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Thread: Top bar hives

  1. #21
    Senior Member Mellifera Crofter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Top bar hives

    Quote Originally Posted by The Drone Ranger View Post
    I think it's fair to say though that big hives like the Glen hive needed brood spreading ... which is a skill in itself ...
    Ted Hooper describes brood spreading on pp107-108. I've never done that. All I do is to move a drawn comb to the side of the brood nest (in Nationals).
    Kitta
    Last edited by Mellifera Crofter; 01-11-2013 at 09:18 AM.

  2. #22

    Default Top bar hives

    My old mate did this year on year, his swarm control consisted of knocking Queen cells down.
    Maybe it was the times, the local mongrels at the time but he kept his Queens longer than me , he always had a good harvest ,plus he had very few swarms .
    All contra to the modern take on things!
    VM


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  3. #23

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    Hi Kitta

    When I am trying something new out I am never sure how it will go
    bees vary a lot in how they behave and local conditions as you know
    When you hear about Glenn hives etc what you seldom know much about is the bees they were using
    I think a lot of the time they were Italian X everything else and inclined to big colonies

    If I was lucky enough to have some wood for building a top bar hive I might go for a small box vertical type like Warre
    The Long Deep Hive has it's supporters and they become expert in a different beekeeping method
    Possibly fans may have started with co-operative bees and the right location
    Wee Willy is saying he suspects this matters quite a bit (in the previous post)
    The advantage of a long deep hive though is no lifting and easy access to the broodnest
    Checking for queen cells is tricky enough at the best of times.
    I can see that is easy on the Long Deep type
    Possibly you split the warre boxes and just look along the bottom for cells ?
    Plenty time to decide which though - the whole Winter
    Last edited by The Drone Ranger; 01-11-2013 at 11:03 AM.

  4. #24
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    Default

    Getting off topic now (what a surprise) but removing an outer frame and inserting a new frame in the centre of the brood nest, or a bar for that matter in a TBH, will expand the brood nest and get you some nice new comb to boot.
    As always timing is important so the brood doesn't get chilled.
    I would not do it just before a cold spell especially early in the season before a colony is near full strength.

  5. #25

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    Hi Jon
    That's an advantage for top bar then because if you stick an extra frame with foundation in the centre of a Smith hive you end up with two halves of a broodnest and often they get the notion to swarm

  6. #26
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    I do it with foundationless frames.
    There are a couple of threads on the site somewhere.
    They can draw wax from scratch, no foundation, and have it laid up with eggs within 48 hours.
    I do this to get drone comb but depending upon the time of the year and the state of the colony they will happily draw worker comb.

    comb-fishing line.jpg

  7. #27
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    Default

    One other pia with TBHs is closing the hive up. If you are trying to replace topbars together and your bees are agitated or anything but calm, it can be difficult to do it without squishing a few (lot) of bees. There are ways of getting round it - mainly shoving a piece of cardboard in the gap between bars to push bees away, (the card should be about 3/4 of a beespace thick )and then withdrawing the card and closing the bars together.

    Aggressive bees dislike it intensely.:-(

  8. #28

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    Hi Jon
    I did a few fishing line ones this year using (60lb shock leader for shore casting)
    They did draw drone comb but they did it fast and made a good job
    I think wee willy might have more info on the brood spreading but as I understand it the theory is to keep moving the frames with the youngest brood and larva to the centre of the broodnest and trying to get a rugby ball shaped nest. Drawn combs can be placed beside the young larva and the queen moves on to them quickly laying them up.
    I don't know if that is needed with Long Deep Hives or not though

    Hi madasafish do you do any spreading of the brood in the top bar hive ?

  9. #29
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    If you take a frame from the outside of the brood nest with a tiny amount of brood on it and move it to the middle of the nest they will expand the patch of brood pretty quickly towards the outside of the frame.
    30lb monofilament line is what I have been using. Given that Top bar hive natural comb is not strengthened at all, I guess that is sufficient.
    Better than spreading the brood to accelerate build up is to remove a frame of small larvae and replace it with a frame of sealed brood about to hatch. (from another colony) No chance of chilling that way.

  10. #30

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    The 60lb was just for thickness really not strength
    I recommend "Greased Weasle" shock leader
    (Fat and grippy it wont pull through the comb under stress)
    That's my advertising slogan

    On the whole I think the bees prefer a broodnest which is like a rugby ball pointy end downwards and that's why on those big brutes like the Glenn they had to mess around reshaping it.

    Do you use the brood adding/shifting technique on your cell raisers etc Jon

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