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Author Topic: questions about stocking a TBH  (Read 1244 times)
gardeningfireman
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« on: May 26, 2010, 04:22:33 PM »

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 grin. 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) Cry. 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!
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DavesBees
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« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2010, 09:46:21 PM »

Sometimes they just leave like that.  I had one leave the other day. 
A swarm takes there stores with them to get started on their own so I do not feed them.
I like to put about 3 nice combs in the box for the queen to use.  They will also build comb to put stores in.  Those young bees just want to build something with all that wax.
You aren’t going to like this….. I would cut the frames to fit the TBH normally or cut the comb and put it in frames built to the size of the TBH.  But unless you want a mess I would not ask the bees to build comb in two different directions….they have their own ideas about how to build comb.  I suppose you could make some sort of transition box under the TBH to let them move up and I’m sure it has been done but for me I’d just cut them.  Frames are only 75 cents apiece.  I cut mine with a saws all.  Just lay them on a follower and cut the comb and the bar to fit.  Don’t forget to leave a little bee space.
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Dave - PM me if you are interseted in natural beekeeping in Hancock County Maine.
http://www.davesbees.com
ChristyHemenway
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« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2010, 07:09:39 AM »

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 grin. 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) Cry. 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.




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-- Christy Hemenway
GOLD STAR HONEYBEES
“It’s not about the honey, Honey – it’s about the Bees!”
207-449-1121
www.goldstarhoneybees.com
 
Some great bee sites: www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm, and www.beeguardian.org
 
 "Usually, terrible things that are done with the excuse that progress requires them are not really progress at all, but just terrible things."  -- Russell Baker
GaryMinckler
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« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2010, 01:45:43 PM »

I've dumped 2 swarms into completely empty, brand new TBH's and they each took off like gangbusters building comb like crazy with no feeding at all. 
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Beekissed
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« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2010, 09:33:26 PM »

I was wondering about this topic of feeding until they build some stores.  I am starting with a 3 lb. package...would the same hold true for this type of start in a new TBH?  I have fed the can that came in the package and a little comb honey as well.  Would that be enough to get them started or should I continue to feed?  I'd like to be able to stop feeding at this point and see how they do. 
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2010, 05:58:57 AM »

If they have capped stores and a flow coming in, I would stop feeding.
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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
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