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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Wellsville, PA
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    Default Best way to split a top bar hive into langstroth deeps

    So I have a top bar hive that is doing well, made by Bee Line apiaries. I also have several 5 frame deep Nuc boxes laying around along with a few deadout double deeps (10 frame equipment). I want to use the top bar to make splits...what is the best way?

    The top bar is roughly 48" long and completely filled with comb. Last year I used some of the top bars to start nucs, but just dropped the bars in the box, the bees built out the comb to fit the nucs (rectangular vs triangular). I used 3 to 4 top bars and 1 to 2 deep frames. I then put a 2nd deep 5 frame Nuc on top and waited till those frames were used. I found the queens, brushed bees off of the original top bars and trimmed the combs back to fit in the top bar hive, returning them. I put deep free into the nucs to replace the top bars.

    This all required a lot of manipulation and I felt set the nucs back quite a bit. Also, it was tricky to get the bees to go up into the second Nuc, as the top bars blocked them so they could only go up where I placed the langstroth frames.

    Any tips?
    2-6 hives, 6 years. One honey harvest.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    hinesville ga usa
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    406

    Default Re: Best way to split a top bar hive into langstroth deeps

    I cut strips about 1/2 x 1 inch, choose the top bars I want to transfer and with two screws I attach them together, I space the top bars along side the lang frames so the bees can move up, after they are building out the frames I move the top bars to the outside so they will be used for honey and not brood. I then move the top bars out and back to my TBH. It is very easy to attach the strips to the top bars while they are still in your TBH.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Troutville, VA, USA
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    71

    Default Re: Best way to split a top bar hive into langstroth deeps

    I have cut the trapezoidal shaped combs off of the top bar so that the depth of the comb just fits top to bottom in a deep frame, and then put a couple of rubber bands around the frame to hold it in. The bees fill in the open space in the frame quickly, and at the same time attach the comb to the top and bottom bars of the frame, and as a bonus they chew off the rubber bands. Within a week in the lang hive, you can barely tell the frame started with a comb from a top bar hive!

  4. #4
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    May 2011
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    Default Re: Best way to split a top bar hive into langstroth deeps

    Stan, are you saying you kind of make a frame out of the top bar? You cut strips of wood and screw them to the ends of the top bar, then just drop into a Nuc?

    I'm having trouble understanding what the strips do?
    2-6 hives, 6 years. One honey harvest.

  5. #5
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    May 2011
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    Default Re: Best way to split a top bar hive into langstroth deeps

    Rcol, I might go this route as it will also give the top bar hive new bars, and giver a reason to cull some wonky comb out of the deadouts.

    Pretty much a cut out.
    2-6 hives, 6 years. One honey harvest.

  6. #6
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    Dec 2010
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    Default Re: Best way to split a top bar hive into langstroth deeps

    Quote Originally Posted by Bdeaner View Post
    Stan, are you saying you kind of make a frame out of the top bar? You cut strips of wood and screw them to the ends of the top bar, then just drop into a Nuc?

    I'm having trouble understanding what the strips do?
    No I am just scabbing a thin strip to the top of the bar that is the same length of the top of the langstroth frame, I don't try to reinforce the top bar, it will hold together just fine. When I rotate them back to the TBH I have to trim them some to get them to fit or if I'm lucky I get to harvest some honey and put the empty back in the TBH. I have tried all kinds of methods and this seems the easiest for me, I do at least fifteen or twenty every season because I have better luck raising bees in a TBH than the langstroth, I then transfer the colony to a langstroth to either sell or make honey.

  7. #7
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    May 2011
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    Wellsville, PA
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    Default Re: Best way to split a top bar hive into langstroth deeps

    I see. My top bars are te same length so I just drop them in. How many bars do you typically take for a split, and are you also splitting into a 5 frame over 5 frame Nuc?
    2-6 hives, 6 years. One honey harvest.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    hinesville ga usa
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    Default Re: Best way to split a top bar hive into langstroth deeps

    I see where blocking the bees upward movement would be a problem for you, mine are ten frame deeps, I usually put five bars in and since my bars are shorter I have no problem with upward movement, may I suggest placing three top bar on one side of the bottom nuc with two lang frames on the other side and put one top bar with capped brood in the #3 position in the top nuc with the other four being lang frames. If the top brood bar contains open brood you would need to place a top bar frame of pollen and honey in the #3 position in the lower box with a piece of bur comb between the two to act as a ladder.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: Best way to split a top bar hive into langstroth deeps

    The equipment a beekeeper uses is the beekeeper's choice so why make your life hard and mix equipment?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,785

    Default Re: Best way to split a top bar hive into langstroth deeps

    The best way to split a Langstroth hive into a top bar hive is a shaken swarm.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
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    May 2011
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    Wellsville, PA
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    Default Re: Best way to split a top bar hive into langstroth deeps

    Brian, how do you know what you like, what works for ou unless yu try it? I only have one top bar, it survived this year. I'm just looking for an efficient way(a) to make increase from it to populate dead outs.
    2-6 hives, 6 years. One honey harvest.

  12. #12
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    May 2011
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    Wellsville, PA
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    Default Re: Best way to split a top bar hive into langstroth deeps

    Stan, thanks for your reply, this is the kind of advice I was looking for. This year I do have some ten frame deeps I could split into, so I may try that first and then go to the Nuc boxes if the top bar is big enough to keep splitting.
    2-6 hives, 6 years. One honey harvest.

  13. #13
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    May 2011
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    Wellsville, PA
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    Default Re: Best way to split a top bar hive into langstroth deeps

    I am going the opposite direction this year Michael.
    2-6 hives, 6 years. One honey harvest.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Default Re: Best way to split a top bar hive into langstroth deeps

    Michael, do you think you could be successful raising a queen if you cut a plug out of one comb with eggs using a tin can and transferred the comb?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  15. #15
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    Mar 2011
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    Default Re: Best way to split a top bar hive into langstroth deeps

    Quote Originally Posted by Bdeaner View Post
    Brian, how do you know what you like, what works for ou unless yu try it?
    Yes, I agree with you. Try what ever you like but mixing equipment to me would be the hard way. Follow Michael Bush's recommendation.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

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