putting bees from a national into a top-bar

I am still waiting for a break in the weather and a bit more warmth to transfer one of my colonies, currently in a national hive into my new top-bar . I have had them on brood and a half with no queen excluder so much of their store is in the super. My intention was to move across brood frames only ( the top-bar is shaped to accommodate these) but I am worried that in doing so I will deprive them of food . I have a feeder and hope that if the weather warms they will have plenty of opportunity to forage. I would be really grateful for any tips in making the transfer.

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3 Responses to putting bees from a national into a top-bar

  1. simplebees says:

    Despite the cool weather my bees at Kencot are flying well in the gaps between the rain and bringing in nectar and pollen in quantity. I’m guessing yours will be doing likewise. If so, they should soon replace any stores. I would be more concerned about finding brood in the shallow box, which would need to be moved across.

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    • susiehelm says:

      Thank you for the advice. I looked in Phil’s book and made the transfer yesterday. There was indeed brood in the super but I still treated it as a five frame nuc and it all went much more smoothly than expected. I have to say it would probably have been less straight forward had I not been able to find the queen. The bees were remarkably well tempered considering the massive disruption and were all going in and out of the new hive within an hour.

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  2. itsonlyausername says:

    Being a total amateur here I was going to suggest reading the advice given by Phil Chandler in his book ‘The Barefoot Beekeeper’ from page 82 onwards. It covers the main aspects of transferring the bees from a nuc or package into a top bar and gives a few tips to make it easier. It is available from the Biobees website for a fee (can’t remember how much as I bought it and the one on swarming and swarm management as well quite some time ago) and you can download it straight away for instant access to the information instead of buying a hard copy and waiting for delivery. However having never been involved with dealing with a nuc before I cannot speak from personal experience. That is something I will have to deal with when the time arrives sometime in the next couple of months probably.
    Also as Simplebees says the bees are flying and even during the rain. They are certainly in massive numbers in my garden. However these are all wild bees (Bumbles, masons etc) so I cannot again quote from experience as to what the domestic bees are doing.
    Hope this helps?

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