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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    374

    Default Advice on taking off supers

    Inspected my main hive for the first time since Winter.

    Starting from the bottom, it is a shallow, deep, queen, excluder, and two mediums.

    The two mediums are all capped honey. I'm definitely going to pull and extract the top medium.

    The bottom "brood shallow" had some uncapped honey, a little bit of pollen, and very few bees on it. So I placed it on top of the deep so the bees can move up into it.

    Questions:

    1) Should I pull off both mediums and extract them? I'm a little worried about a cold snap coming and the bees not having enough food. The other issue is that the bee population is kind of low, and they really aren't covering all the comb. If I pull off just one of the mediums and then place frames with empty comb (which I have in storage), do I risk the bees not being able to cover them? I noticed quite a few SHB, but nothing completely out of control. Am I best off, pulling both mediums, then placing the 1 medium with empty comb, and then just carefully watching and placing another empty super as the population builds?

    Sorry this is do discombobulated.

    Btw, I am North Texas and the 10 day forecast has the lows in the 50s.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Pinehurst, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    226

    Default Re: Advice on taking off supers

    It sounds like you certainly have an interesting set up. Shallows aren't really popular for bottom brood chambers. Also, your post seems to suggest that you left the queen excluder on all winter. This is a big no no. The queen has to be able to move with the cluster during the cold months or they will never move on to higher stores (could be why your surviving numbers are small). If your colony population is low then just remove one medium of your capped honey and don't replace it with anything for now. Empty comb isn't going to do them any good until their numbers recover.
    ...This, and my heart, and all the Bees
    Which in the Clover dwell.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    374

    Default Re: Advice on taking off supers

    Yeah, that occurred to me the other day, hmmm, maybe I shouldn't have left on the queen excluder. I haven't used queen excluders in the past, I inherited this one, so good to know that info. I was actually scared that the queen was dead, but I saw larvae, so I think I am good. I am planning on requeening however.

    I inherited this hive from my father, I don't know why he had a brood shallow. He's done all kinds of strange things, including another hive that I inherited from him, which has a deep with top-bars (no frames).

    Thanks for the advice.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,486

    Default Re: Advice on taking off supers

    If you have a little flow going on now you could go ahead and extract the supers. The bees should also have a little honey stored below the QE to carry them over a little cold snap. If you have a flow starting, extract and put the supers back on the same day.

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