I have three TBH's. I did a cutout over the weekend and put the colony in one of them. I filled about 14 frames with brood and honey, and added 6 empty topbars. They seem content
. I caught a swarm, which went into a topbar nuc of 11 bars. I think it was too small for them and they absconded(all but a handful)
. When I put a swarm into a topbar, should I feed them to entice them to build comb? Should I put in a few sections of comb? I don't want to lose any more swarms. Also, I have a standard, 5-frame nuc. Can I put that into a TBH with the 5 frames parallel to the hive, and the new topbars crossways like normal? Then remove the frames once the bars are built on? Thanks for any advice!
Hello fireman --
I have enough resources nowadays that I start all my hives with a bar (or more) of comb - but you will see quickly how much wax a swarm will build. An eleven bar nuc probably is a bit small for a swarm, but of course it depends on the swarm. We picked one up here in Maine last week that was just about too big for a four foot Gold Star TBH! Having a bar of honeycomb helps a lot to "anchor" a swarm -- I haven't had a colony abscond since 2008. And those were miserably sad little packages that had spent two weeks in transit, that went into brand new, bare, (no smell of good old stinky black wax) TBH's.
If you are on that other forum website whose name won't publish here properly, there is an unpretty story about what can happen when you give the bees comb in two directions... It's here: It is on the forum - viewtopic.php?t=5686 - the title is: Beekeeper doesn't want to do a chop-and-crop on his frames
Interesting story, but pretty tough on the new beekeeper - not to mention on the bees.