The Warre Beehive
I currently have 3 Langstroth hives (3rd season coming up) and I would like to try the TBH.
Any suggestions as to how one would “split” the Langstroth hive in order to introduce bees to a TBH?
I can think of two ways to split a colony which is currently in a Langstroth Hive into a Kenya Top Bar Hive, or KTBH. Click here for more information, including videos, about KTBH management.
I would construct the Top Bar Hive in such a way as to accept some frames from the Langstroth. You could then place some frames of honey and brood from the Langstroth in the TBH alongside some simple top bars. When the colony becomes established, the Langstroth frames could be moved withing the hive to the outside of the main nest and eventually removed.
The other way to do this would be to insert some bars from the KTBH in the Langstroth when it I building up. The bees will build combs on the top bars in the same way they would in a top bar hive. These could then be transferred to the TBH when the time came to split them.
In fact special custom made Langstroth frames, which have a triangle wedge cross section on top where the bees will draw out their comb, are available from The BackYardHive. These cal also be used to add a super to a top bar hive to get the best of both the TBH and the ‘conventional’ stacked hive.
The Warre Hive comes to mind. This is a type of hive which in most respects is like a Langstroth Hive, but uses top bars only rather than a full frame.
I hope this helps.
The Bee Guy