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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Atlanta, GA USA
    Posts
    189

    Default how long do you keep the wet supers on?

    I harvested our first crop (second year beekeeping) of 100 pounds of honey from 3 supers of one hive. I put the wet supers back to the hive (on top of the inner cover) for the bees to clean them up. The question is: how long does it take them to dry them up? A day later I peaked in and the top super was full of bees. Will they go down after they are done cleaning the super? I also noticed several bees trying to get under the cover--not sure if they are robbers or not. I added a second inner cover under the top cover to prevent the bees trying to get in from the top. Other than that, the traffic in the entrace of the hive is normal. Thanks a lot,
    Stavros

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    White County, Arkansas
    Posts
    874

    Default Re: how long do you keep the wet supers on?

    Two years ago I left them on until the fall flow, three hives had enough bees to take care of them and refill them with goldenrod, aster and such. Last year I left them on a week and they were done, checked them every couple days. I spoke with a member of one of the clubs I'm a member of and they said the harvested frames were being refilled after it was thought the flow was over. I would just check them every couple days and if needed fume board them to get them out of the supers.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,658

    Default Re: how long do you keep the wet supers on?

    Keep an eye on them, i put some wet supers on and i had some robbing going on. I usually leave them on for the aster and goldenrod, i have customers that beg me for fall honey and it makes good winter stores for the bees. Jack

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Post Falls, Idaho
    Posts
    166

    Default What are wet supers?

    I have not heard this term before.

    Thanks,

    Soapy

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Waukesha County, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: What are wet supers?

    Quote Originally Posted by rmdial View Post
    I have not heard this term before.

    Thanks,

    Soapy
    They are the supers with frames after extracting. Jack's right! Once a neighbor gets a whiff of that cured honey, all neighborly cooperation goes right out the window, as I can unfortunately attest to!

    BB

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: how long do you keep the wet supers on?

    Because of the shb I now let the bees do the cleaning away from the hive so that there are plenty of bees to cover the brood frames

    Mick

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Atlanta, GA USA
    Posts
    189

    Default Re: how long do you keep the wet supers on?

    Thank you for your comments. SHB is an issue in Atlanta, but I was very pleased to see that this year this strong hive was essentially free of SHB: there were none in the 3 supers that I extracted, and only a few in the inner cover when I opened it up to extract. So, the hive is doing well. Having said that, SHB population accelerates in July in Atlanta, which is why I do not want to leave all 3 supers on for the fall flow. My idea is to have the bees clean them up, and then leave 1 on for the fall flow, and if it fills, then add another one.
    Currently, the hive looks like this:

    3 wet supers
    Inner cover
    1 super (filled with capped honey, for the bees)
    2 deeps (brood nest)

    and I am thinking after the clean-up to have it look like this:

    1 super (to be filled)
    1 super (filled with capped honey, for the bees)
    2 deeps (brood nest)

    From what you are saying, I gather I should wait for about a week to see if they clean up the supers. If they are still on them after a week, I'll have to see if they plan to clean them up or to start refilling them (with what)?

    Stavros

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Bradenton, FL
    Posts
    135

    Default Re: how long do you keep the wet supers on?

    What do you do with the supers after the bees clean them out?

    I hadn't thought about this as it is my first year keeping bees. I'll be extracting three shallow supers in about one month and plan to put them back on the hive for the bees to clean...but won't they just fill it back up? If I take the supers off, are they ok to be stored in any dry place or will this lead to pest problems? If I leave the supers on through the winter (I'm mid-Florida) will this cause problems?

    Deb
    "Life is like riding a bike. It is impossible to maintain your balance while standing still."...Linda Brakeall

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: how long do you keep the wet supers on?

    Stavros, I have lost 2 hives to the shb after I put the wet supers back on the hive for cleaning. The girls went to the super to clean up making space in the brood chamber for the shb to lay eggs and thence the hatching of the larva, the destruction of the honey and the absconding of the colony. That is why I now do the clean up of the stickies away from the hive so that there is always a full workforce in the hive to control the shb.

    The idea of having a strong hive with the frames fully covered with bees is to prevent the shb from laying.

    Once the shb are able to lay and the larva hatch it is a short time to the loss of the hive unless they can be controlled.

    Mick

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    752

    Default Re: how long do you keep the wet supers on?

    With no fall flow, I have to start feeding sugar water. What do others do- i just leave mine on for a few days
    karla

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Covington, Ga, USA
    Posts
    1,549

    Default Re: how long do you keep the wet supers on?

    Hey Stavros...you said SHB is an issue in Atlanta. This being your second year, did you get overrun with shb? I am curious because I am just south east of you and haven't seen the first SHB yet....I am very very thorough when i go through my hives and haven't seen the first problem with SHB. I will tell you that this hive will chase off even the smallest of ants on the landing board or anything else. I have the top propped open on my second deep and when you pull it off, you better pay attention because you will get butted a LOT.
    "You laugh at me because I am different, but I laugh at you because you are all the same."

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Chittenango,Ny (upstate)
    Posts
    309

    Default Re: how long do you keep the wet supers on?

    Stavros, Why do you need to leave a super of honey for rhe bees? I would think 2 deeps would be more that enough for winter stores in your area. We winter in 2 deeps here in the frozen north.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Atlanta, GA USA
    Posts
    189

    Default Re: how long do you keep the wet supers on?

    Thanks for your numerous comments, opinions and questions. Let me add some comments: I was told by some local beekeepers to be generous with our bees and leave them overwinter with 2 deeps and a super of honey. I have two hives, each with 2 deeps. One is a great second year hive that filled and capped 4 supers; I took 3 and left one. The other is a swarm from this spring, which also capped a super; left it for them, too. I know that this approach sounds very conservative: just think of leaving 60 pounds of honey in 2 supers, on top of the deeps, for them! On the other hand, this generosity seems to be paying off.

    I've asked a number of local beekeepers, too, and they recommend that I leave my 3 wet supers on for a week, and the bees will dry them out. After that, I am planning to leave them 1 of the 3 on, for a possible fall flow, and freeze and then store the remaining 2.

    Regarding treatments for mites/SHB, I do not use any chemicals for mite or SHB control, but I freeze dry frames before storage. Last year (my first year) I lost one of my two hives, but this year I was rewarded (or maybe I was just lucky).

    As far as SHB goes, last year I had a true infestation, partly because I left a top hive feeder for a month over the hives during July. That accelerated the SHB population, and one of my hives did not make it in the winter. However, this year the hives have been mostly free of SHB. So few (about 10 under the inner cover) when I opened the cover the other day, after a month of June of leaving them alone. So, I am optimistic that SHB will not be a problem for me this summer and fall.

    I have not done serious mite counts, and hope that a strong hive will take care of its mites and pests. Last fall I fed the bees syrup, but this summer/fall I will not be feeding at all. On the contrary, if they manage to fill a second super, then it's for me.

    Last year (my first year) I was very anxious about the bees. This year I am relaxed and happy with this minimalistic approach, and I know I will be loosing hives: very sad. But, the remaining ones will be strong, and full of rewards for me. And I can always catch a swarm or two in the spring! We'll see how it goes.

    Stavros

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