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Author Topic: Splitting Langstroff Hives to Make TBH's  (Read 1623 times)
tshnc01
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« on: April 14, 2009, 07:20:28 PM »

Hello,

I have 3 existing (overwintered) Langstroff hives that I would like to harvest a honey crop from (Tulip Poplar should start flowing here in about 1 week).  Post harvest, I would like to make splits from these hives and establish 3 TBH's from them.  At that point I want to sell the Langstroff's to a friend so I need to make sure they are strong after my manipulations.

So my question is "what should be my approach to making these splits?".  My TBH's are sloped sides (22.5 degrees) and the bars are 19" (same as Langs).  Would it make sense for me to build a few modified frames to put into the Lang hives now so that I could have several frames of brood to take out in when I make the splits?  The modified frames I am imagining would take a top bar and attach spacers to each end so that the bees don't build comb out to the entire 19 inches.  I would probably also attach a temp bottom bar.

All ideas appreciated.

Thanks,

Tim Huntley
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2009, 07:49:55 PM »

I'd build some frames for the top bar hive and cut some of the brood combs to fit and rubber band them in.  Or make "swarm catching frames" that are two part and hinged that fit the top bar hive with wires to hold in the combs.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
tshnc01
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« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2009, 09:46:40 PM »

Thanks Michael.  In the case of the rubber banded comb, do the bees end up making a strong attachment of that comb to the top bar or do you end up rotating that top bar out of the hive at some point?

...Tim
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2009, 10:24:58 PM »

The bees will attach it and remove the rubber bands.  I would leave it.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
tshnc01
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« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2009, 03:32:51 PM »

Excellent.  The rubber band method is how I will proceed.  Last month I had put several foundationless frames in each of my hives to try and open up the broodnest a bit, so I will try and cut the brood from those frames so I don't have any wires to deal with.

Michael, hope to meet you in late July at the Northeast Treatment Free Conference.
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tshnc01
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« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2009, 03:49:34 PM »

Looks like I am going to make one split a few weeks earlier than I thought as I found some swarm cells in one of the hives today.  I took a frame with the swarm cells and a couple of frames of brood and a good number of bees and put them in another Lang hive.  My plan is to keep them in the Lang for a few days and then cut out the brood combs and rubber band them into my TBH.  Does anyone think I should do this immediately or is it reasonable to wait a few days (or even longer to make sure the new queen has settled)?

Thanks,

...Tim
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Wojtek
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« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2009, 11:06:36 PM »

Tim.   You could scroll down on this page to the date April 8, to topic “Transfer Nuc to KTBH”.  There are some more suggestions related to your task.
In addition to what already has been sad and showed on photos in this topic there are still other technical ways to deal with your task. All depends also on many conditions, aims, priorities, etc.
For example. Do you want to have stronger new family or this is secondary importance and you want maintain the “donor” family stronger. There are several these kinds of questions.
What I would like to add is: Take a metal saw, can be just a blade, and cut off lower part of frame in appropriate place to fit an new shape but first cut a comb in a frame to fit a new shape. Or use small pliers to cut wire if wire is involved in a frame, or something to cut small branches in a garden. With these tools instead of saw you may cut the frame. Additional pair of hands could be helpful if you don't have a stand. This way you may transfer a comb or combs to any size or shape of new hive. The width of frame is narrower then the width of TB but some buttons on both sides will solve this problem.
Mind temperature. If it is cold it is bad for brood and comb is brittle, if too hot a comb is delicate, especially if a new one.
Wojciech Wlazlinski
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Wojtek
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