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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
How do I populate a new TBH??

Greetings fellow Beeks!

It is with great excitement that I ask how to accomplish the next big step in my TBH adventure. The hive is nearly complete and the challenge that I face now is how to populate it with bees from my Langs?? I have two that over-wintered nicely and a third that I took as a split off the stronger of those first two. It is still a pretty strong hive and s/b a fair candidate for another split.

My question(s), I guess, are;

1. HOW do I use Lang frames to 'nuc' a TBH? Can I simply hang 3 or 4 of them perpendicular to, and off of, the TBH bars and expect (with careful observation, of course) the bees to build new comb following the bars in the TBH ... OR;

2. Is there an intermediate step that might take longer but give better results? ... OR;

3. Is there some other (better) way that I haven't thought of?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Grace and Peace,
Joseph

_______________________________

Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't possibly live long enough to make them all yourself!
 

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The best way I know of is to cut the lang frames so they fit inside the tbh, then wire the top bar of the frame to the top bar of the hive, one problem is the width of a standard lang comb is wider then 1-1/4" tb will allow, I used my 1/4" spacers for this between the lang comb, you can phase out the old lang comb gradually when they start building brood comb of their own. This would give minimal brood disruption.

When I say cut the frames I used an actual saw to cut the lang frames top bar in two places so it would fit inside the tbh under the tbh top bar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Sam!

I take you to mean that you prepare Lang frames in advance? In other words, are you suggesting that you cut or otherwise modify a Lang that has comb/brood/stores?

Looking forward to being able to compare Lang and TBH side-by-side ...

Peace,
Joseph
 

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No I meant you cut the frames that have brood on them so you can transfer the bees :D Like I would take your lang box set it beside your tbh then start cutting frames and wiring them onto your tb's for your tbh sorta like a cut-out it looks kinda traumatic but this way you don't set them back as much as simply shaking them into the new hive, and of course make sure the queen is isolated before you start hacking frames full of brood apart.
 

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http://vimeo.com/5614348
This may help you to understand the process better.
I did employ this in one of my hives with help from my bee mentor. It has been very successful. They are building their own comb now and it is nice and straight.
 

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I build my TBHs to accept the nucs of Sam Comfort - which he designed to accept the dimensions of Lang frames. If you do that I would imagine it's a simple transfer. (I don't have Langs so I haven't done this myself.) But first you might consider inserting frames without foundation into your Langs. Then when the combs are drawn and ready, just remove the bottom and sides of the frames and put them in your TBH. I think I remember reading something like this on Michael Bush's site.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
WOW!!

What a mess ... the video shows cutting only the bottom bars of the Lang frames, which I can understand. BUT, Sam mentions cutting the top bars ... which I would HAVE to do since I built my TBH with 15" bars :(

Even the BioBees plan uses 17" top bars and ALL of the Lang frames that I've measured (multiple times, to make sure *I'M* not the problem here :eek: ) are 19". Has anyone thought about building a TBH that will take Lang frames without the hacking?

I'm gonna try my first idea, which is to build a 'hanger' system to run Lang frames perpendicular to the top bars and hope that the bees cooperate :lookout:

Peace,
Joseph
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sorry, I meant no harm nor to cast blame ... I've seen Dennis Murrell's site, http://beenatural.wordpress.com/natural-beekeeping/top-bar-hives/my-next-top-bar-hive/ he builds his TBH's wide enough to take a Lang, and I had intended to build mine thataway, BUT, when I saw Michael Bush's site and TBH plan, with it's simplicity and using stock 1 x 12 lumber, I couldn't resist the short-cut.

Lesson learned, won't build another TBH any less than 19" wide at the top unless this first one takes off so well that I can populate others from it :)

Peace,
Joseph
 

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Here is the quote directly from Sam Comfort's site. As I said, I do not keep Langs so I haven't tried what you are attempting:

After experimenting with various volumes, I decided on 20” bars (which create the top, which is protected with treated masonite), sides and bottoms of the box are made from rough cut 1” by 10”s. The sides slope at 120 degrees. This design accommodates a Langstroth frame, after removing the end bars and bottom bar and trimming down the comb. The hive can be given an extra square box (“super”) in the back by removing a bar for bee passage.

Here is the page the above comes from: http://anarchyapiaries.org/hivetools/node/10010


You might want to take a look at this blog:
http://beekeeperlinda.blogspot.com/2010/02/sam-comfort-and-top-bar-hives.html

Best,
Stone
 

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It's not as bad as you think, since you wont be swaping between langs and tbh's I use a small saw like a hack saw and mark the comb to cut, cut the frames first then cut the comb carefully with a knife, this will get you straight comb right off the bat, just remember that you need an extra 1/4" between the top bars with the old lang comb if you are using 1-1/4" tb's since the lang comb is thicker then feral / tbh comb. Odds are with the system your thinking of they will build new comb parallel to the frames you are puting in.
 
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