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Getting Nervous How Do I????

3716 Views 16 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  shannonswyatt

OK got a call today someone has a swarm they caught and willing to give me that are have coming along nicely however; they are on frames and not top bars...How do I transfer them into my top bar hive once I get them home?

Simply try and brush them into the TBH or what?


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They are just newly on the frames? IE, no brood yet? If so just shake them into your top bar.
you can ziptie combs onto your top bars. or rubberbands using a tack or something on top to hook it to
Humm Will the lang frames fit into the TBH wit the angles of the boards?
you'd have to cut the comb out of the lang frames and zip tie it on to one of your top bars. Or if your friend didn't care about their frames then you could cut the side and bottom bars off if the lengths are the same.
Cut frames and use women's hair clips to attach comb to top bars. Look up McCartney Taylor (outofabluesky) on you tube for a video. I used the cheap 10 for 2.99 bag. It worked.
You could keep a lang in your yard to keep the top bar hives company...
Check out this thread.

I use the hardware cloth method. There is a good gif illustrating in this thread. Or just do a google search for "hardware cloth top bar comb" - lots of pics.
Do you have an existing top bar hive in operation? or is this your first or only hive? How long has the swarm been in his hive? does he want his equipment back Immediately? do you know other beekeepers that have top bar hives? there are a great number of options depending on situations and available resources, More Info would help>

My first top bar, he does NOT his equiptment back immediatly if ever, do not know of other top bar keepers here near Lizard Creek.

See pictures of the 4 hives I have available for bee's

The Lang Hive I have set up is scheduled for a beekeeper to come over and install the Nuc I have bought from him next week:}

Just after I recieved dat call another gentlemen wants me to make him a couple of swarm traps in exchange for a nuc and there in lies my challenge lol

Got one hive spoken for and got another one I need to move to one of the top bat hives. Also have Top Bar Swarm traps out in hopes of catching a swarm or two and I planned to simply transfer the bars into my other Top Bar Hives

Anyway, no bee's to a full house of bee's next week...


Thanks for all of the ideas and comments

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what are the top bar widths on the top bar hives? If either is 19" or shorter then you can cut or break the side frames off the lang frames your friend can give you. Or cut the comb out of the frames and use any of the methods mentioned here to attach the comb to your top bars. skip in to like 12:00 and Pat is using the hardware cloth method to attach them to his top bars.

photo of Pat's top bars.

I'm hoping to get bees from a swarm or a cut out for my Lang. so i built a few lang frames with the hardware cloth method (though i wrapped mine around the top instead of attaching just to the bottom)
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Groovy, I will go get the bee's and give it a go once I get it in my mind I can give er a go. please keep the ideas comming, I'm in no hurry and neither is the gentleman giving me the bee's

What's the ideal time and weather situation to tackle this project?

I's supposed to be cloudy and rain all weekend and turn cooler with cool front approaching:{
Thanks for the great background info. Here is my thoughts, since you are going to have a nuc installed in the lang you will have open frames, I would take one frame of brood from lang the with the swarm. Cut the comb into a shape that will fit the top bar. and attach it to a bar, Then shake the bees from the frames into the top bar, the frame of brood you installed will hold them. I would place any subsequent frames in your lang with the frames from the nuc that has been installed. The nurse bees from the nuc will care for that brood, The bees in the top bar will build there much like a captured swarm. or a package. And feed feed feed, you will be on your way, and so will the girls. Good Luck.
Well, thanks for the info, however as usual I'm still confused lol

The nuc will be from a standard five frame lang hive set up, I'm still confussed about how to get them from that configuration to the top bars.

Here's my thinking, please advise if I'm just off the chart with my thoughts.

I aquired a queen cage and am thinking of having the gentleman catch the queen and hanging her/placing her in one of my 5 bar nuc boxes/traps for a couple of days THEN simply move those top bars once established to my full size top bar at home and give it a go......OR

Have him catch/cage the queen place her back in the current box configeration the nucs in, bring it home attach the queen in the cage to the full size top bar and shake the bees into the top bar hive and keep my fingers crossed then simply release the queen next day?

Any thoughts, again thanks for everyone's patience and advice in advance

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Snookie, you should think twice about doing a chop and crop. You need to check to see if the foundation is plastic, if so you won't be able to do this very easily. If it has wires it can be a pain as well.

If you are new I would just put them in a Lang box and start with that. The skills you get from the Lang are transferable to the top bar.

You are in a time crunch. I would bite the bullet and order some woodenware from Brushy or Dadant and go that route versus doing the chop and crop. You could just end up killing that hive or have them abscond after all the work you did. The Lang hives in this case are "birds in the hand".

What you could do is sell the second hive and use the proceeds to purchase a package which you could put in a top bar.
Thanks 10-4 on dat:}

Let me say faith and prayers DO WORK:} to

As I visited with the gentleman today who's giving me the bee's he mentioned hey, you misunderstood I'm going to give you the entire hive cover box and bottom board,I didn't know what you meant about trying to move them to a top bar hive lol

soooooo...Now how is the best way to move them the ten miles back home on a trailer is my challenge lol

Strap it down, tape the entrance shut and hope for the best I guess ?

Going to get them Thursday afternoon at around dusk and bring them home:}

As always any suggestions would be Super Groovy..Thanks in advance!
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Yes, just a ratchet strap will work. You can use some screen to close of the front entrance during the ride (just staple it on) but with the ride that short you could close it with just about anything that would cover the front of the hive. Don't forget to close off the top so they can't get out through the inner cover.

Last year I moved a swarm box on morning at sunrise. I didn't even bother closing the front of the hive. Put them in the back of my truck (it has a cap) but but time I got home maybe 10 bees had gotten out of the hive. When they are being moved they tend to hunker down.

You really don't need a trailer. You can put them in a trunk. If you have a hatchback you could put a sheet over the hive if you are worried about them getting out.
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