The only way I could keep the bees in my top bar hives was to put old comb in the hive and to close off the screened bottom. I put in a swarm - huge one - and it absconded the next day. Then I bought a package and installed it. Luckily when they absconded I found them on the ground nearby, gathered them up and kept them in a cardboard box while I closed off the SBB and tied some old comb onto some top bars.
Then when I installed the package, they stayed. Now they've made it through the winter and are up and running for 2011 after a very difficult 2010 winter.http://beekeeperlinda.blogspot.com/2010/04/bad-luck-bad-judgment-bad-beginning-for.html
Linda T in Atlanta