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How to put "Nuc-ed" bees into a TBH

1366 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  ChuckReburn
I don't have a TBH, I have however met a new beekeeper who is wanting to start out with a TBH and I have agreed to give her the bees. I generally give away or sell at a very low price one or two nucs a year to new beekeepers I meet at club meetings. Will getting the bees in the hive be as simple as brushing all the bees into the hive. It will be starting out like a package. My hope is the new gal will have researched this but i would like a little advice just in case
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There is no simple method. You can find many youtube videos on "chop and crop" but this only works well if you are an experienced beekeeper and you have wax comb with no wires. Plastic will foil your attempts. Wires will make a mess, in my experience, but perhaps you can figure out a way to cut wires without ripping the comb up. A shaken swarm (or package) is much less complicated...

So, yes, if you catch the queen and brush or shake all the bees into the top bar hive and give the combs back to a different hive, that is probably as good as it gets... unless they make some frames for the top bar hive, in which case you could do a cutout and rubber band the combs into the frames.
We've installed package bees into TBHs numerous times. Shaking the equivalent of a package in is easy. I've done "chop and crops" and it's not for the timid or squeamish. If you can get some comb in there, it's a big help. At a minimum, I like to use fishing line and hang a good chunk of old brood comb on bar 2 and 4. Even better is building some TBH comb in a Lang. I've run a screw into each end of a top bar to make it long enough to hang into a lang. Recently I discovered that a 17" top bar will fit inside a lang frame - inserting these into the sides of a brood nest gets me built out comb for TBH nucs. There's a little trimming needed to fit but it's not nearly as brutal as "chop and "crop"
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