I am a bit confused about brood chambers and honey supers. You'll have to excuse my newness at this as I have just started.
I purchased my bees for 2 hives. Each starter kit came with 4 frames which i placed in the boxes and then added extra empty frames. Now about 5 weeks later, I have added an extra small super on the one hive as it seemed to be overflowing with bees (at capacity) and the other one is about ready for a super as well.
What should I do next? Keep adding honey supers? If I expanded the brood chamber how would I do it?
Should I expect to harvest any honey this year or leave it all for wintering?
I am keen and eager to learn
Hi Paul I Am,
Since you live in Ontario, I would suggest that you set your hives up like we do here in Maine. I find that it is best to overwinter your hives in 2 deep brood chambers. This will give them plenty of room for the queen to raise brood during the honeyflow and during the fall/winter, it will allow the bees to have 60-70 lbs. of honey to survive on. Generally speaking, honey supers are smaller and that is for one BIG reason... If you try to use deeps for honey harvesting, you'd better have a strong back. A full medium super can weigh 40-45 lbs. That's plenty for most backs to carry.
I'd suggest that you try to install another deep brood chamber between your existing deep and the super. Wait until the existing boxes are both drawn out and then add the deep. This will give the bees plenty of space for bee raising and overwinter storage. The bees will probably move the stores from the super down into the new deep as it is drawn out and needed. After the deep is fully drawn out and active, take a look at the super and see if you may be able to harvest some honey from it. First, make sure that your bees will be able to overwinter with at least 60-70 lbs.
Hope this helps,
How many deep boxes for a brood chamber do you have on the hives? Don't harvest any honey yet as you may need it for winter.
>What should I do next? Keep adding honey >supers? If I expanded the brood chamber how >would I do it?
I will answer this after you answer the above.
I have 1 deep brood chamber.
Thanks for your reply Paul.