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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Laredo, Tx., USA
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    Cool getting bees into a tbh from a langstroth nuc?

    Hi everyone,

    so I built my tbh and want to get a langstroth nuc from an amish fellow who sells bees, he also offered to stock my tbh but I think it might be to bulky and heavy for the long drive to him and then back. so how can I transfer the langstroth nuc he will have ready to my tbh at home without chop and crop, let me know.


    thanks everyone!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Canada BC Delta
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    421

    Default Re: getting bees into a tbh from a langstroth nuc?

    You can let the nuc expand in size in a Lang deep using your top bars. Once there is a few nice size combs with brood you can make the transfer. You'll need a queen excluder to separate the tb combs and queen from the Lang combs. You'll need to cut an excluder to fit your TBH and make sure that there is no way for the queen to get through to the lang frames. It will take about three weeks for all the brood from the frames to emerge.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Sacramento,California,USA
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    3,599

    Default Re: getting bees into a tbh from a langstroth nuc?

    Instead of getting the nuc, let him stock your TBH by taking him a five gallon bucket that has the lid center cut out and screened in with 1/8# hardware cloth wire. Cut out most of the center of the lid, leaving an inch or two wide ring. Put a large sponge in the bottom of bucket soaked full of water. Have him dump buik bees in the bucket and hang the queen cage from the hardware cloth wire. Bring the bees home, dump them in your TBH and hang the queen in her cage in your TBH. Walla, bees are in and no need to mess with lang frames... Just a thought.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    5,888

    Default Re: getting bees into a tbh from a langstroth nuc?

    Or make a short "nuc" sized TBH that uses the same bars as your full size TBH. Take the empty "nuc" to your vendor and let him fill that out. Once you get the nuc home, transfer the bars/combs and bees to your regular TBH.
    ultracrepidarian >> noting or pertaining to a person who criticizes, judges, or gives advice outside of his expertise

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Laredo, Tx., USA
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    Default Re: getting bees into a tbh from a langstroth nuc?

    thanks everyone for the replys,

    @Deltabay- Sounds interesting, but I dont happen to own any lang deeps, just have my top bar, not sure how his nuc boxes are and if I can accomodate some bars in there for them.

    @RayMarler- thats pretty cool about the bucket, guess he would stock it with just the bees and queen and no brood that would come with the nuc. no mess, nice

    @Rader- Hey Rader, thanks for replying, you know I made a small nuc top bar just in case, I suppose he would still have to just stock the bees and queen, no brood. Both the small nuc and bucket would be easy transfer.

    I have heard that you could say take a nuc home and make a hole in the bottom of it and another hole on the top bar, cover the opening in the nuc and that the bees would have to come out through the top bar, making them move down into it, eventually establishing in the tbh, what ya think?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada BC Delta
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    421

    Default Re: getting bees into a tbh from a langstroth nuc?

    I have heard that you could say take a nuc home and make a hole in the bottom of it and another hole on the top bar, cover the opening in the nuc and that the bees would have to come out through the top bar, making them move down into it, eventually establishing in the tbh, what ya think?
    Sounds good in theory but not so much in reality. If the queen does move down before they decide to swarm you will still need to keep her there with an excluder. First choice would be as the others have suggested. I don't see why they wouldn't shake a package but you never know. If for what ever reason they won't, scrap wood can be used to knock a box together. No need to be fancy, just something to hold the frames and about three top bars.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: getting bees into a tbh from a langstroth nuc?

    Hydro, my expectation is that if your producer offered to stock your TBH, what he meant was that he would add bees and a queen and keep the TBH for a while while they built some comb, then monitored to see that eggs were laid and there was brood in progress, before you returned to take the TBH nuc home. IF that is what he is offering, that would give your TBH a head start compared to bringing home just bees without comb.
    ultracrepidarian >> noting or pertaining to a person who criticizes, judges, or gives advice outside of his expertise

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Isle of Wight, VA
    Posts
    438

    Default Re: getting bees into a tbh from a langstroth nuc?

    I found a local beekeeper who would take 5 of my TBH slats and put them in his Lang hives to get the comb drawn out. Then he put them all back together and put them in my nuc box, added a queen and 4 weeks later, I had a thriving colony. It really should be very simple for a local beekeeper who raises nucs to populate your TBH for you. Most of them are just very wary since they've never done it before. Only thing I had to "teach" the teacher/veteran beekeeper was that the top bars had to be pushed together to form the "ceiling". He had them spaced apart like in a Lang hive.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Laredo, Tx., USA
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    16

    Default Re: getting bees into a tbh from a langstroth nuc?

    ahhhhh now I see, ok no wonder he asked me to take the tbh in March, I will call and confirm I suppose, that he will keep the nuc I take and stock it. Being that its a Amish community they only have one phone and sometimes dont get back to you right away. Hmm I might have to build a mini tbh to use as a nuc, any suggestions on dimensions?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: getting bees into a tbh from a langstroth nuc?

    Make it the same dimensions as your existing TBH, but shorter in length. How many bars that might be somewhat depends on the volume of space under each bar, but I would say for most TBHs 10 bars or less is reasonable.

    Since a nuc is typically no more than 5 deep Lang frames, use that as a guide. Your TBH bars are likely less volume than a deep frame. Make it such that you can easily carry the nuc by yourself.
    ultracrepidarian >> noting or pertaining to a person who criticizes, judges, or gives advice outside of his expertise

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

    Default Re: getting bees into a tbh from a langstroth nuc?

    I made two nucs last year and the one with 8 bars was too small very quickly. The one with 10 bars is my best colony so far. If I had it to do again I would make it 14 but that will still be a bit heavy.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    London, United Kingdom
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    189

    Default Re: getting bees into a tbh from a langstroth nuc?

    Here is an example using the growing downwards method described above.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YB6narKR5XI
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRN2RjxOxAI

    It depends how much of a hurry you are in. You could just have them gradually remove frames and add topbars until they have built up enough to transfer directly to you top bar hive.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Isle of Wight, VA
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    438

    Default Re: getting bees into a tbh from a langstroth nuc?

    size of the nuc depends on how long you plan to keep the colony in there and how you plan to feed them. I made my nuc about 14" long so that I could fit a boardman style feeder inside with the 5 bars of drawn comb. Since then, I have found a division board feeder for a TBH that takes up less room, so next time, I will only make it long enough for 8 bars. I moved my bees into the final TBH as soon as they came back home since it had a follower board that I could make the hive body smaller while the bees were "growing".

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Laredo, Tx., USA
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    Default Re: getting bees into a tbh from a langstroth nuc?

    Well I want to be able to bring the nuc back home, a drive of 180 miles from the supplier, and get them established in my full size tbh, I need to see about making a feeder for the top bar as well, including the mini tbh, any plans on here

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: getting bees into a tbh from a langstroth nuc?

    I would just buy a shaken swarm from the guy and skip the "chop and crop". The videos make it look easy. It is not. Wires complicate things. Plastic foundation complicates things. A "chop and crop" under the best circumstances (a top bar length that is compatible, no wires, no plastic...) with an experienced beekeeper is much different than one under less than ideal circumstances by a new beekeeper.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Laredo, Tx., USA
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    Default Re: getting bees into a tbh from a langstroth nuc?

    thanks everyone for their replies, I already wrote him and asked my supplier, lets see what he replies, ill tell you it seems to be a little of a hassle when not alot of people deal with top bars, although Im sure it will be worth it.

    @Michael-Not sure if he will sell me a swarm, he told me he only sells nucs(langstroth) but could stock the tbh, which like Rader said he will probably add queen and bees and keep awhile, although Im waiting for him to clarify, now to look on youtube or search here for an easy feeder for a top bar...

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Solomon Islands, SW Pacifc
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: getting bees into a tbh from a langstroth nuc?

    Interesting discussion. I stated with Langstroth hives and last year built a fancy TopBar Hive.

    Michael is right about the chop and crop process - very messy and does not always take.

    I was kicking myself that I did not make the TBH as wide as my Langstroths, till I came up with a solution. I screwed on a short extension stick on top of each end of a few of my Top bar Frames. Then spread them out in a healthy Langstroth hive. The tricky part is making sure you retrieve them before they grow out and down too much to fit the TBH, otherwise you have to crop them to fit.

    Where I live we have no access to buying packages nor queens, so it pushes us to think outside of the box. One hive or the other will have to make a new queen.

    I like the bucket suggestion too.

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