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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First hive inspection.

After failing at trapping any swarms with my Top Bar bait hives I finally managed to secure a swarm from a fellow beekeeper. He absolutely refused to hive one of his cast off swarms in one of my top bar bait hives. So I accepted the bees in one of his langstroth deeps.
That was about a week ago, today was my very first inspection. I made a few mistakes, first of all I forgot to check the status of my queen, if she was laying, or even there. I was so overwhelmed by the bees all I could do was deal with the problem at hand, that problem was that I'm sure that the other beekeeper had never pulled the frames from this deep -- ever. All of the comb was very dark, almost black, and there was a lot of heavy black cross combing. Definitely not something that occurred within the last week. The deep was actually a little rotten so I moved the frames to a new box, and dealt with the worst of the cross combing and bur comb. The propolis was so thick that I actually broke the old box and one frame prying them out. I'm sure I smashed a lot of bees in the process, and I feel pretty bad about it, I just hope I didn't smash the queen. I remember seeing some nectar on the frames and the bees have been bringing in pollen. Several of the center frames were covered in bees, and they transferred relatively easily.
I'm going to check the hive in about three days, in case I smashed the queen, I should see some emergency queen cells. The bees seem to be taking their time making it back into the new box. about 45 minutes later, and there were a lot still clustered on the front of the new box.

How much propolis is normal in a hive? Do you normally have difficulty in getting all of the frames to fit in the box after separating them? I know I sure did. Later I plan on splitting the lang into a top bar, and suggestions on how to do it?
Any questions, comments, or recommendations is appreciated.
 

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I'm in my first year beekeeping, I think someone will say to give it about two weeks before checking in on them again. During that two weeks just observe the front of the hive to see what kind of activity is going on. See if they are bringing in pollen. As far as getting them moved to a topbar hive this site had the neatest ideal I've seen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm not sure how I missed that website in all of my searching, but thank you for the link. I'll have to try to build something like that soon, and maybe after giving them a substantial break try moving them. It would be a handy tool to have around here because top bar hives are a foreign entitity
 

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greetings, I too am a new beek and work with TBH, and my first colony is/was a Lang. I also split said lang into a waiting TBH.

There are several methods available to work with, each with its pros and cons.

The above hybrid design is probably your easiest solution to everything, but might require tools you dont have access too, plus increased cost in hive construction. But, very very easy.

Next option is to use 1/2" Hardware Cloth along the length of the frame and push comb on to it. This results in odd spacing however as the HC is wrapped around the bar. More difficult since it requires cutting comb out and dealing with wired foundation can be difficult

Option 3 is use womens hair clips as a clamp, attatched to the bar with zip ties. Results seem to vary from beek to beek, and honey laden new comb probably wont take

Option 4 is what I used, I cut out brood sections and made a sling for the comb. Much more difficult but seems to be effective, assuming you dont leave too much room between the new bar and old comb. Also way more difficult to work with without a second hand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think i'll go for building that hybrid design. I've got a good source on 1" lumber, and a pretty good woodworking shop, so thats the route i'll take. I was thinking I could put the entrance somewhere near the joint of the two hive types, and split out the top bar side into standard top bar hives.
 

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I would think you could put the entrance any where you chose. Easier than making an entrance is leaving the first frame of the lang uncovered near the top bar portion. That would make a top entrance similar to what Michael Bush uses. Make sure to cover the rest of the bars on the lang side.
 

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My short experience of TBHs though as shown a good reason for have a small entrance in the lower portions, maybe even the bottom. the front of my hive is filled with bits of masking tape, sawdust, comb bits and one or two dead bees. Seems either the high wall or the fact that the entrance is at the top is causing a pileup of trash in the bottom of the hive.

I've been thinking of scrapping the hive and re-purposing the lumber for 1 3/8s top bars, (its made out of a 1x6 and several 1x8 boards, my new plans call for 1x10s) and moving them to my newly built hive that is much... shorter. I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt so far as we have yet to deal with 110 degree heat so far so it may hold up, if not, its on to the new hive.
 
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