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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Posts
    17

    Default 2 more questions

    First, how do I introduce a package into my TBH? Some people say to put the queen cage on a brood bar but others say that will result in crooked comb. Second, I've heard that TBH's require more inspections than a Lang hive. Why?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Crivitz, WI
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: 2 more questions

    Last year I did a direct release of the queen in one hive, my mistake. Hung the queen in the second hive, and released her three days later. Did not get any crooked comb from either. Not sure what I am going to do this coming spring.
    As for more inspections, you have to stay on top of the comb more, keeping it straight, and moving empty bars, and partial bars back towards the brood nest, and into the brood nest.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: 2 more questions

    I have tried both ways and both worked. I didn't have problems with the comb but I got the cage out three days later. I read on a post here somewhere that the odds of direct release working are helped if the bees have already been in the package with the queen for several days in transit. Also to check and see if they bite at the cage, etc. This year I have resources if they don't accept her while the last two years I didn't and the installation site is a bit of a drive so I am going to try direct release again. I also have drawn comb again and want to let her get to laying as soon as possible.

    That said, I think hanging the cage and letting them release her is safer, just don't leave the cage in too long.
    3rd yr - 1 KTBH & 4 KTBH nucs - TF - USDA Zn 6b

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: 2 more questions

    As to the inspections, at first I was doing them very often to learn. The second year I did them less often but often enough to catch any cross combs early and feed in bars to expand the broodnest (they swarmed on me anyway). Feeding in the bars didn't take full inspections though and a lot of times I could see the start of cross comb in the viewing window so I knew to go in and take care of it. This year I plan to check them more often in the spring to try to prevent swarming but then slow down with them in the summer dearth. I have a lot of drawn comb this year so I am less concerned about that getting off track. Not sure how that compares to a Lang but I think a foundationless Lang may have similar issues.
    3rd yr - 1 KTBH & 4 KTBH nucs - TF - USDA Zn 6b

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Default Re: 2 more questions

    >First, how do I introduce a package into my TBH? Some people say to put the queen cage on a brood bar but others say that will result in crooked comb.

    Bees tend to build comb from the queen cage. One bad comb leads to another...

    >Second, I've heard that TBH's require more inspections than a Lang hive. Why?

    You have a limited and fixed space to manage. With a Langstroth you can pile the supers on just before the main flow. With a fixed space you need to harvest frequently to keep them from swarming and you need to put empty bars in the brood nest to get them to expand it more and not swarm.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    St. Lous, MO
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: 2 more questions

    I'll respond to the first question, anyway.

    Here are some videos of Wyatt Mangum (author of a very nice top-bar beekeeping book) "Top Bar Hive Beekeeping: Wisdom and Pleasure Combined" installing two packages into top-bar hives. One of the packages actually had 2 queens in it, not a problem I'm familiar with, but interesting.

    http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIn70gRNgxYMKLVr9LE7N-w

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada BC Delta
    Posts
    441

    Default Re: 2 more questions

    Some people say to put the queen cage on a brood bar but others say that will result in crooked comb.
    It's not a good idea to direct release a package queen if the queen and package bees haven't been together for 3 days or more. If they have been, direct release is doable. Your other option when hanging the queen cage is to have a couple of extra deep foundation starter strips to place the cage between, but you will need to make sure that the strips are absolutely secure and have no way of coming loose. The bottom edge of the strips should hang down lower than the cage as the bees will start comb building along this edge. Clamping the foundation between split bars works good. The very last thing I want my bees doing is starting off with poorly aligned combs. The other option is to hang the cage well below the top bars so there is less interference from it when they start combs on the guides.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,501

    Default Re: 2 more questions

    If you are not going to direct release you should replace the candy with a piece of mini-marshmellow. They can eat through it much quicker. If it is a package the bees and the queen should have been together long enough to adjust to each other, but I have seen a video of a direct release were the queen just flies away. They are not always too bright.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: 2 more questions

    Thanks for the replies. It's comforting to know I get help, which I will need a lot of!

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