I hived my 2lb. pack. on April 24.
10 days later they had fully drawn out 4 frames out of 9. Should I put a super on after all the frames are drawn out or should I just put another brood chamber on top and not expect to get any honey this year?
Also I've been feeding them 50\50 sugar syrup
they are eating 2 quarts a day is this good.
Louisiana Thanks for any help NewBEE
I'm also new but I'll give you my thoughts anywas. I would add another brood chamber once the first is drawn out and not worry with trying to collect honey this year. It'll take a lot of calories to get the second brood chamber drawn out (thus further cutting into any honey stores), and 2# is going to have enough of a challenge building up for the winter. As long as they're drawing out comb, it's probably a good idea to keep feed available as long as they're taking it, though they'll probably switch to nectar when there's a good flow on. If they're super-enthusiastic and fill the second brood chamber with stores, then would be the time to go ahead and add a super (if they're doing well you might go ahead and add the super once the second set of frames are drawn out in order to get some drawn comb for next year even if you don't use it this year). If they fill that and have plenty of stores of their own, you should be able to harvest it.
First and foremost, WELCOME ABOARD!!!!
Having said that, I would advise putting on a second brood chamber but wait until the bees have drawn out at least six out of the nine frames. If you just installed a package you will not have your first "emergence" of new bees for about 21 days, so you will loose a few bees before the population starts to build up. You want the bees to focus laterally before they move up, put a brood chamber on now and they may not draw all the frames in the bottom chamber. If you put a super on top of just one brood chamber the queen will use this to produce brood anyway. I would guess in your area that the honey season it probably longer than ours so you should have time to add a super sometime after you add the second brood chamber. Also keep feeding the bees until you are sure that there is plenty of natural nector coming into the hive. Remember, it takes about 3 pounds of honey to produce a pound of comb, so while they are building they are using a great amount of sugar/nector. I hope this helps answer your question.
Once again welcome, keep in touch and let us know how everything works out.
Thanks, will visit this board regularly.
I too was wondering if there is a rule of thumb out there considering adding supers. The first super I just plunk on top at the beginning of the season after I rotate my brood chambers. When do I add extra supers to the first super? I have noticed that if I add a super after the first one is fully drawn that the bees are rather spotty in filling. Should I let the bees fill the first before adding another?
Very much enjoying the format here! This is my new Favorite Bee place on the net!
George Imrie has written some tips about supering. Here are some of the links I turned up with quick browse as well as the link to the rest of his articles.
http://www.beekeeper.org/george_imirie/ http://www.beekeeper.org/george_imirie/april2001.html http://www.beekeeper.org/george_imirie/supering.html