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3) i also see everyone saying that you should start with more than one hive, but everyone is sold out of bees an i can't really afford another setup right now anyway. I do, however, want to try making my own top bar hive. If i did is it possible to add bees later on in Spring or early summer? Does anyine sell them during this time?
I started late last summer with just one top bar hive. Found a local beekeeper who put the bars in his Lang hive to get the bees to draw out the comb on 4 of them before I brought them home. And then I fed them syrup all summer. I was very happy with the arrangement because it gave me time to become confident in what I was doing, without 60,000 bees to deal with. I will say a second hive will come in handy when you have issues that you really want to be able to "steal" a frame from. But if you have 1 Lang and 1 TBH, you won't be able to do much stealing unless your Lang is foundationless. So definitely get started with the one you have. Read, read, read. And then practice what you have read. Best advice the beekeeper gave me was "expect to lose your first hive". That set my expectations and gave me something to shoot for. They came out of winter just grand (and then had some queen issues in Feb, where I learned an awful lot thru observation).

and I really like my top bar hive kit that I bought from Beeline Apiaries. $165 including shipping and a metal gable roof.
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