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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Economy, Indiana
    Posts
    54

    Default Ready to super - didn't expect to this year!

    I have two 10 frame hives that were started with 4 frame nucs from Purdue on May 29th. Both hives are at least 80% drawn in the second deep with brood and honey. Things have moved faster than I thought they would. I have fed continuously with boardman feeders. I started with one at the entrance, now I have two in the top. They are emtying 2 quarts per hive each day and would take more if I gave it to them. I always doubted I would have honey to harvest this year, but I think I should remove the feeders and put supers on this weekend.

    My equipment came from a doctor friend who had stored it in very nice condition for several years. He never had disease problems when he was using it in the early 90's. I have 5 empty shallow supers with 9 frames each. Two have nice clean drawn comb and the other three don't have foundation. I have wax foundation on hand. I have excluders, but right now I don't think I will use them.

    1) Assuming it is best to use the supers with drawn comb, should I stay with 9 frames or go to 10?
    2) Would you mix in some frames of new foundation, saving some drawn frames in the event another super is needed later?
    3) If I use all the drawn frames now, should I convert the other 9 frame supers to 10 frames when I install foundation?
    4) What is the likelyhood I should save any honey from supers for winter feed rather than extract it? I am in east central Indiana.
    5) I don't plan to wire the new foundation. Is this a mistake? I'm interested in foundationless, but will probably wait until later.

    Thanks for any help. This forum occupies way too much of my time, but it sure is great.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    18

    Smile Re: Ready to super - didn't expect to this year!

    I always doubted I would have honey to harvest this year, but I think I should remove the feeders and put supers on this weekend.
    If you want honey, take the feed away before you super or you will have sugar syrop honey.


    My equipment came from a doctor friend who had stored it in very nice condition for several years. He never had disease problems when he was using it in the early 90's.
    That he knew of.

    1) Assuming it is best to use the supers with drawn comb, should I stay with 9 frames or go to 10?
    As 10 different beeks, get 10 different opinions. IMO go with 9
    2) Would you mix in some frames of new foundation, saving some drawn frames in the event another super is needed later?
    I would not mix and match, go with either new or old, that way you wont mix them up if you change your mind later
    3) If I use all the drawn frames now, should I convert the other 9 frame supers to 10 frames when I install foundation?
    I would try to stay uniform throughout as it will lessen the need to have special setups for you or others who help you to remember
    4) What is the likelyhood I should save any honey from supers for winter feed rather than extract it? I am in east central Indiana.
    Depends how much they gather. If they make 200lbs you could certainly take some. Trying to guess in the middle of July how much they will have by the end of August is tricky.
    5) I don't plan to wire the new foundation. Is this a mistake? I'm interested in foundationless, but will probably wait until later.
    In my experience I have had good luck with the foundationless. The bees seem to build it out quicker fill it up quicker and they seem to like it better. Again it is a matter of personal opinion. If you have 100 hives and need to use an extractor, wired or plastic foundation is good for ease of use and durability, if you have 1-20 hives and are doing a crush and strain or something of that nature then use the foundationless. If you have access to borrow or rent an extractor then you must choose.

    Just my two cents :-)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Snohomish, Washington
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Ready to super - didn't expect to this year!

    I put supers on my two first year hives about 3 weeks ago. I was waiting for them to build up enough and to draw out the two deeps they had. After 2 weeks, even though there were bees "up" in the supers they hadn't even started to draw them out. I thought maybe I had missed my opportunity. Then today I went in both hives, and they not only have one super 90% drawn and the other 60% drawn, but they've filled them pretty well already with honey. They have also finally drawn out the last few frames in the deeps and filled them in with honey. All that in about a week. All my frames are new Pierco plastic. I am beginning to believe that when the bees need to do something, they'll just do it. These girls obviously needed to store some nectar in a hurry.
    Oh..and I already added a 2nd super to the one hive and the second hive should be ready for a 2nd by this time next week.
    Last edited by rickomatic; 07-10-2009 at 06:54 PM. Reason: added content

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,649

    Default Re: Ready to super - didn't expect to this year!

    you mention 2 10 frame hives You and I are roughly the same latitude..... I would not go into winter with just one deep full...... I would want a deep and a medium at teh least and I shoot for 2 deeps......

    Exceptions for one who wants to over winter nucs and plans that way, but a bare hive alone and unatended will need more than 1 deep.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Economy, Indiana
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Ready to super - didn't expect to this year!

    Charlie,
    Sorry I was not too clear. Each hive is 2 deep. The top body is 80-90% drawn and the bottom is that or more. Since I'm coming up on two full deeps per hive, I assumed it is time for a super. I guess I'm just wondering where I will go from there.
    Thanks,
    Ken

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,649

    Default Re: Ready to super - didn't expect to this year!

    no problem,,, yup your ready for a super! COOL!!!!!!!!!!! when its done or partialy done as tehy may not fill it completly, take it all!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Economy, Indiana
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Ready to super - didn't expect to this year!

    Charlie,
    Have to admit that even though I never thought I'd be eating my own honey this year, now that it seems like a possibility I get more excited about it every day. It's bound to be the sweetest honey anyone ever took. Just can't help but feel like maybe everything this year should go to those who have worked so hard for it.
    Ken

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,694

    Default Re: Ready to super - didn't expect to this year!

    3) If I use all the drawn frames now, should I convert the other 9 frame supers to 10 frames when I install foundation?

    Yes. If you put 9 frames of foundation in a 10 frame box, you are asking for burr and cross combs. If the comb is already drawn, you can get away with 8 or 9 frames in a honey super. If you have undrawn frames, put 10 frames in and squeeze them tightly together.

    5) I don't plan to wire the new foundation. Is this a mistake? I'm interested in foundationless, but will probably wait until later.

    The main purpose of the wire is to prevent the wax foundation from sagging in the heat until the bees get it drawn out. If it sags you get wavy or funky combs.

    Why wait to do foundationless? Cut a strip of foundation an inch wide, and use it as a starter strip on your frames. You don't have to worry about wiring, and you don't have to worry about wavy comb.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,649

    Default Re: Ready to super - didn't expect to this year!

    Ken, in my experiance about 1/2 the new hives make some surplus... almost never a full super, but some.....

    I didn't answer your question about foundation..... I would use it in the honey super if your going to extract with power of any sort. Foundationless is great for crush and strain. This late in the year you probably won't get full frames in teh honey supers.. Full frames extract fine without foundation, but partials just break and make a mess......


    I switched to foundationless in most of my brood boxes this year and love it so far, it draws faster (although not as pretty)..... but my honey supers are stilll pierco......(and a few wax)......

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