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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all--

It's not a great time to be able to buy a package to populate a new top bar hive, so I'm wondering whether the following split strategy makes sense:

1. Place top bars between the two brood boxes of a thriving Langstroth hive by putting them in a medium box and using short extensions (I need about 1.5" on each side--the bars are quite long).

2. Wait for comb to get built and the Queen to lay some eggs, then move everything in that box to the top bar hive, along with a strong supply of nurse bees. I would expect to need to feed as well.

Thanks for your thoughts.
 

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What I did - many years ago - when transferring colonies from British National beehives (17" top bar length) to Warre hives (12.5" top bar length), was to simply tie-wrap the Warre bars underneath plain bare bars 17" long, and chequer-board (IOIOIOI etc) these directly into the brood nests of deep boxes. When the combs were halfway drawn-out, I then transferred the colony wholesale - shaking-off the bees on the National frames, before donating those frames to other colonies. It was a totally painless operation from beginning to end.

In your case, the same technique could be used with whatever top bar lengths you intend to use, tie-wrapped underneath plain 19" bars, and inserted into your existing brood nest to be drawn-out and laid-up.
LJ
 

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I do exactly as you say. My top bar are the same length as langstroth top bar. I have a card board template I place over the combs drawn in the Lang hive I use to cut the combs to proper shape if needed. So ya your plan will work just adapt it to what your trying to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Staggered modified top bars with conventional frames & foundation. Unfortunately, the colony just swarmed, so it's going to take a minute to get results.
 

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Just a bit of follow up on this thread. Took some pics of this being done. First pic is three bars placed in strong single. Second is one of the combs being drawn out. I use a card board template to cut the comb to the shape of the tbh. I do this with 3 colonies. Every 2-3 weeks you can start a tbh with 7-9 combs adding a cell or queen.
 

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My TBH bars are made to fit a Lang. . my brother took 3 bars and 2 lang frames with bees then introduced a queen. This was 4 days ago so we don't know the results yet.
 
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