Since I’ve written many posts about Taranov splits, I’m not going to belabor the whys and hows. Still, I’m always amazed that it works so well. For me, it is the best way to split into non-compatible equipment. In this case, I was splitting a top-bar hive into a Langstroth.
I had thought this hive wasn’t very strong until I was working in the garden and heard the distant hum of a hive preparing to swarm. I checked all my other hives first, found nothing, and then checked the top-bar hive. Sure enough, the bees were restless and darting. Luckily, it started to rain, but I knew I would have to split as soon as the sun reappeared.
If you want more specific information on how to do a Taranov split, I’ve listed some prior posts at the end of this one.
I keep changing the fabric I use to hold the swarm. This was an old terrycloth towel that I cut and stapled to the underside of the ramp. It worked well, but I should have used more staples. Quite a few bees got between the board and the fabric. © Rusty Burlew.
I measure the divide between ramp and landing board to four inches. In this photo the hive opening is stuffed with rags to keep them inside—they were itching to swarm. © Rusty Burlew.
Now I tape the sheet onto the board and add staples. Tape alone has come loose and staples alone have ripped the fabric, so now I use both. © Rusty Burlew.
I shook each top-bar over the sheet, but if they had swarm cells, I used a brush. Unfortunately, I didn’t always see all the swarm cells under the bees. Here there are two cells on one side and one on the other. © Rusty Burlew.
I use two picnic benches set parallel to each other as a hanging rack. I pull one bar at a time, shake it, then hang it. © Rusty Burlew.
I found sixteen capped swarm cells, and two uncapped. I cut some of the cells off to add to the new split, since I don’t know where the queen went. © Rusty Burlew.
Before I was done shaking frames, the bees were already marching up the ramp. © Rusty Burlew.
I took this photo just after shaking the last frame. © Rusty Burlew.
I had the sheet to one side of the hive and the benches on the other. I usually arrange it differently, but a load of cordwood was recently dumped right where I needed to work. © Rusty Burlew.
This is what I call the “great divide.” The swarming bees cluster under the ramp and the foragers return to the original hive only four inches away. © Rusty Burlew.
A good-sized cluster hangs from the ramp. To get it into the Langstroth, I just pick up the whole ramp and bang it into the top box. I use an empty box on top of a full deep, which acts like a funnel to get them in. I was working alone, so I have no photos of that process. © Rusty Burlew.
I wasn’t sure if that cluster at the peak comprised swarmers or stayers, so I brushed it into the Langstroth as well. They will go wherever they want, but I gave them an option. © Rusty Burlew.
Here is the Langstroth ready to move. I used inner covers on the top and bottom, taped shut with no openings. Strapped together, it was easy to put in the wheelbarrow. © Rusty Burlew.
At home in my messy garden (I’m working on that). I gave them a feeder, a frame of honey, and a few capped queen cells. © Rusty Burlew.
How to prevent swarms with a Taranov board
The great divide: a taranov split
Details of the Taranov split
A toast to Taranov