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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    122

    Default Why not add all supers in spring, at once?

    If you are committed to regular hive inspections, are there any other reasons why you would not want to add all the supers expected to be used at once early in the season?
    Would you not both (A)have less swarms, and (B)actually get a bit more honey?
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Clinton, Illinois
    Posts
    95

    Default

    If you have supers that already have drawn comb (extracted from the previous year), yes you can throw them all on. If you're talking about new/unused foundation, then you only want to add one at a time. Add the next one when the previous is about 80% full.

    This may me an overly simplistic explanation, but it's my understanding that it relates to space management by the bees. If you give them too much space, bees get stressed out and perhaps spend more time in a defensive behavior instead of making honey?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Oxford, Kansas
    Posts
    1,988

    Default

    Be careful adding all your supers for the year at once. It may work out but there are some problems that can happen. The queen might end up stove piping on you and lay clear up into the top super. Another possibility is if there is not enough bees to protect the extra space wax moths and SHB may become a problem. I usually add one super to get them started once they have a good amount of nectar in the first then I stack on what I think will be enough to get them thru the flow. IMO this helps trigger there hoarding instinct fooling them into thinking they need more stores.
    Last edited by riverrat; 07-27-2008 at 07:22 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,120

    Default

    If the hive is good and strong and NEEDS more room, then a stack of empty supers is usually manageable for them. But they have to keep them cool (so they don't melt), patrol them for wax moths and small hive beetles, so giving too many to a weak hive is a bad idea.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Niles, Michigan USA
    Posts
    167

    Default

    Adding supers too early in the year also makes it tough for them to keep the brood warm at night. Your queen can lay like the mother she is, yet the population keeps going down. Don't ask me how I know...
    Kevin
    Milton Township, Michigan (near South Bend, Indiana)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tulare County, CA USA
    Posts
    1,380

    Default

    If you pile on a bunch of supers and sit back and wait for the girls to fill them, you are sure to be dissapointed when they are not full at the end of the season. I like to wait until the last minute just before they run out of room and then pat myself on the back because I must be doing something right if they actually need another super... Unfortunatly they won't all need another super.

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