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transfer

 
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Orange65
New Bee


Joined: 22 Mar 2018
Posts: 9
Location: Sandy Bedfordshire UK

PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:44 pm    Post subject: transfer Reply with quote

PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:05 pm Post subject: transfer Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post
Hello,
Can someone pls advise on moving bees from a national to a Top Bar.
I have taken over two nationals both with queens , brood and some stores......confident they will make it now.

Id like to transfer to Top Bar at some stage without the use if foundation.any advice greatly appreciated.

Many thanks
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1742
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi

How big are your National Colonies? ie. single brood box or brood box and a super?
Completely transferring an established colony is not a small task and if you do a chop and crop you will be transferring the foundation based brood comb from the frames with them, which is clearly something you are wanting to move away from. How experienced are you are handling bees and comb? I would probably not recommend chopping and cropping an established colony to a novice.
Your best bet might be to retain the National hives and use them to produce shook swarms to populate your TBHs. Perhaps something like the Taranov split might work well for you to achieve this. There are You Tube videos which demonstrate this technique.
There are also ways of growing a colony onto top bars by putting a few top bars in your brood box in place of some frames and allowing the bees to build comb and produce brood in them and then transferring them to your top bar hive and then shake in some additional nurse bees from other frames and either transfer the queen with them or leaving them to raise an emergency queen from a worker egg/larvae. The donor hive continues as before but with a reduced population of course and if the existing queen has been transferred to the new hive, then obviously they will be triggered into raising an emergency queen instead.

Many people have tried all sorts of ways of trying to grow a colony directly into a TBH by placing the framed hive on top and having special cut out top bars below or attaching it to the end and trying to grow them into the TBH horizontally or placing the frames into the TBH in a perpendicular direction to the top bars and the majority of these attempts do not work or create more problems than they achieve, both for the bees and the beekeeper, so I would discourage you from following that course of action.

Unfortunately there is no easy answer to your situation but my advice would be to do shook swarm splits into your TBHs in a few weeks time.... depending on your local conditions and retain the parent colonies in your National Hives or build them back up and sell them.

Good luck whatever you decide.

Regards

Barbara
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Orange65
New Bee


Joined: 22 Mar 2018
Posts: 9
Location: Sandy Bedfordshire UK

PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you very much,
A lot to ponder , but very helpful
Thanks again Razz
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feebee
New Bee


Joined: 11 Jul 2017
Posts: 2
Location: Hailsham, East Sussex. UK

PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello,
I have the same issue although my one National hive which I was given last year was on a one and a half brood until a couple of days ago. The colony is looking strong with plenty of stores and starting to build Queen/play cups so I'm expecting them to want to swarm before long and will need to act. I'd like to leave the National where it is and my TBH is sited about 30 yards from where the National is so I don't want to do Pagden type artificial swarm and the Taranov looks a bit tricky for a beginner.
I've made a Queen excluder to fit my TBH and have a few top bars with small amounts of drawn comb so am wondering if it would work to do a type of shook swarm by putting those bars near the entrance with the Queen and some nurse bees (mine is an end entrance TBH) then put in the excluder and then, rather than chop them, place the 4-5 half brood frames at a bit of an angle vertically. I know it's best to have a range of age brood for a split so will have to ensure that is right and I can give them some honey I kept back from last year. Once the brood has hatched I would remove those National frames and fill the space with empty top bars.
I would really appreciate it if someone could tell me if this is a viable plan?! My concern would be whether the brood could keep warm enough to hatch if the Queen is on the other side of the excluder.
Many thanks.
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1742
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi

I think it is a risk. That brood might just get abandoned. Have you checked the brood on the super frames. You often find that there is a lot of drone brood when you run them at a one and a half. If you have some with plenty of worker brood, I would shake the bees off the super frames and do a quick chop and crop. There won't be that much trimming to do with the comb from a super and once the bees are off the frames they are relatively easy to chop up. If you chose a warm day, the brood should be fine for the few minutes it will take. You can screw the top bars onto the top of the frames in advance, then use a hacksaw blade to cut the side bars and lugs off the frame tops so that they sit into the hive body. I know it will seem daunting but if you carry out this process away from the main hive, there will be very few bees to contend with. Just make sure you place the queen into the hive before you start carrying frames about because if she falls onto the ground, she cannot get back into the hive.

Good luck whatever you decide.

Barbara
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feebee
New Bee


Joined: 11 Jul 2017
Posts: 2
Location: Hailsham, East Sussex. UK

PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2018 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many thanks for the reply, I'm glad I asked!

I didn't have time to check all the frames to assess the kind of brood spread but will do so on Monday, I recall that can help indicate if swarming is imminent too.
If I can manage the frame chopping I'll do that or possibly just try a split into a spare National brood box in front of the TBH but fill it with my Top Bars instead of National frames as they are the same length. Once the brood have hatched I can gradually move the National frames to the back to discourage use for brood and eventually move all the Top Bars into the TBH at a later date. It'll be a bit of a fiddle as I'll still have to cut an angle into the combs to fit the TBH shape and the Top Bars are made from thicker wood than the National but I think I can place some ply on top of the National frames to cover the gap and even it out. Anyway, I have a better idea of what to do now so many thanks again.
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1742
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2018 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are shying away from the chop and crop when in reality it is far easier for both you and the bees. The frames are very stable, which means it is far easier to shake the bees off them into the new hive without risk of comb collapse and the long handled loppers will make chopping the frames very easy, then using scissors or wire cutters to cut the wires where necessary and trim the comb to shape. You will be lucky if they abandon those brood combs even if you move them to the back of the national box because they will want to fill the whole brood box with brood.
My advice would still be to go for the chop and crop. Watch plenty of videos on hop and crop, do the prep and have everything ready, choose a fine day and have your workstation 10 yards away from the hive, so that once the bees have been shaken into the hive you can walk to the workstation and do the chop and crop in a relatively bee free environment, then walk back and put the chopped combs in the hive.
Most people are intimidated by the prospect of it, but find the reality is relatively straightforward and easier than they expected and the bees recover very well and have a better chance of recovering now than faffing around for a few weeks/months and still having to do a chop and crop later in the year when they will cope less well with it.
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