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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All. I am a total newbie and in need of a little help. When I heard a friend of mine had a huge bee swarm in her tree I decided it was finally time to take the plunge and get in to beekeeping. In about two hours I threw together a very nice top bar hive using scrap wood I had laying around.

After heroically cutting the swarm down from a high branch and shaking it in to the hive I took my new hobby home. My concern is that I may have captured too large of a swarm for my hive. My hive measures 22" long and 17" Wide. It has seventeen 17" X 1-1/4" top bars. My hive dimensions were designed to utilize my available materials as well as possible.

Any advice from the pros about how many bees is too many? What to do if that is the case. Or am I just worrying too much? I am posting a picture of the swarm to give you an idea of just how many bees I have.
 

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Now under normal circumstances, I would say there is no such thing as too many bees but :shock: wow, that is some nice sized swarm! :thumbsup: :mrgreen:
I guess if you're going to have a problem getting started in beekeeping, this is the one to have! :lol:
My advice? Build a second hive, order a second queen, and then start calling your yard "Darren's Apiary"
Congratulations!
 

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Another option would be. IMHO I think it will balance out on its own. Most of the bees in the swarm are forager bees.
They dont have a long life span left. They need to start building comb in the top bar hive before the queen can lay. Then there is another 21 days before they hatch. Im thinking this is a good problem to have and will work itself out in time. I would much rather have a large swarm than a small any day of the week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks both of you for the replies. Riverrat, I like your idea more because it sure sounds a lot easier.

I did have another thought. If I were to build a new larger hive and transfer them would it be worth my time. Would this end up getting me more bees/honey or just a big hive with the same amount of bees/honey. Are there any advantages to having one big hive or two smaller hives? I'm just trying to decide how to go about managing this exciting new addition to my home that I was thrust in to slightly prematurely.
 

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There are pros and cons to each. The best thing to do is read up as much as possible and figure out which better suits the style of beekeeping you choose to pursue. I can say one large populated hive will produce more honey than 2 small hives with roughly the same amount of bees if you was to combine the 2 small hives.
 

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I would leave them be in the new top bar, the more the merrier for drawing out comb. You will be amazed at how fast comb will be drawn out. I would not bother them for a couple of days to let them get settled in, could abscond if bothered too much.
 

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As many as you can stuff into that box. You have about 30 days until they can produce their first issue of brood. the larger number of older bees will dwindle pretty quickly. it is a case (large number of bees) where a bit of foundation or starter strips would have been of considerable value.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Would it be a good idea for me to construct a feeder until they are established? How exactly should I build a feeder? I seem to recall something about sugar water in a tin can...
 

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you might try posting your feeding question in our top bar hive section of the forum. I would suggest feeding them but I havent had any experience with a top bar hive.
 
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