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Discussion Starter #21
"Oh, I about forgot, my husband has already purchased a Langstroth hive. He wants to move the bees over into it this coming Spring. I like my little TBH and am sad. Of course he has no idea how to accomplish that move though."

If you have the room and interest, there is nothing wrong with doing both types.
That is a good idea!
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Nothing but some compatibility hassle is involved (with not much justification for it).

Any TB expert should ask up front the new customer - maybe you prefer a horizontal Lang instead?
So then you can try out both setups - horizontal and vertical and learn what works for you best.
I honestly think the HL is what I'd prefer.
 

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GregV, what exactly am I looking at on that third picture you posted? Other than yours have sides, is it the fact that the top bar of comb is all over the place and the bottom bar with the stick is in nice order?
Those are two different open frames - pictured overlapped (I took a pic for something unrelated).

The lower frame is just using a stapled twig as the comb guide - a demo for you.
The upper frame is where the bees used the remnants of existing comb as their comb guide - it also works.
Both cases are fine and the combs are nicely aligned; nothing is "all over the place".
 

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I honestly think the HL is what I'd prefer.
I would too.
A no-brainer; the frames are cheap (I get them for about free); you can just as well run them foundation-less.
Compatibility to the other Langs - priceless.
In a pinch - just use the bare top bars in your HL, just the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
That explains so much ... If only he'd glued some popsicle sticks into the groove (from the outset), that would have provided enough of a guide for them.
If only my common sense would've kicked in. I should have known better.

When you come to move them, you'll still need to fix them all together and cut away any side adhesions as I outlined earlier. Then move them to the back of the box in one piece and unscrew them there (if you want).
What is the purpose of cutting the side adhesions away if I'm just moving the entire blob of comb, et. al.? Won't the bees be able to use the contents of these side adhesions?

Nice job with those starter guides. I use popsicle sticks in my own frames to do the same job. Pretty-much anything works. But having no starter guide at all is pretty-much guaranteed to cause what's happened to you.
Well, dang if you don't live and learn! I should have questioned that move to remove the guides.:scratch:

Could you not run both hives ?
It looks as though we might, but he's gonna have to get more bees. He ain't gonna use my little warrior bees. They've been through so much already and by this time next year... Oh, who am I kidding, it'll be all new bees by then (except the queen, I guess) so they won't know a thing about their ancestors' exasperating adventure!

What length are your Top Bars ?
I'm pretty sure they are 16.5" with an inch on each end cut out to sit on the hive sides.

If they're the same length as Langstroth frames, then that could make life easier - but there are several ways of transferring bees between hives - it won't be a problem. :)
LJ
Well, this is good news only if my husband gets his way. :no:
 

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Discussion Starter #26
I would too.
A no-brainer; the frames are cheap (I get them for about free); you can just as well run them foundation-less.
Compatibility to the other Langs - priceless.
In a pinch - just use the bare top bars in your HL, just the same.
Even though I'd have to rebuild the hive, this is going into my book of things to remember. Very good info. Thanks!!
 

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threebrokebees, I'll add one more comment , sure to rouse some of the folks here but hey all opinions matter.

So IMO bees follow some sort of "plan" some call it energy, some call it lay lines, some call it magnetism, could be any or several things combined.
I have found with some of my hives is ,, some positions they "prefer" to build in a certain direction.
Something worth a try, if/when you tire of cutting the comb and straightening it , is to turn the hive so the way the bees build is parallel with the top bars.
it may or may not help, but is worth a try if you have the room and ability to perform a 30 or 20 degree rotate.
Something is guiding the bees, may as well harness it as opposed to fighting it. keep track of what the bees do and then just shift the hive a bit, may save some work fixing comb. or they maybe just got off to a bad start.

welcome to the forum

so for the Langstroth idea, do both compare, one may offer an easier approach.
google "long langstroth hive" if you feel compatibility is a preference, for splits and combines. seems even plans on the net for them

GG
 

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Discussion Starter #28
I'd say read this very good site on the subject (you don't need to buy the book - just the site is awesome; your call):
https://www.tbhsbywam.com/
So, as I was perusing this website it led me to several videos that were very interesting. Some were about thermal heat and then some others were showing how to check on the hives.

In one of the videos, Checking the First Package on the Third Day, W.A. Mangum actually said this, and I quote, "It's real easy to work these hives if you know what you're doing."

No truer words have ever been spoken! Feel free to quote ME on that! :lpf:
 

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What is the purpose of cutting the side adhesions away if I'm just moving the entire blob of comb, et. al.? Won't the bees be able to use the contents of these side adhesions?
Ok, this may just be a terminology thing, so I'll post a pic to show what I'm talking about ...



That is a foundationless comb in a frame of course, but you can see how the bees have made attachments (or adhesions as I call them) to the side bar, which is basically no different than the wall of a Top Bar hive would be. It's important to break those attachment points before trying to move a comb, else comb breakage is almost guaranteed to occur. Running a long knife blade along the hive wall is generally considered to be the easiest and most efficient method.

The slanted walls of a Kenyan TBH are supposed to stop such attachments being made, but during the short time I ran a KTBH the bees had clearly not read the hive-owner's manual. :)

So you may have that problem, or maybe not - as Christopher Robin is famed for saying: "You never can tell with bees".

BTW - a Lang Long Hive sounds like a good compromise.
LJ
 

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Nice picture Little John! There are few attachment with slanted sides but they still happen. I find it usually happens because you did not center the bar and comb the last time you replaced it and the comb was too close to the sides.

As far as moving top bar comb into a langstroth hive, it is easily done but takes time. I put 4-5 L shaped hooks into the top of the Langstroth frame and "hang" the comb from the hooks. I then use 3 or 4 rubber bands around the entire frame to keep the comb centered. The bees will attach the comb to the top, bottom and sides of the frame and then you can remove the rubber bands. They often chew through them and haul them out the front of the hive. How they do that is a mystery to me. To get it off of the top bar, I use a small paring knife and cut it off the frame at the top of the comb. I do shake off the bees first and lay it on a table in the apiary when cutting and attaching to the new frames. You may have to cut some of the bottom off to make it fit in the frame.
 

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dudelt - I agree that that's a good method to use with existing combs - but - seeing as the OP has to get new combs drawn-out before the move can take place, I'd recommend adopting a different approach.

If a new 'set' (say, about 6) Top Bars were built using whatever thickness Lang frame lugs are - what: about 9-10mm ? - then if such a Bar had a second, shorter batten added beneath it with a starter strip attached, or even a triangular-section batten (I've used both in the past), then when combs are drawn-out on those Bars they could simply be chequer-boarded/interleaved between undrawn frames in whatever Langstroth box has been selected, and gradually worked over to the side of the array before eventually being removed.

I've just dug out some examples from my 'no longer used' box for the OP to look at - unfortunately it's none too clear:



All the above have 10mm thick top bars.

At the bottom are a couple of 35mm-wide bars with triangular-section moulding glued onto them. Because of their full-width, they're used butted-up hard against each other - which is great when they're in a Top Bar hive, but less than ideal when in a framed hive.

Above them are a similar pair of Top Bars, only with a 25mm width - those are fine when interleaved between frames, but less than ideal when in a Top Bar hive where spaces then exist, so either battens need to be placed over the bee-spaces, or a plastic sheet used to cover them.

While I was digging-out stuff, thought I'd include the top two examples as well, where Warre top bars (with popsicle starter-strips) are cable-tied beneath a Top Bar and a bare frame.

Many ways of skinning the proverbial cat ... :)
'best
LJ
 

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I just had to point out a fabulous idea from PatBeek that I've used for my Top Bar combs that fall off their bars. It's a piece of hardware cloth stapled to a bar. Not sure how to reference it here, but will try. Here is the date and title of the post. It includes pictures:

03-07-2014, 07:18 AM #3 PatBeek

Default Re: Cut-out and hive delivery/setup on same premises, same afternoon
Quote Originally Posted by Greenride View Post
Thanks for sharing PatBeek. I'm newer to the top bars and have been afraid of the jarring shake off method to remove bees, as I must have done it differently and broke comb off, it was also very fresh comb. I also like your squish attach method for attaching comb, I've built frames to attach broken comb into my top bar hives then just remove them when the bees have mostly emerged or the comb gets built too funky.
Thanks so much for the kind words.

Well, let me clarify the 'squish' method you referred to. I actually have top bars of which I pre-made half-inch hardware cloth formed into an 'L' and to where the ends are cut to where there are stabbing-ends so I can easily just stab the comb on to each bar."

Sorry, I don't know how to put a link to the post, but you can search for it.
It's a must-have in my opinion!
Becky
 

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Discussion Starter #33
So IMO bees follow some sort of "plan" some call it energy, some call it lay lines, some call it magnetism, could be any or several things combined.
I have found with some of my hives is ,, some positions they "prefer" to build in a certain direction.
Something worth a try, if/when you tire of cutting the comb and straightening it , is to turn the hive so the way the bees build is parallel with the top bars.
it may or may not help, but is worth a try if you have the room and ability to perform a 30 or 20 degree rotate.
Something is guiding the bees, may as well harness it as opposed to fighting it. keep track of what the bees do and then just shift the hive a bit, may save some work fixing comb. or they maybe just got off to a bad start.
That is a very good idea. And you're right, something does drive them, it has to. When we set the hive up, we did our best to turn it directly southeast, but maybe not enough, who knows, since the direction of the comb they have built is just about 20* more to the east.

so for the Langstroth idea, do both compare, one may offer an easier approach.
google "long langstroth hive" if you feel compatibility is a preference, for splits and combines. seems even plans on the net for them

GG
The long lang seems to be what would work best for me, I mean, unless I can get this little booger of a hive straightened out.

Thank you very much.

TBB
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Ok, this may just be a terminology thing, so I'll post a pic to show what I'm talking about ...



That is a foundationless comb in a frame of course, but you can see how the bees have made attachments (or adhesions as I call them) to the side bar, which is basically no different than the wall of a Top Bar hive would be. It's important to break those attachment points before trying to move a comb, else comb breakage is almost guaranteed to occur. Running a long knife blade along the hive wall is generally considered to be the easiest and most efficient method.

The slanted walls of a Kenyan TBH are supposed to stop such attachments being made, but during the short time I ran a KTBH the bees had clearly not read the hive-owner's manual. :)

So you may have that problem, or maybe not - as Christopher Robin is famed for saying: "You never can tell with bees".
I'm sorry. I understand what you were saying now. My mind had gone back to your earlier post about cutting loose the 'wings' and repositioning them along the bar. I gotcha now. I should have realized what you were describing.

I do dread loosening the 'side wall comb' though. That will be close to 18" or so of solid comb horizontally and 12" vertically.

Bless these bees hearts that I got them started off all wrong.

BTW - a Lang Long Hive sounds like a good compromise.
LJ
:thumbsup: Me too!
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Nice picture Little John! There are few attachment with slanted sides but they still happen. I find it usually happens because you did not center the bar and comb the last time you replaced it and the comb was too close to the sides.

As far as moving top bar comb into a langstroth hive, it is easily done but takes time. I put 4-5 L shaped hooks into the top of the Langstroth frame and "hang" the comb from the hooks. I then use 3 or 4 rubber bands around the entire frame to keep the comb centered. The bees will attach the comb to the top, bottom and sides of the frame and then you can remove the rubber bands. They often chew through them and haul them out the front of the hive. How they do that is a mystery to me. To get it off of the top bar, I use a small paring knife and cut it off the frame at the top of the comb. I do shake off the bees first and lay it on a table in the apiary when cutting and attaching to the new frames. You may have to cut some of the bottom off to make it fit in the frame.
I cannot picture what you are describing for the life of me. I think that if these current bees 1) survive the winter <fingers crossed> 2) are able to leave the current comb and build new -- once I relocate it to the end of the hive, I will keep these in my TBH and 3) have my husband get another swarm to put in the Lang. (For some reason, swarms are notorious for choosing the place he works. There are somewhere between 5 and 10 swarms there each swarm season.)
 

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.......
Well, let me clarify the 'squish' method you referred to. I actually have top bars of which I pre-made half-inch hardware cloth formed into an 'L' and to where the ends are cut to where there are stabbing-ends so I can easily just stab the comb on to each bar."
Sorry, I don't know how to put a link to the post, but you can search for it.
It's a must-have in my opinion!
Becky
Good idea about hardware cloth.
But I would not waste 1/2 inch screening for the comb guides (have better uses for it).
Instead, I's rather use window screening (pulled from a dumpster and have lots of it).
In addition to staples, the bees should be able to glue it well to the top bar also.
I would fold and staple the screening like pictured:
HardwareClothCombGuide.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #37
dudelt - I agree that that's a good method to use with existing combs - but - seeing as the OP has to get new combs drawn-out before the move can take place, I'd recommend adopting a different approach.
I guess that is why I didn't quite understand what was being described.

If a new 'set' (say, about 6) Top Bars were built using whatever thickness Lang frame lugs are - what: about 9-10mm ? - then if such a Bar had a second, shorter batten added beneath it with a starter strip attached, or even a triangular-section batten (I've used both in the past), then when combs are drawn-out on those Bars they could simply be chequer-boarded/interleaved between undrawn frames in whatever Langstroth box has been selected, and gradually worked over to the side of the array before eventually being removed.
When the time comes, if we think these bees should be moved to the Lang, then I will have y'all describe more in depth exactly what needs to be done. I understand some of what was said, but not clear enough to actually do it. Come spring I possibly will understand exactly what's being said. Yeah, probably not!

I've just dug out some examples from my 'no longer used' box for the OP to look at - unfortunately it's none too clear:



All the above have 10mm thick top bars.

At the bottom are a couple of 35mm-wide bars with triangular-section moulding glued onto them. Because of their full-width, they're used butted-up hard against each other - which is great when they're in a Top Bar hive, but less than ideal when in a framed hive.

Above them are a similar pair of Top Bars, only with a 25mm width - those are fine when interleaved between frames, but less than ideal when in a Top Bar hive where spaces then exist, so either battens need to be placed over the bee-spaces, or a plastic sheet used to cover them.

While I was digging-out stuff, thought I'd include the top two examples as well, where Warre top bars (with popsicle starter-strips) are cable-tied beneath a Top Bar and a bare frame.
After looking at these pictures I had to go open the Lang hive boxes from Dadant (currently in one of the bedrooms) to have something to compare to. Wow, what a difference. (Please correct my terminology whenever you see it's needed.) These boxes already have a sheet (foundation??) built in. If only the bees in my TBH would've had these maybe they wouldn't have screwed them up. Hindsight is 20/20 though and there's no need to be wishing "What if?" now. Huh?

What I saw were 10 frames in each of the 'honey supers' (?) and the 'hive bodies' (?), all with that 'foundation' already there. Mercy, the bees using these frames will have it sooooo easy. One thing I did notice was the frames do not fit the entire Depth of the box. It looks like there's enough space for another frame. Is it supposed to be that way?

Another thing I realize after seeing these boxes is I know I won't be able to pick them up when full. They are heavy enough while empty. I know I chose the TBH because of the worry of weight, but I certainly put my bees at a huge disadvantage compared to the Lang hive. Oh well, we live and learn.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
I just had to point out a fabulous idea from PatBeek that I've used for my Top Bar combs that fall off their bars. It's a piece of hardware cloth stapled to a bar. Not sure how to reference it here, but will try. Here is the date and title of the post. It includes pictures:

03-07-2014, 07:18 AM #3 PatBeek

Default Re: Cut-out and hive delivery/setup on same premises, same afternoon
Quote Originally Posted by Greenride View Post
Thanks for sharing PatBeek. I'm newer to the top bars and have been afraid of the jarring shake off method to remove bees, as I must have done it differently and broke comb off, it was also very fresh comb. I also like your squish attach method for attaching comb, I've built frames to attach broken comb into my top bar hives then just remove them when the bees have mostly emerged or the comb gets built too funky.
Thanks so much for the kind words.

Well, let me clarify the 'squish' method you referred to. I actually have top bars of which I pre-made half-inch hardware cloth formed into an 'L' and to where the ends are cut to where there are stabbing-ends so I can easily just stab the comb on to each bar."
Sorry, I don't know how to put a link to the post, but you can search for it.Ot's a must-have in my opinion!
Becky
Oh wow! I'm gonna have to look this up. Thank you!
 

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...... These boxes already have a sheet (foundation??) built in. If only the bees in my TBH would've had these maybe they wouldn't have screwed them up. Hindsight is 20/20 though and there's no need to be wishing "What if?" now. Huh?
Be advised the bees don't really like the plastic foundation (I assume what it is).
They only use it when have no other choices and do it reluctantly.
You may or may not care, but at least be aware.
If want to use it - it still takes some learning.
I would not be too excited just yet.

Wax foundation is better.

If anyone, LJ has much to add on this very subject.
:)
 

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Discussion Starter #40
Good idea about hardware cloth.
But I would not waste 1/2 inch screening for the comb guides (have better uses for it).
Instead, I's rather use window screening (pulled from a dumpster and have lots of it).
In addition to staples, the bees should be able to glue it well to the top bar also.
I would fold and staple the screening like pictured:
View attachment 58183
So, are these (the hardware cloth and the screen) just examples of things to attach to the bars as a guide for the bees or are the ways to fix a broken comb? I'm a little confused now. I have plenty of screen and HC (I raise chickens and ducks and I fortify the coops and runs with HC), but if these are just to use as guides I'd rather place Popsicle sticks or just plain sticks on the bar as a guide. Please correct me if I'm thinking incorrectly about this.

Thanks!

TBB
 
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