I need some advice. I bought a top bar hive a couple of months ago. Where I live it is difficult to buy a ‘package of bees’, so we ended up populating the hive with a nuc from a Langstroth hive. We cut 4 Langstroth combs in half and attached each one to a top bar. The nuc had a strong brood and came with quite a few bees.
Over the 4-5 weeks since the bees where introduced into the hive, they have been very busy. I opened the hive today for the first time - they have built comb all the way to the back of the hive. However, the combs is all fairly mixed, with the top 1/3 being capped honey and the bottom 2/3 being brood comb.
I am worried about the bees running out of room and swarming. Most people recommend harvesting a few combs for honey to give the bees room to build new comb. But, I have no combs with only honey.
I decided to remove a few combs today - two of the original combs that came from the Langstroth hive. I lost some brood in the process, but it gave the bees some space and I got rid of some of the original combs (with plastic backing), which I wanted to do anyway. After I removed the 2 bars, I slid the whole hive forward to try to encourage the brood to stay in the front of the hive. Hopefully they will built new honeycomb in the back, on the new empty bars, and fill them with honey. I may need to remove a few more bars from the front again soon, depending how things look over the next week or so.
Does this seem like a reasonable approach to you? Any other suggestions? Is it normal to have so much mixed comb through the whole hive?
Thanks for your time. I’m excited to learn about the bees, but I’m new at this and few people in my area have top bar hives to give me advice.