Frames to top bar
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  1. #1
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    Default Frames to top bar

    Moving my Lang frames from my vertical to my new horizontal hive on Monday (next rain free day). My plan was to start out with the frames and transition them to a top bar for natural/smaller cell size. But I've been second guessing that decision and wondering if I should keep using frames in this one... mostly bc I'm wondering if learning one new thing at a time would be easier than everything all at once. And also bc this colony is on the defensive side, and I'd prefer to learn comb correction with a less defensive one. The frames I've seen recommended for resizing are the Mann Lake PF100's. If anyone has any other advice before I start that route with this colony, please let me know!

    Second thing, my nuc should be much easier to handle, but I will be receiving it in Lang frames. Is it best to put them in their new home first and give them some adjustment time before cutting the comb and attaching it to the TB? Or just do it all at install?

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Frames to top bar

    If your horizontal hive(s) is/are dimensioned to fit Langstroth Frames, then personally I'd be inclined to chequer-board (OIOIOI etc) your Top Bars between the Frames in order for them to be drawn-out, then extract the Frames by moving them to the far end of the box before finally removing them.

    For this to work, much depends on the height of the Top Bars viz-a-viz the height of the Frame top bars, and whether the box(es) concerned have rebates (rabbets). It may be necessary (say) to place an unused Top Bar on top of each Frame top bar in order to close the gaps - or take some other similar step, such a throwing a sheet of thick plastic or canvas over the top of the bar/frame array until the transition is completed.

    Personally, I'd rather do that than start cutting-up and attaching combs - but then, everyone has their own method of working ...

    Good luck.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Frames to top bar

    Quote Originally Posted by Kassafrass View Post
    Moving my Lang frames from my vertical to my new horizontal hive on Monday (next rain free day). My plan was to start out with the frames and transition them to a top bar for natural/smaller cell size......
    This entire premise is not logical.
    For natural and (possibly, but not necessarily) smaller cell size, you need to be foundation-less keeper (not top bar keeper).
    And so the question is again - what is it are you trying to achieve?
    I am not sure what that is (but more work, for sure).

    Just a foundation-lees frame setup will do fine towards the "natural/smaller cell size".
    I do think that single level, horizontal hive will be more forgiving when doing foundation-less (easier to fix possible messes).

    While I do use plain top bars and will continue doing so - this is only because of time constraints.
    When have time, I will make more frames (foundation-less) - they have many, many benefits over simple top bars.
    The frames only have one disadvantage - time and resource cost to construct.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  5. #4
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    Default

    Thanks for the help. My goal is to be as treatment free as possible. I've been doing lots of reading about the smaller/natural cell size being good for reducing varroa, which is where my question came from.

    There are SO many different ways of doing things...I'm just trying to filter through and figure out. But from the comments, it seems that I could use foundationless frames checherboarded in with my current foundation frames? If so, I will go that route. Which, of course, would actually make my hives non-top bar, but that's fine.

    GregV, since it seems like you are successful with using foundationless frames, is there a particular brand/spec you would recommend? This go round, I will buy them bc I'm doing the finishing touches on the hives now, and would like to get the bees in asap.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Frames to top bar

    Try here:
    https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ght=horizontal
    Search for "deep horizontal hive" on the forum.
    I got lots of pictures/specs repeat-posted already.

    Me too - going for 100% chemical-free the best I can.
    (this is my family food, mind you; I want to be able to eat it all, honey, perga, drone larva even, and have no second thoughts).
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  7. #6
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    Default

    TY

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Frames to top bar

    For natural and (possibly, but not necessarily) smaller cell size, you need to be foundation-less keeper (not top bar keeper).
    I do not under stand your point..... by definition topbar keepers are foundation less

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Frames to top bar

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    I do not under stand your point..... by definition topbar keepers are foundation less
    The point is - WHY convert from *already existing* frames to top bars so to become foundation-less?
    Stay with the your frames AND be foundation-less.

    Being foundation-less is wide scope.

    Sub-scopes of foundation-less management are parallel and different ways to implement it:
    * frame-based,
    * topbar-based,
    * non-movable comb based (skeps/logs),
    * bee-tree based (seasonal harvest from maintained feral bee trees)
    * whatever I forgot or unaware of
    Last edited by GregV; 05-13-2018 at 03:18 PM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  10. #9
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    Portland, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Frames to top bar

    This entire premise is not logical.
    For natural and (possibly, but not necessarily) smaller cell size, you need to be foundation-less keeper (not top bar keeper).

    Top bar is foundation-less unless I've been sleeping & missed something
    Beeman
    All things may be lawful; but not all things are advantagous.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Frames to top bar

    People should read sometimes the original context.

    Here is the original OP question:
    ....My plan was to start out with the frames and transition them to a top bar for natural/smaller cell size....
    My answer - not necessary to do this painful, transition project so to gain natural/small cell size.
    You can do the same with your existing frames (AND existing hives even).
    That simple.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Frames to top bar

    This sounds like a Dee Lusby thing. You have to regress the large cell bees to get them to small cell. Leave the term natural cell size out of the mix, if you dump a hive of "big bees" in an empty box they are not going to naturally draw small cells, since they are bigger bees. So you need small cell foundation to get big bees smaller. My guess is there probably isn't much difference between little and big bees, but if that is what you prefer, go for it.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Frames to top bar

    The intermediate regression works very quickly.
    You catch BIG, monster bees as a swarm (coming off the industrial 5.4 mm foundation).
    You let them draw foundation-less - they will immediately draw 5.1-5.2 mm.
    That is significant jump as is.
    This is compatible to a human shedding several sizes off and loosing 30 pounds.

    Plugging a foundation-less frame into regular 5.4mm foundation bee nest will mostly certainly cause them to build 5.1-5.2mm comb.
    Donno why/how, but they will. Try it and see for yourself.

    Yes - getting down to 4.9-5.0 sizing is more difficult and lengthy proposition.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  14. #13
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    Default

    It was Michael Bush's book and site.

    Foundationless frames are on the way...as long as the bees are healthy, they can build whatever size cell they want. 😂

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