One of my bee books says that empty shallow supers should be placed on top of full supers for extracted honey, but in the reverse order (empty supers directly on top of deeps) for comb honey production. What is the reason for this?
Thanks for your help.
The bees seem to be more willing to fill and cap honey directly over the brood nest. For comb honey you want it filled and capped and they seem to do this better in this position. This is not to say they won't do it with the empty one on top, it just depends on the honey flow and the mood of the bees.
Along with what Mike said. For cut comb honey
you want it as white and clean/clear as possible. By moving capped supers up and bottom supering, there is less bee traffic across capped combs and the comb stays cleaner. The cleaner the comb the lighter it appears in the jar. Sells better. Duane.
I'm interested in extracted honey. Is top supering just easier, or is there another reason for not putting honey supers directly on top of the brood chamber?
It more convenient to just add the next super on the top. I guess if your not inspecting anyways that might be the way to go. I use top entrances so top supering is just as easy and successful as the other.
Bottom supering I feel allows the bees to "find" the next super faster as you just split the area between the brood and the super they were last filling. Putting empty supers directly on top of the brood chamber will motivate them a little more.
You can also take into account the time of year and other factors in determining if they can in fact fill out another super. Late in the year I will add on top so if they run out of time and can not fill the next super, they will usually fill one before going to the next.
Drawing comb, early extracting, late extracting, leaving supers on over winter, etc, will also sometimes determine which way you want to go.
I agree with Bjorn. I only put them on top because I'm lazy. If I have reason to rearrange the hive (like checking the brood chamber) I'll put the empties on top of the brood chamber. Well, if I can lift the full ones that high, I do.