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Swarm Prevention

2916 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Shazam
Five of us in the local bee club started TBHs this year, two of us also have existing Langs.

Three of the five hives have swarmed, mine is loaded with bees and has not swarmed to this date. I mean this baby is brimming with bees and they've drawn out all the top bars with comb.

How does one go about preventing swarming in TBHs? Or is this just a casuality and/or limitation of the TBH that one has to live with?

Jackson, MO
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Need more info. How many bars in this hive? If they've filled all the bars in the hive it's too small. They'll either basically shut down and just hang there or swarm. I put an empty bar in the middle of the brood nest periodically to keep them going. Haven't had a swarm yet. but my TBH is 48" long. They haven't filled it yet. If they do, I'll put a super on it.
My tbh is 48" long and has 30 top bars. Everyone one of them is drawn. It's not a case of being too small. I see the problem as being non-expandable.

I alleviated the problem by taking a couple of frames and the old queen to another guy who was starting a top bar hive. He gave me the blank top bars which were inserted into the middle.

Then after the emergency queen cells were made, I broke the colony into three sections with the two dividers and the back entrances. I got 3 "nucs" in this one hive. As hot as it has been, my tbh is basically covered with bees trying to escape the heat. Ventilation seems to be an issue with tbhs.

Jackson, MO
Just for interests sake, what are the other dimensions of the hive? 48"x?"x?"

I'm wondering, so I can compare what you've got to what I've got.


Just put a super on my hive that also has 30 or so bars for same reason. And only 2 1/2 months old. Was starting to backfill honey in the brood area. Already had to harvest some honey to clear out some comb space.

Very active queen which I like, but yeah, I think next spring I'm going to split it out into 3 langs. Or perhaps do a double long medium box. (ie.. 20 medium frames) and a couple regular lang boxes.
Btw, did you notice bees not liking to spread out the full 30 bars? Mine cluster in the first 20 or so. I had to keep swapping in empty bars to encourage them to build deeper.

I'm sort of perplexed on the flip side that they've built out to the degree that they have begun getting honey bound.
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