up into super, why?

    Cool idea. Its amazing how many different ways we can build a hive and the bees just keep going on. You must be in a warmer place then us as our bees have just really kicked into gear but they are off and running now.

    Look forward to the updates.
    Cheers
    Rob

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
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    218

    Default Re: Hybrid TBH/Lang hive. Was: Bees won't move up into super, why?

    Sunshine Coast, so about 1000km north I guess? About a week back they started doing huge orientation flights, not like the 100 or so per day as all through winter, but a couple 1000/day and now the nectar is literally flying in (pun intended).....

    Might have a look see this weekend if time and weather permits, been a few days since my last peek.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
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    142

    Default Re: Hybrid TBH/Lang hive. Was: Bees won't move up into super, why?

    Yep, you are a few weeks ahead of us.
    Cheers
    Rob

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
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    218

    Default Re: Hybrid TBH/Lang hive. Was: Bees won't move up into super, why?

    Yep, fingers crossed you get as good or better a flow as I'm enjoying :-)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    142

    Default Re: Hybrid TBH/Lang hive. Was: Bees won't move up into super, why?

    Gum trees are just starting to flower so its on for the season.
    Cheers
    Rob

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
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    218

    Default Re: Hybrid TBH/Lang hive. Was: Bees won't move up into super, why?

    Excellent! I know they are busy in the super, I tapped yesterday and the roar was there as well as the TBH deep.....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Australia
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    218

    Default Re: Hybrid TBH/Lang hive. Was: Bees won't move up into super, why?

    I'm going to have to split this hive soon as they have started queen cups and as congested as the brood area has gotten, amazing the difference a week makes, it won't be long and they will swarm. My other TBH isn't far off this point either, but still has about 5 blank bars I can slot in over the coming weeks, but they are drawing comb like mad so that might not hold them long anyway..... Good thing I have three hives to go into (lang deeps, I know I know)......

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
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    626

    Default Re: Hybrid TBH/Lang hive. Was: Bees won't move up into super, why?

    Have they filled out their super? Or have they just decided swarming is the way to ease crowding? Can you move any combs out to ease the overcrowding in the brood nest before those cups become cells?

    I did a split this summer into a Lang nuc and didn't like it as well as my TBHs but to each their own. The queen didn't make it back from mating and it went laying worker before my purchased queens arrived so I ended up just shaking it out and putting up the equipment. I was glad to not have to deal with it anymore although I did see some benefits of the hive style which is why I am contemplating making a hybrid.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Australia
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    218

    Default Re: Hybrid TBH/Lang hive. Was: Bees won't move up into super, why?

    I did some rearranging yesterday, so I hope it staves things off for a bit. The super is filling out well, though they seem to be repurposing the three spare bars I put in there (had nowhere else to put them) the wax is being reused to build new comb in the frames. So I might have to take them out soon and replace them with a couple pulled from down below.

    I think the big issue is it's been a warm winter so they never really shut down at all and so the build up is going much faster than normal. This year I might just have to put up with doing splits and/or swarm recaptures.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Australia
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    Default Re: Hybrid TBH/Lang hive. Was: Bees won't move up into super, why?

    Had to split it today, 6 occupied queen cells, on two frames, only upside, as they had drawn all the comb to within a bee space of the hive floor (screen over plywood) they have few places to build queen cups anyway, so they all ended up in the one new nuk box..... I'll also have to build another super I think, this one is filling fast.

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

    Default Re: Hybrid TBH/Lang hive. Was: Bees won't move up into super, why?

    Super filled already? That is a good problem to have! Sounds very encouraging! Is any of the honey capped? You could always harvest a few if they are. It will be interesting to find out if this is your best producer.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Australia
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    218

    Default Re: Hybrid TBH/Lang hive. Was: Bees won't move up into super, why?

    About 1/3 capped, mostly a wide top ribbon but one or two are mostly capped so soon I can probably extract a frame or two. Or I could build another super and then leave them run till November-ish and take a whole super off.... Will need to watch this one they are working very hard!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
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    142

    Default Re: Hybrid TBH/Lang hive. Was: Bees won't move up into super, why?

    Chuck on another super. Sounds like your bees are super bees.

    We are really taking off now. Had a quick look and there are drones in the hive so a full inspection tomorrow.
    Cheers
    Rob

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,720

    Default Re: Hybrid TBH/Lang hive. Was: Bees won't move up into super, why?

    Going by the pic, there is only a small gap for the bees to get between the TBH and the super. To work well there should be a lot more openness between them. Not sure how to engineer that. I seen one guy did it by narrowing the top bars so the bees could pass between all of them to the super.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
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    218

    Default Re: Hybrid TBH/Lang hive. Was: Bees won't move up into super, why?

    The gap is just on a beespace at 10mm (12-13mm with the slack between the fit of the bars) anymore and I find the comb falls in summer as there isn't enough surface area to attach the comb to on the bar. Joys of a warm climate I guess. They are filling the super fast now and no doubt about it the top entrance is making a difference (bypasses the bars altogether) now.

    Next weekend I'll be building the super, no time this weekend as I have a midterm exam to study for.....

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
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    218

    Default Re: Hybrid TBH/Lang hive. Was: Bees won't move up into super, why?

    So I ended up having to split this hive again as I found the new queen *and* freshly capped swarm cells...... These weren't there, not even as cups, on Sunday!

    I also split my other TBH (used bought queens) into three sort of equal lots, two of which went into Langs as did the one from my hybrid hive. The super is all but full and mostly capped, so I will be very busy over the weekend building another super and frames to fill it.....

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
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    626

    Default Re: Hybrid TBH/Lang hive. Was: Bees won't move up into super, why?

    Hello Praxis, how is your hybrid hive going these days? Honey harvests?

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