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National to Topbar

 
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Cathryn



Joined: 16 Jul 2005
Posts: 19830
Location: Ceredigion
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 14 11:06 am    Post subject: National to Topbar  Reply with quote    

I have been offered a nuc of bees, six frames in a proper box, in that it can be safely secured to travel the few miles to my home.

I had been planning on doing a shook swarm and then cutting the wired comb and attaching it onto the topbars.

They are not being fed so that they will fill the frames with stores but I will need to start feeding them when they arrive. I am trying to find a good sunny spot that isn't constantly visited by badgers.

It all sounded fine until the reality of actually getting the bees! Although I had bees for a time a couple of years ago I now feel completely ignorant, I cannot remember the names associated with national hives but I'm really determined not to hand it all over to my friend and bee mentor. (really )

I am wondering about leaving them in their travelling box for a few days or just get on and do this on Sunday evening when they arrive. I am then away for a few days which is probably a good thing as they will be left alone to settle in (or leave ).

Any helpful advice will be appreciated.

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8407
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 14 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I would leave them for a few days regardless, to let them orientate to their new surroundings, as long as they aren't at risk of being overcrowded & swarming.
Put them where you want your top bar hive to be & if possible have the entrance of the nuc about the same height as the TBH.
Then move the nuc a few feet away & put the TBH in its place, this way the flying bees will be going to the TBH not the nuc so less stressful for you.
IMHO taking one or two of the frames without brood & cutting & tying them to a top bar first would be best. 1. you get to practise on the less important frames & 2. Having a bar with comb in the TBH before you shake or brush the bees in will give them something to climb onto.
Once the comb is cut from the frame handle with care, rotating it the wrong way will cause breakages & make more work for you & the bees.
Have a couple of hessian sacks or something similar so you can cover both hives whilst you work on the individual frames, if the bees are exposed for to long they may get scratchy.
If they do, cover them & go & have a cup of tea before resuming.
Work slowly & try to avoid squashing any bees.
Watch a few you tube videos on chop & crop transfer & TBHs Outofabluesky is an American bee keeper that has posted many useful videos. Sure he's covered transfer from frames to bars.
Good luck.



Cathryn



Joined: 16 Jul 2005
Posts: 19830
Location: Ceredigion
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 14 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thank you! I have been looking at Phil Chandlers videos but this way sounds a bit more relaxed.

Cathryn



Joined: 16 Jul 2005
Posts: 19830
Location: Ceredigion
PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 14 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Apparently I am having two nucs. That means both sides of the topbar will be filled.

*must stay calm, it's all going to be alright*

Cathryn



Joined: 16 Jul 2005
Posts: 19830
Location: Ceredigion
PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 14 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Has anyone kept bees in both sides of a topbar? Tavs?

Cathryn



Joined: 16 Jul 2005
Posts: 19830
Location: Ceredigion
PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 14 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Sorted.

pookie



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 4984
Location: Mid-Wales
PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 14 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

cool!!

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8407
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 14 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Cathryn wrote:
Has anyone kept bees in both sides of a topbar? Tavs?
There's no reason why not but they will build combs fast so you might want to build another hive pronto.

Cathryn



Joined: 16 Jul 2005
Posts: 19830
Location: Ceredigion
PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 14 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I decided that as well. I am borrowing a national from the Society. If they stay with me until next Spring I can decide then what sort of hive to transfer them to.

I picked up the two nucs this evening.

Cathryn



Joined: 16 Jul 2005
Posts: 19830
Location: Ceredigion
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 14 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Tavascarow wrote:
Cathryn wrote:
Has anyone kept bees in both sides of a topbar? Tavs?
There's no reason why not but they will build combs fast so you might want to build another hive pronto.


They certainly have! I transferred over just a few bars and kept the space they were in small so it wouldn't be too difficult for them to keep it warm overnight. That was a week ago. Today I checked them briefly and added three more bars. They looked quite squashed! I can see it's going to be a fiddle getting them onto the top bars as I can't get the bee space quite right with a mix of bars.

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8407
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 14 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Cathryn wrote:
Tavascarow wrote:
Cathryn wrote:
Has anyone kept bees in both sides of a topbar? Tavs?
There's no reason why not but they will build combs fast so you might want to build another hive pronto.


They certainly have! I transferred over just a few bars and kept the space they were in small so it wouldn't be too difficult for them to keep it warm overnight. That was a week ago. Today I checked them briefly and added three more bars. They looked quite squashed! I can see it's going to be a fiddle getting them onto the top bars as I can't get the bee space quite right with a mix of bars.

The clover & bramble are blooming. This is the main flow & in nature a swarm would not only have to gather enough nectar to feed itself now, but also through the winter, & produce enough new bees to do the same.
That requires a lot of comb.

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