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Top bar split into Warre hive


#1

Hello. I am now into my 2nd year beekeeping. My first year was with one Beethinking top bar hive, and I now have one of your Warre hives. It looks like my top bar bees will be strong enough to make a split this year, but I am not sure how to best do this into a Warre hive. Any suggestions? Thanks!

Larry


#2

I inspected my top bar hive today, and have drones and queen cells. I have expanded the hive and spaced a couple of empty bars near the end of hive, which may delay a swarm, but it looks like it is still imminent. I think it would be a great time for a divide. In the meantime, I am putting together a biodegradable pot swarm trap to hopefully catch them if they do swarm. I plan to bait the trap with lemongrass oil (as I did my Warre hive), but I don’t have any old comb to use. Any ideas on how to do a divide into my Warre hive? Am I better off just trying to catch the swarm? Please help!

Larry


#3

Larry,

Sorry for the delayed response.

You’re definitely better off catching the swarm from the top bar hive and pouring it into the Warre hive. Otherwise you’ll have to cut their combs apart and try and fit them into the smaller box of the Warre – not a fun process.

When you set up your bait hive, try and do it pretty far from the top bar hive – a hundred yards at least if possible. Otherwise they aren’t likely to move to it.

Best,

Matt


#4

Matt,

When you say set up the bait hive at least 100 yards away, do you mean my empty Warre hive (with lemongrass oil), or the swarm trap, or both? I found a swarm trap design similar to I have seen of yours, using two biodegradable flower pots, adding lemongrass oil and old comb if you have some (I don’t), screwing them together, and hoisting it up by a rope over a high tree limb. I have one area to the southeast and one to the northwest of my top bar hive, each 75-100 yards away, where I can set the swarm trap and easily check it. If I set up my Warre hive farther away, can I move it back if bees find it? Perhaps I should even make two swarm traps. Thanks for all of your help, and happy Easter to everyone!

Larry


#5

Larry,

Whichever hive you’re attempting to bait the bees into should be 100 yards from the active hive (the one they swarm out of). And the more bait hives you hang up/set out, the better your chances!

The only problem with the flower pots is if you don’t notice bees in them for a few days. They can build combs QUICKLY and you may find that they fill up your flower pot with beautiful comb that you must destroy when you attempt to move them to your actual hive.

Best,

Matt