Splitting a Top-bar hive - Page 2
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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Lakeland, FL USA
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    1,343

    Default Re: Splitting a Top-bar hive

    I have a tbh that's pretty much full, but there's only about one lone frame of honey. However, most of the other brood frames have honey at the top. All the drones have been kicked out, so they won't be swarming or raising a new queen anytime soon, but I realize things can change on a dime with bees. I also installed a new queen several months back. She has been laying just fine.

    What I'm wanting to do, since this is the only hive I have that's active, is buy a local queen for twenty bucks, install her in an adjacent hive along with brood/honey/nurse bees (sans old queen) from the original hive.

    Keep in mind I live in Florida, so I have more time for a hive to establish itself before our "winter" kicks in.

    Should I attempt this, or just leave my lone hive be?

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
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    217

    Default Re: Splitting a Top-bar hive

    Quote Originally Posted by PatBeek View Post
    What I'm wanting to do, since this is the only hive I have that's active, is buy a local queen for twenty bucks, install her in an adjacent hive along with brood/honey/nurse bees (sans old queen) from the original hive.

    Keep in mind I live in Florida, so I have more time for a hive to establish itself before our "winter" kicks in.

    Should I attempt this, or just leave my lone hive be?
    Go for it, I did this very thing (well almost seeing as it was a chop and crop) and still had the chance 9 weeks later to split that colony, *that second split* didn't go quite to plan but they have a laying queen now too.

    The original is down to one, just one, single bar without a full comb on it, that bar has a 2" x3" start going as at last inspection. So come spring, yep I'm in Australia, I'm going to have to be on my toes for sure! I'm hoping I can split those two hives to yield three additional ones, I'm totally not expecting any honey at all though.....
    Last edited by praxis178; 07-02-2013 at 02:26 AM. Reason: clarification

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Lakeland, FL USA
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    1,343

    Default Re: Splitting a Top-bar hive

    .

    What's the latest in the year people begin splits in Florida and are successful?

    .
    www.savebeesflorida.com (Honeybee removals and top bar hives)

  5. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Lakeland, FL USA
    Posts
    1,343

    Default Re: Splitting a Top-bar hive

    Almost that time of year again..

    Are you all ready to do splits?

    By the way, this video is very valuable:


    "The Sustainable Apiary by Mike Palmer" on YouTube


    www.youtube.com/watch?v=nznzpiWEI8A
    www.savebeesflorida.com (Honeybee removals and top bar hives)

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    San Francisco CA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Splitting a Top-bar hive

    All, new guy here. Thanks for all this great information. I have a top bar hive - very healthy and looks like ready to swarm.

    I was going to split by moving about 1/3 of the comb/workers/honey/brood

    But unlike all of the advice, I was going to buy a new queen, and hope the transplanted bees would accept her, rather than hoping for a re-queen event.

    Do you think that is a viable solution? thanks for any input and ideas

  7. #26
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
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    1,968

    Default Re: Splitting a Top-bar hive

    Yes, leave it queenless for a day and then introduce the queen in a cage or a push in cage.

    When you say it looks like it is going to swarm, do you mean there are swarm cells in the hive?

  8. #27
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    San Francisco CA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Splitting a Top-bar hive

    Quote Originally Posted by shannonswyatt View Post
    Yes, leave it queenless for a day and then introduce the queen in a cage or a push in cage.

    When you say it looks like it is going to swarm, do you mean there are swarm cells in the hive?
    I see some suspect cells, but to be truthful, I have jumped to a conclusion, because the hive is so active, full with comb/brood on almost all of the 33 bars. I figure the next step is surely going to be a swarm -- do you think I am being to rash?

  9. #28
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,968

    Default Re: Splitting a Top-bar hive

    I'm not sure what a suspect cell is. The hive may have queen cups, that isn't unusual. But if there are queen cells it should be pretty obvious, they look kind of like peanuts. I would split it though if it is at 33 bars since that means you probably don't have much room in there.

  10. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    53,885

    Default Re: Splitting a Top-bar hive

    >I see some suspect cells

    It either is or is not a queen cell with a larvae in it (or capped). If it is not, then it's not suspect. If it is, it is still not suspect, it is a queen cell.

    > but to be truthful, I have jumped to a conclusion, because the hive is so active, full with comb/brood on almost all of the 33 bars. I figure the next step is surely going to be a swarm -- do you think I am being to rash?

    If you let them run out of room, you are probably correct, they will swarm. Don't let them run out of room. Just because a hive is strong does not make it a forgone conclusion that it will swarm and it will be more productive if it doesn't.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  11. #30
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    San Francisco CA
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    3

    Default Re: Splitting a Top-bar hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >I see some suspect cells

    It either is or is not a queen cell with a larvae in it (or capped). If it is not, then it's not suspect. If it is, it is still not suspect, it is a queen cell.

    > but to be truthful, I have jumped to a conclusion, because the hive is so active, full with comb/brood on almost all of the 33 bars. I figure the next step is surely going to be a swarm -- do you think I am being to rash?

    If you let them run out of room, you are probably correct, they will swarm. Don't let them run out of room. Just because a hive is strong does not make it a forgone conclusion that it will swarm and it will be more productive if it doesn't.
    Michael, All -- thanks for this advice

    ....busy now getting all in order for the split. Will keep the list updated.

    New queen arrives on Wednesday, and I want to get the hive placed, the workers/comb/brood/honey moved over in anticipation of that. As usual, the details of a setup have surprised me, so need to get busy with all that.

    steve

  12. #31
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Yakima Co, WA, USA
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    129

    Default Re: Splitting a Top-bar hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    If you let them run out of room, you are probably correct, they will swarm. Don't let them run out of room.
    I have a top-bar that's completely full...I don't see any signs of queen cells being made, but none of the honey is capped (just getting started). What would you do to create more room in this situation, besides a split? I was planning to do a split today and was reading up on this thread.
    Meghan

  13. #32
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    53,885

    Default Re: Splitting a Top-bar hive

    Harvest and put some of the empty bars in the middle of the brood nest.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  14. #33
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Yakima Co, WA, USA
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    129

    Default Re: Splitting a Top-bar hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    Harvest and put some of the empty bars in the middle of the brood nest.
    Even though it's not capped? I could feed the nectar back to them, I guess?
    Meghan

  15. #34
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Hall, Georgia, USA
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    321

    Default Re: Splitting a Top-bar hive

    If you can split and have the equipment, that would be my first choice. You can harvest also. What you do with the frames depends on what equipment you own. Hydrometer: if above 18.6 dry it out. If at or below, bottle it for your family. If drying out: fan and dehumidifier. Some folks think this is cheating, but you can remove 2% moisture per day from the honey. Put the frames in a nuc box. Don't blow air directly on them (you will blow dust on them). Just keep the air moving and dry the room with a dehumidifier. Chest freezer: Freeze the nectar and feed it back later. Of all those, split is the cheapest and easiest, and you end up with more bees, so that's great too!

  16. #35
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Greene County, New York, USA
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    38

    Default Re: Splitting a Top-bar hive

    Quote Originally Posted by canadiyank View Post
    I have a top-bar that's completely full...I don't see any signs of queen cells being made, but none of the honey is capped (just getting started). What would you do to create more room in this situation, besides a split? I was planning to do a split today and was reading up on this thread.
    I am interested in how this is handled eventually turns out. Post or PM me with what you tried etc. Thanks

  17. #36
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Drexel, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Splitting a Top-bar hive

    Yes, please post and let us know!

  18. #37
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Isle of Wight, VA
    Posts
    2,774

    Default Re: Splitting a Top-bar hive

    during the heavy nectar flow when my big hives fill up, I relieve some of the congesting in that hive by taking about 5 bars of the uncapped nectar and donating it to a smaller colony that I have going. That can allow the big hive to gather more nectar and the little hives benefit from their hard work, and they have no problem capping it off or using it.

    As for splitting, I usually head off the early spring swarms by stealing 3 bars of capped worker brood over to either a smaller nuc or making up a little nuc.

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