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Author Topic: Top Bar with Langstroth 5 Frame Nuc Issue  (Read 274 times)

Offline hrtull

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Top Bar with Langstroth 5 Frame Nuc Issue
« on: July 11, 2016, 07:23:49 PM »
New keeper/learner. So I built a top bar hive. Please see attachment. I built TB box to receive a standard 5 frame nuc instead of boxed bees. Nuc provider just a few miles from my location. Here is the problem. Per the attachment you can see that nuc frames are at a 90 degree angle to the top bars . I installed a nice healthy 5 frame nuc and bees only build comb parallel to the nuc frames, they will not build on the bars that are in front and at 90 degrees to nuc frames. So what I have to do is place bars beside and parallel to nuc frame and every week take 2 to 3 built combs  they produced and place them in front to  make progress filling hive box.  It has become unmanageable and I am trying to overcome problem. So I added an extension to the hinged top allowing enough room to place a short super above the 5 frame nuc which is stacked and parallel. I was hoping they would start filling the standard  super frames but they dont seem interested after 3 weeks. I tried feeding to bring them up but not working.  I believe had I used boxed bees they would have established the bars as expected and progressed down the TB box in order or cut the nuc frames to fit.  My attitude for the first year doing this was to learn about bees and less about  honey production. I am enjoying their behavior and that they do what they want to do and not necessarily what I want them to do. The hive is healthy and very active. Its very interesting. So that is the history and background information and here are the questions.  1) Is it too late in season to try and transfer hive into  standard langstroth brood box and super above. 2) is there enough room to do so per question one. 3) any advice on getting them to build into super in the TB per picture. 4) Should I just let things be and allow bees to do what they want and see what happens. 5) splitting maybe, dont know how to split. Any comments and advice would be appreciated. Thanks HT

Offline cao

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Re: Top Bar with Langstroth 5 Frame Nuc Issue
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2016, 09:40:51 PM »
Welcome to th forum.  :happy: 
You have an interesting situation.  With any answer it would help if you put your location in your profile.  How many top bars do you have drawn out?  Are they finishing them once you have moved them? 

Offline hrtull

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Re: Top Bar with Langstroth 5 Frame Nuc Issue
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2016, 10:24:30 PM »
I live just east of Columbus, Ohio.  I have about 12 drawn combs in various stages. About 6 or 7 fully drawn out. They are a mixture of brood ( egg, larvae, capped brood) and a mixture of capped honey mixed in. Some drone cells also.  The original 5 frame nucs are packed with everything , heavy and always packed with bees. Some of the combs at end bars had no activity as of last Saturday so I moved these combs to center. There appears to be activity on them now with activity throughout the TBars but nothing moving up to the super. Super has the black plastic frames fyi.  Excuse me if terminology is off. All I know is what I have read and youtubed. Another question I have is why there has been more drone activity the past few weeks. It went from never seeing drones at entrance to always having a few coming and going. Thanks for your reply, HT

Offline cao

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Re: Top Bar with Langstroth 5 Frame Nuc Issue
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2016, 12:51:44 AM »
I don't have any experience with top bars so hopefully someone else with experience will offer their advice.  If it is was my hive, I would remove the super if they aren't using it.  If the queen is laying in the top bar section, I would concentrate trying to get them to expand that.  I would put an empty bar between a couple that are fully drawn.  They should start to draw it out.  Just keep repeating as long as they continue to draw the comb.  I would assume that they will eventually move the brood nest out of the nuc and into the top bars.  Once they do they will backfill the nuc with honey.  Bees don't always do what we want them to as fast as we want them to. :wink:  I have a couple 5 frame nucs that just don't want to expand to the second box.  They just keep using those five frames over and over. 

As far as the drones go, it's normal to see drones this time of year.  Remember they will go from hive to hive looking for food and a room for the night.

Offline hrtull

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Re: Top Bar with Langstroth 5 Frame Nuc Issue
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2016, 09:36:02 PM »
 I have a question regarding my original post and the issue with  the Top Bar hive.  I am in the process of building a Langstroth Long Box with the idea of transferring  top bar combs/bees and the original 5 frame nuc frames into this new box. This would put everything parallel in hopes of getting things aligned and manageable .  My approach is to put the original  5 frames ( these are loaded with a mixture of brood, capped honey and all other stages and 100% bee coverage) in the center,   place 2 standard frames with foundation on each side and then   place  6 top bar combs on the sides of standard frames. This would be a mixture of 21 various frames.  Im hoping they will start developing the  new foundation  frames  and I can start slowly  removing top bar frames and continue adding new standard frames.      ttttttffnnnnnfftttttt        t= top bars with drawn comb/bees  .   f= new foundation frames. n = 5 frame nuc.  My main goal is to get things in order for next Spring, assuming Winter survival. Then getting everything onto foundation frames next Spring or possibly by this Winter.  My questions 1) Does this idea seem possible. 2) When I transfer by placing new box right beside existing box will straggler bees find new box ( assuming queen has been successfully transferred),  will there be an orientation issue. 3) what is best time of day to do this. Any comment or suggestions would be appreciated, Thanks HT

Offline hrtull

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Re: Top Bar with Langstroth 5 Frame Nuc Issue
« Reply #5 on: Today at 06:28:12 AM »
I am going to transfer TB to Lang Longbox per my previous replies. My approach is to replace new Lbox in exact location and transfer all frames and combs with bees. Then move old TB several yards away. My questions 1) will straggler bees find their way to new box. 2) any suggestions on doing this transfer would be appreciated Thanks HT

Offline little john

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Re: Top Bar with Langstroth 5 Frame Nuc Issue
« Reply #6 on: Today at 10:12:04 AM »
From the point-of-view of a hive swap, bees fall into two categories: young bees and older bees.

Young bees haven't been out flying yet, and so will stay wherever you put them.  Older bees, on the other hand, have been out flying and have thus oriented to a hive entrance location - which, having done this, means that they will auto-locate towards that location - even if it looks different.

So - simply place your new hive in the old position, with it's entrance as near as possible to the position of the old entrance, and facing in the same direction.  This isn't critical, but the nearer it is to the original, the better,

Place the old hive as far away as you like - a few yards is fine.  Then move your bees.  Any residual bees (there's always some) can be scooped-up using a brush and a scoop made from a plastic milk jug.  Then, just tip 'em in.

When the foragers return, they'll simply enter the new hive - there may be a little hesitency at first, but they'll soon adjust.  It's usual to get some clustering around the entrance for a couple of hours, as they become aware that 'something here isn't quite right' - but again, they'll soon adjust to their new home.

If any bees do choose to fly over to the old hive, then providing the entrance to it is blocked, they'll soon figure out where the rest of the girls are now living.
LJ