honey bee management

A Taranov in time

No, I’m not going to write another lengthy post on Taranov splits, but I wanted to share some photos. The Taranov is my favorite way to split my top-bar hive because the bars don’t fit into my Langstroths. With the Taranov, I can move just bees and not equipment. Best of all, it is fun to watch.

Every year my top-bar hive yields swarms, queen cells, bees, brood—whatever I need at the moment. The bees moved in about four years ago from out of the sky—a July swarm. I don’t treat, feed, or harvest honey, but the hive is my first stop when I need bees. They’ve got awesome genetics.

The bees that overwinter the best in my apiary are offspring of this one feral colony. Go figure. And by the way, don’t believe that old adage, “A swarm in July ain’t worth a fly.” This puppy has served up queens and splits for four years now.

Last week, they were itching to swarm again, and when I checked, I found backfilling in the broodnest. So as soon as the rain stopped yesterday afternoon, I did the split. As of now, I don’t know where they queen is, but the top-bar hive is testier than the split so my guess is she went with the split. By and by, I will check for eggs and try to figure it out.

If you want to know more about this type of split, try these posts:



Just after I finished shaking the combs, the bees were already marching up the ramp.


The ones on the hive will go back in; the ones that collect under the ramp is the split.


A view of the four-inch divide between ramp and hive.


The terrycloth towel gives them something to hold on to.


After an hour I removed the sheet, which is mainly to keep them from getting lost in the grass.

Discover more from Honey Bee Suite

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.


    • James,

      Thanks. I was hoping to have someone take photos while I worked, but no such luck.

  • Can I ask how long your tbh is? I am new to them this year and was gifted two new 2 footers that I merged into one 48″ hive for fear of congestion pressure. Just wondering what your view on this. Thanks! I plan on digging through your Taranov links tonight.

    • Matt,

      My top-bar hive is 36″ long. I don’t know what the best length is, but my bees love this one. I’m sure a range of different sizes will work.

  • Great photos…! Thanks for sharing Rusty…I haven’t tried the Taranov split yet but it must be a thing of beauty to watch…!

    • Well, that was the plan. But the day we were going to do it, it rained in torrents. When it finally cleared, my husband (the one taking the video) had to go on a business trip. So it was just me and the bees and the dog who doesn’t do video.

  • Tim here, my queen arrived today via. 1st class mail any tips on to store here for two days until I can get her installed?
    I was thinking to keep her in the box at room temperature in the dark and dab of sugar water.

    • Tim,

      If new queens cannot be installed immediately, they need to be kept in a warm, dark, dry, draft-free environment. As I told you last time, give them water about twice a day by running your wet finger along the screen so some of the holes fill with water, but not too many. Make sure she has a candy plug.

      I love bees but beekeeping not so much.