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Dadant-Blatt to TBH

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New Bee

Joined: 24 Apr 2017
Posts: 3
Location: Ospitale nel Frignano, Emilia Romagna,Italy

PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:31 pm    Post subject: Dadant-Blatt to TBH Reply with quote

Hi everyone! I'm getting into a bit of a flap! I have 2 Dadant-Blatt hives in their second year. I've realised that I can't manage them alone as there is too much lifting and I have a back problem. For this and many other reasons, I would like to switch to Top Bar beekeeping, something I wanted to do at the beginning but was discouraged from doing as a beginner... This winter I'd like to get 2 TBHs and transfer my girls over in the spring. I have no idea of the correct way to do this. I can ask for help from an experienced beekeeper friend of mine, but he has no experience of TBHs. I'm in Italy and have found a chap who makes rather nice hives. The dimensions he uses are 43cmx80cm and the bars are 42.5cm. He can custom-make up to a point and I'm going to ask him to make my hives 1m long.
The Dadant brood box measures 45cmx38.5x33.8cm. I honestly don't know what to do for the best because I live in the middle of nowhere (in the Italian Apennines) and my mentor lives 25 minutes' drive away and is often busy with his own bees, so I can't call him every time I need to open the hives in the summer with the honey supers on, but I simply can't lift them on my own or take them down to the house. It's a nightmare and I wish I'd gone with my gut instinct at the start and got TBHs. Any ideas?
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Quality Top Bar Hives by Andrew Vidler

Conserving wild bees

Research suggests that bumble bee boxes have a very low success rate in actually attracting bees into them. We find that if you create an environment where first of all you can attract mice inside, such as a pile of stones, a drystone wall, paving slabs with intentionally made cavities underneath, this will increase the success rate.

Most bumble bee species need a dry space about the size a football, with a narrow entrance tunnel approximately 2cm in diameter and 20 cm long. Most species nest underground along the base of a linear feature such as a hedge or wall. Sites need to be sheltered and out of direct sunlight.

There is a spectacular display of wild bee hotels here

More about bumblebees and solitary bees here

Information about the Tree Bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum)

Barefoot Beekeeper Podcast

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See beekeeping books for details and links to ebook versions.