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Author Topic: Top Bar Installation vs. Langstroth  (Read 1152 times)
Field Bee
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Gender: Female
Posts: 762

Location: Enumclaw Plateau, WA

« on: April 16, 2012, 12:01:57 PM »

After having all Langstroths, we installed a package into a TBH on Sunday (this hive will be my son's).  I also watched a friend install a package into her new TBH.  There were a couple of things that were different (I know, duh, right?).

One, the "march" into the hive took a lot longer to happen with the TBH than I'm used to in a Langstroth.  The installation was the same in that we dumped most of the bees into the box (after hanging the queen cage, so yes, she was in there).  But the bees that were left got dumped onto the landing board.  In both cases, very few bees came out of the TBH to fan, and it took longer for the bees on the landing board to "march" into the hive.  Is this normal for a TBH installation?

Two, it seemed to take a lot longer for the bees to settle into the TBH.  As the evening came on and the temps dropped a bit, there were still a lot of bees flying in a cloud around the hive entrance, rather than just settling in.  Is this, in part, due to the lack of comb?  I guess I had assumed they would just cluster inside the way they did in the package.

Our weather for the installations was awesome!  Being the PNW, it is raining today.  Don't know why I threw that in, it just seemed to want to come out...
House Bee
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Gender: Female
Posts: 225

Location: Solsberry, IN

« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2012, 01:48:46 PM »

When we installed our two hives a couple of weeks ago, they did the same thing you're describing at your TBH.   We went foundationless.    I'm thinking that behavior is fairly consistent with foundationless hives of any kind.   What do the rest of you think?

House Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 286

Location: Very rural Navarro County, TX

I need a shave

« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2012, 02:09:50 PM »

I wouldn't know for sure since I haven't bought a package in over a decade.  I do remember that from package to package they all acted a little different and I think how long they've been in the package with the new queen may play a factor.

I have purchased packages and had them shipped to me.  Those always went right to their queen.  I've also gone and picked them up right after being shaken into the package, brought them straight home and watched them take it very slowly.
House Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 313

Location: Florida Suncoast

« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2012, 10:59:51 PM »

Maybe get a couple of pieces of brood comb from one of your other hives and rubber band it to a a couple of bars to help get them started.  Maybe some honey comb too.

Have fun!
Galactic Bee
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Gender: Female
Posts: 5317

Location: Placerville, California

« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2012, 11:06:35 PM »

I always give them at least one frame of drawn comb that is perfectly straight right in the middle of the super. Then the rest of the frames are starter strips (beeswax). I have never heard of this problem, but I do believe bees just act differently in different situations. It doesn't sound like a bad thing as long as they eventually end up in the hive.

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