Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I want to make a walk-away split from my top bar hive. I plan to make the split into a Langstroth box. I believe I know the theory on how to do this, i.e., cut the comb off the top bar and use rubber bands to hold it in place in a Langstroth frame. The same way one would take comb from a feral hive.
I am looking for advice from someone who has already done this. What are the pitfalls? Any helpful tips?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,661 Posts
My preference is to fly back split in to the lang as I only need to cut and band 1-2 combs that way
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,313 Posts
Just curious ...

Why cut the comb off the Top Bar ? If the Top Bar length is the same as the Langstroth, then just insert it between frames and gradually move it to the outside of the array (and then out) when the colony has become established.

Should the Top Bar be shorter than a Langstroth (not good planning), then tie-wrap it underneath a plain Top Bar of Langstroth length, and proceed as above.

By doing either of these you will avoid the need to rubber-band (or whatever), AND keep your Top Bar comb intact and reusable. :)
LJ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,661 Posts
The whole reason for the trapezoid shape of the KTBH is the reduction in comb weight. Lang deep sized retangle shaped top bar combs break much more easily, this is likely a large reason for Tanzanian type topbar hives being the minority.

As for planing, I dissagree
Lang top bars are too long, one of the reasons people have foundation less issues with them, and with lang length top bars
this is a common site

this is the bees telling you the bar is too long
I see it much less in my 16" top bars then the lang sized ones
lastly with this top bar profile and standard 10" sides bottoms, I get a comb that I can fit top to bottom in a frame, longer bars end up short and the comb flops around in side the rubber bands
Lay the comb on a cover, place a frame over it, one slice with a knife across the top and 2 rubber bands and your done. Less then 2 min, even my eight year old can do it
20180706 bees-182.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,313 Posts
The whole reason for the trapezoid shape of the KTBH is the reduction in comb weight.
I think you'll find that the original rationale behind the sloping sides of the KTBH (btw, the OP doesn't actually say he has a KTBH) - is to dissuade the bees from attaching their combs to the box sides.

I really wouldn't read too much into the 'dual embryonic comb' observation - I know it's a popular theory, but I often see this when bees draw foundationless combs within my National frames, which have an internal length of 13 inches.

I would have thought that if Top Bar hives and Frame hives are to be kept in the same apiary, then there would be obvious benefits in keeping their top bars the same length in order to maintain interchangeability.

In the past I've kept Top Bars in straight-sided boxes (so-called 'Tanzanian') without problems - except for the side-adhesions which drove me nuts. :)
LJ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,661 Posts
I see a lot less problems in the shorter bars
10 years ago I was lucky enough to learn from Marty Hardson, who had been keeping KTBHs for 29+ years at that point. This may have tainted my view...lol

"The less acute angel of the sides and the reduced height allows the bees to build more compact combs rather than longer deeper ones. The reduced length of my topbars gives the bees a better advantage when it comes to preventing cross combing. The longer the topbar the more likely the bees will begin to curve their combs. Bees don't like right angles. But that is what we rely on to make the combs manageable. The shorter span helps the bees build their combs centered on a single topbar. The overall dimensions of the Hardison hive result in the maximum volume for the least amount of construction material. This is an important feature if costs must be held to a minimum." The Appropriate Beehive
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,313 Posts
I'm waiting for Michael Bush to chip in on this thread - I seem to remember that he runs Top Bar hives on Langstroth-length bars - or at least he used to.

17 inch bars (same as our National frames) have become a kind of 'standard' over here, and my sole horizontal-hive experience - which was only a couple of years - was restricted to those. Not a style of beekeeping I became enthusiastic about, and so soon abandoned.

In contrast, the vertical-hive Top Bar Warre format (12 inch Top Bars) I found to be superb, and if I were keeping just one hive type here, then it would be that - but sadly I couldn't see at the time how the Warre could co-exist within my existing apiary 'system' - and so those hives were recycled by modification. But now I can see a method of co-existence, albeit these smaller combs will now need to be in frames - which is unfortunate, but I can't see any alternative.

More on this project in another thread ... :)
'best
LJ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,661 Posts
http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm
A Kenya style (sloped sides) is so that the combs are more naturally strong and less likely to break and collapse when they are full of honey
speaking of Tans
Also, I can start one with some frames of brood from one of my other hives (which are all mediums). I haven't seen any more attachment with this hive than the sloped sides.
there also may be a ratio component, Sam comofort shorteded his 11" id warre type boxes to 6" as he felt it lead to less attachments
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top