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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm currently running 3 top bars and have no experience with langs. I've just purchased a lang and have been offered bees from a top bar.
Could anyone give advice on transferring the bees from the top bar to the lang?
Thank You
Jeff
 

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Re: Transfer from top bar to Lanf

I have mostly langs. But I play with a few TBH's for fun. I made my tbh's top bars the same length as my lang top bars. You should find out the length of the top bars that you can get? I usually drop top bars in my lang hives with starter strips and let the bees build combs. Then later with a card board template I cut the combs to fit in my TBH's. So if your top bars are the same length you could put them in the lang hive and flank it with frames and foundation. You might need to snip off the bottom of the top bar combs possibly. That's one way to do it if you are lucky. If the top bars are different lengths then I would shake bees off the bees lay the combs on a pine board and cut them to fit in a lang frame. Take a nail and poke 3-4 small holes in the comb and zip tie the combs to the top bar as new comb might not be strong enough to support itself with yarn or rubberbands. Then staple a piece of yard to the top bar and wrap around the comb a few times and staple the other end or just use rubber bands. This is to keep the comb straight in the frame and you won't have to worry about having the hive super level. Put in the lang box and shake in lots of bees. Probably feed them to get comb drawn. Next option would be to shake your own package of bees into an empty nuc box (or something). Install just like a package adding a new queen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: Transfer from top bar to Lanf

thanks for taking the time to reply Clayton. Good ideas as I was thinking I could just use old comb in the lang frames and rubber band it. Your idea gives more stability I think.
Thanks again
 

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Re: Transfer from top bar to Lanf

I just transferred 4 splits from a top bar hive to a lang hive in the last week. I put 4 screw in L hooks in the top of the Langstroth frame to hang the comb from. Then I attached/hang the comb and used rubber bands around the frame to keep the comb in place. It is messy and take times but works pretty well. Frames with honey are too heavy and easily tear away. I have a plastic table on wheels in the apiary that I use.
 

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Re: Transfer from top bar to Lanf

Just want to say you don't have to run the Langstroth hive with frames - you could also run it 100% Top-Bar. (Personally I wouldn't - but you could). You'd need to make Top Bars with similar widths to frames and with lugs the same thickness of course - as with a Warre hive.
Re: the Top Bar length - if they are too long, cut a bit off. If they are too short, they can always be cable-tied underneath bars of the right length for now. Yes - you may need to trim combs to fit - but which shouldn't be an issue ...
LJ
 

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Re: Transfer from top bar to Lanf

Just want to say you don't have to run the Langstroth hive with frames - you could also run it 100% Top-Bar. (Personally I wouldn't - but you could). You'd need to make Top Bars with similar widths to frames and with lugs the same thickness of course - as with a Warre hive.
Re: the Top Bar length - if they are too long, cut a bit off. If they are too short, they can always be cable-tied underneath bars of the right length for now. Yes - you may need to trim combs to fit - but which shouldn't be an issue ...
LJ
+1.
I run my long hives with open-frames all the time (simply because I don't have enough full frames).
The top bars are trivially converted into open frames (especially IF power stapler is available).
I used to run straight top bars also, but by now discontinued because the open frames are better (at a very marginal adjustment).

It is converting from Lang into TB would be more hassle.
But TB into Lang is a relatively easy project.
 

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Re: Transfer from top bar to Lanf

That's an interesting concept dudelt.
I wish I could say it was my idea but I got the idea from this forum a few years ago. The original poster had pictures to go with it if I remember correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: Transfer from top bar to Lanf

Thank you for all the good information. I think I will try to just move the top bar frames into the lang (if I have to trim the bottoms a bit, no problem).
That seems to me to be the easiest method. Not sure what the drawback will be if I let them do their thing without a frame (other than extracting) but I extract frameless as it is now anyway.
Jeff
 

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Re: Transfer from top bar to Lanf

Here is pic of 3 top bars placed into a strong lang single.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1289879967836959&set=pb.100004449036160.-2207520000..&type=3

Here is a comb that's drawn out, but not cut yet:

https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=1289879917836964&set=pb.100004449036160.-2207520000..

Once the comb has capped brood. I hang them between to empty lang boxes. I use a push pin to hold a cardboard template that matches TBH's angle. Of course the comb is then cut to shape.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1317643248393964&set=pb.100004449036160.-2207520000..&type=3
 

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Re: Transfer from top bar to Lanf

Not sure what the drawback will be if I let them do their thing without a frame (other than extracting) but I extract frameless as it is now anyway.
Jeff
Hi Jeff - adhesions to the side-walls, most likely - but as a Top Bar beekeeper I guess you're used to that sort of thing happening.
Frameless extracting - any chance of expanding upon that ? How's it done - any pics ?
LJ
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: Transfer from top bar to Lanf

Little John, I just use the crush and strain method. With only 3 top bars, it's not difficult or that time consuming.
One of the reasons for converting to Langs, is that I'm getting my daughter set up to be a beekeeper, and the property she has doesn't really have the space for top bar hives. Additionally, I believe the Langs will ultimately produce more honey than the top bars do.

Yes, side-wall adhesion is a fact of life. Not a lot of effort to keeping them free, but if you don't separate the comb from the side-wall before pulling the comb out, well lets just say that is a mistake you will make only once.

Clayton, thank you for pictures, always better than a thousand words!

Thanks to all for the responses. I've given my daughter the link to this website, one of the best around in my opinion.

Jeff
 

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Re: Transfer from top bar to Lanf

My top bars have very little attachments to the sides which has actually surprised me. The walls are angled which really helps. When I have moved top bars directly into a Langstroth hive, almost all of them get attached to the sides. That is why I have stopped that practice.

Generally, the only reason I ever move comb from the top bars to a Langstroth hive is if I have no available top bar hives and one is about to swarm. This year I did it because I sold too many nucs and the number of Langstroth hives was lower than I was comfortable with. I absolutely refuse to buy bees so that was the only viable option.
 

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I’m not in a place where I can do a lot of research but I know that Phil Chandler has many videos on going from a Lang to a top bar. Perhaps he has one going the other way? A google search will answer that for you.
 

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If you're thinking of going frameless as your "single deep" for the Lang system, there are a couple things to realize. First I think you'll only fit 9 maybe 8 Top bars in the hive, as the bees will need space to move up through the bars. That's not a deal-killer really, but the queen needs all 10 combs to be useful for worker brood so she has enough room to lay. you could just put a regular medium box above - together with the deep below that is enough room for her.

Second the "frames" that are top-bars will not be interchangeable with the actual frames in a second deep box above (should you go that route). This is a real loss of opportunity. Just as true if you do a deep and a medium as your brood chamber anyways though.

Look, it's not that bad to convert the combs from top bar to Lang. I shook the bees off the top bars (impressive how strong those combs are), then had a top-bar divider as a backing for doing "surgery" to put the combs in the Lang frame. I used the 3" rubber bands available for mailing, Wamart should have them. It's only 10 combs for you - I had 40 or so to do!!!

I only converted frames with brood. Frames with honey got harvested, in part because I knew I would be feeding a lot so those resources would be replaced.

Trust me, especially for a new beekeeper, so much easier to have the frames in the deep instead of the top bars. I really would say to innovate that kind of thing later in your beekeeping adventure!
 
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