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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Marietta, GA, USA
    Posts
    52

    Default Transferring a nuc to a top bar.

    I have been talking to my wife about building my own top bar when I have enough money (for bees, I have enough lumber lying around to make a hive). Well, she decided to surprise me and ordered a 5 frame nuc from a local apiarist. Awesome thing for her to do...but now I have to figure out how to put that nuc into my top bar hive. Is there an easy way to do this? I am praying the apiarist doesn't use hard plastic frames.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,714

    Default Re: Transferring a nuc to a top bar.

    Well, you could decide to build a horizontal hive, which is shaped like a top bar with vertical sides. Then you could just transfer the frames. More here:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beeshorizontalhives.htm

    If you want a TBH with sloped sides, cutting comb and frame to fit is one option, or you could do the equivalent of a cutout where the comb is cut off the frame and attached to your top bar.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Marietta, GA, USA
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Transferring a nuc to a top bar.

    Oh! I thought the sloped sides were needed so that the bees would slope their comb, thereby making it stronger. I will look into this, thanks!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    763

    Default Re: Transferring a nuc to a top bar.

    I think if I make any more TBHs I will make them the size of a Lang frame and square. My top bars will fit now but a lang frame won't into my TBH. It just makes sense I think. Easier to give and rec'v resources if needed.
    Last edited by jwcarlson; 04-18-2014 at 09:07 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Honduras
    Posts
    229

    Default Re: Transferring a nuc to a top bar.

    As Rader said, a straight-sided long hive is one option. The hive in the following picture I threw together with some old barn boards and installed a five frame nuc. After the hive gets building some new comb those frames can be eventually weaned out (or left there if you want.) As you can see in the photo, I would just cover that part of the hive with a thin piece of plywood.

    http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s...alledintbh.jpg

    The only thing I don´t like about them is the size of the comb—big. You need to handle them carefully or they are going to break, especially the new combs.

    If you end up doing a “chop and crop” and cut the comb out of the frames, consider using a type of frame to tie in the comb. If you are a bit handy with a table saw they aren’t that hard to make. This cutout is a bit of a messy job but if that is what you have to do then that is what you have to do. The frame’s advantage is that it makes dealing with the comb real easy compared to some of the other methods of attaching comb to top bars.

    http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s...Jamaica122.jpg

    http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s...3/102_7823.jpg

    http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s...mentary006.jpg

    Now, if they really are plastic frames they can be cropped also—using a jig saw. I haven´t done any laid up with brood but I have done some with empty comb to give to a package I put into a tbh. I used some drywall screws to attach it to a top bar. The photo shows that comb after the queen had it filled with brood.

    http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s...gJune08062.jpg

    Another option is to remove two of the frames and slip in empty top bars. Leave a frame of comb on either side of the bar. If it’s a decent nuc, the bees should be able to draw out those bars and lay it up with eggs pretty fast. Those two bars will be a lot easier to trim to size.

    http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s...3/102_7422.jpg

    Find the queen and shake the bees out and into the top bar hive with just those two pieces of comb (sort of like doing a package in a way but with the queen already accepted). As far as the frames that will be eliminated, maybe there is a nearby beekeeping friend who can do something with them so as to not waste the brood.

    ----------
    Tom

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Milw, WI
    Posts
    126

    Default Re: Transferring a nuc to a top bar.

    Why not just go with the traditional hive. A nuc is the best start you can ask for. Its like getting a potty trained puppy! Learn what you can, build your top bar hive without having to rush.

    Seems like a win to me.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Posts
    361

    Default Re: Transferring a nuc to a top bar.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Dregs View Post
    Oh! I thought the sloped sides were needed so that the bees would slope their comb, thereby making it stronger. I will look into this, thanks!
    The sides are sloped to prevent the bees from attaching the comb to the sides of the hive--not for strength. This way, frames are removable. W/ a long lang, if you use standard frames, then the frames are still removable--just square.

    I second starting w/ a standard hive. Get used to the bees then play w/ a top bar. I started w/ a Warre and then moved to standard langs. Still have one Warre--it's nice but a pain to deal w/. Can't swap frames to other hives and when I extract it takes twice as long because I have to treat as deep frames and flip during the extraction process (my extractor only allows the use of med and shallow frames in the radial position). Not only that, it is taller than my langs put produces less honey for the height.

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