28 May 2018

Transfer Top-bar Hive into Cathedral TopBar Hive

Using the Bailey comb transfer method of migrating bees out of an older hive and comb I am hoping that  this procedure will work to utilise my empty spare Cathedral hive and enable me to discard the flat topped standard TbH. The Cathedral hive has a window cut out of the base approx. 20"X 8".
5/8 inch diameter holes were first drilled between the bars so the bees have access to the hive above, much like a super added on top. During the set up, a towel was draped over the open holes and then a rectangle of 9mm ply laid in between with a window cut in it to match the window base of the TbH.
The upper hive has ten bars of foundation on and the remaining bars are left empty,  giving plenty of room for the whole colony to move upwards. 

Time expected for this to be accomplished is three to four weeks

The assembly is secured with rope and supported on a pair of IKEA trestles .

One month later and with no sign of bees migrating upwards. Instead they are sealing all gaps that allow their warmth to escape into the hive above.  Back to square one and my only option is now to transfer comb piece by piece into the new fully framed bars already prepared in anticipation.
The comb will be held temporarily in place with rubber bands until the bees have secured it in place. Not an operation to be undertaken lightly, but fortunately this colony is not aggressive or too defensive. Hopefully I shall find the queen and be able to cage her against any harm through this process.

The day chosen to carry out this move was hot. All was readied and the first three combs cleared of bees. The combs proved too heavy to be held onto the frames by rubber bands and the attempt was abandoned in favour of simply harvesting the honey. After over an hour in the sun I was dripping wet and quite unable to work in the apiery any longer.

The Cathedral hive is about ninety five percent larger by volume than the flat top hive underneath

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