Moving bees from TBH to Warré

My wife and I are considering moving our bees from a TBH to a Warré, simply to make room in our garden. What is the best way to do this? I can cut honeycomb and place it in the Warré but I’m not sure what approach to take with brood comb. The top bars of a standard TBH will be too long. Should I build a growdown converter box?

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3 Responses to Moving bees from TBH to Warré

  1. deweysanchez says:

    From what I have read the bees can be .. emmm… reticent to move down. There are a few options you could try none are 100% and it depend on whether or not you are keeping the top bar hive as well.

    1. Shook swarm: This is a one step method and will transfer your bees from one hive to the other. I recommend doing this in spring though when there is less brood. Much of comb will be empty so you can cut some off and attach to Warre top bars to help them stay put. Find the queen and cage her (queen clips can be brought on ebay for a few pounds and look like hair clips). Hang the queen in the warre hive. Comb by comb shake all the bees from the combs into a stack of two warre boxes (only have bars in the top box to start with). They will probably need feeding.

    2. Grow down or grow up. Making an adapter to allow the bees to grow down or up from the current bars into the new hive “can” work but the bees don’t really seem to play ball and you’ll still have bees stores and brood split across multiple hvie styles. In both case you will need “ladders” either comb or foundation (an inch wide is fine) spanning the vertical gap for the bees to travel over to “encourage” them.

    3. Bar insertion: Use cable ties/string or whatever to insert warre bars onto your TBH top bars to get them building some comb on them. You will need to remove them before they build too much. This is sometimes a good way of starting bars off anyway. Make sure they are inserted in the brood area as otherwise the comb size will be too large and the queen will lay drones on it. If brood get laid on the bars you could just do a split using the bars but then you have a TBH and a Warre.

    4. Adapter hive: Make an adapter hive, or convert one end of your TBH. Essentially you put a warre box on the end of the TBH hive with a large hole joining them together. Have the entrance at the warre end. In theory the queen will lay on the freshest comb so as the bees move horizontally into the warre box the queen will follow and lay. Once brood appears in the warre box drop a queen excluder between the two and super the warre box. Then as the brood leaves the TBH bars remove the bars and move the follower board in towards the warre. You could use this to convert backwards and fowards between the two.

    Best of luck.

  2. Paul says:

    Thank you. You obviously speak from experience. Valuable input, appreciate it.

  3. melbee says:

    On a similar theme how can I move bees from a 5 frame nuc into a Warre

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