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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    SPAIN - Alicante
    Posts
    6

    Default Adding 11-frames supers

    Hi everyone!

    After reading comprehensively the full Michael's Bush web and after purchasing and reading his book I'm still having a question about narrow frames.

    For the brood nest (or bodies and supers destinated to brood) the recommendations and natural observations indicate that eleven frames on a ten-frames bodies/supers should be.

    However, What happens for the supers intended for honey storing? Have to be eleven-frames too? Or perhaps and more preferably ten, to get thicker honey combs?

    For example, Michael Bush says on his web that he is used to double the number of boxes early in the spring to have plenty of space before the main nectar flow. Ok, imagine a well wintered 3-box hive that is buildingup early, fastly and strongly in the spring. This hive should be supered with another 3 boxes to get a 6-box sized hive. Well, Must these added boxes have eleven frames or ten and why?

    And one more question: if one goes foundation-less and is used to harvest comb honey (not extracted honey), so the 3 supers will be empty with no drawn combs. If this suppering is done early before the main nectar flow, There are any other management aspects to consider in order to be "sure" that the bees will move from bottom boxes to upper boxes and draw the honey comb correctly and fill them with honey?

    Thanks to all in advance!

    Beestrong

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    New London, Ohio
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: Adding 11-frames supers

    I may not be the best to answer this since I have never gone to 11 frames, but I believe MB is talking about 11 frames in the brood nest, not the honey supers. I have used 9 frames in the honey supers to allow the bees to draw a wider comb which makes extraction easier.

    You indicated that you intend to go to comb honey with foundation-less frames. Keep in mind that you will need to start these frames some how. It is best to put them between two already well drawn combs. Where will you get these drawn combs from? If you do not put them between two well drawn combs, my experience is that you will have many struggles getting straight combs for your comb honey. The bees will draw cross comb between frames and without a guide more than a starter strip, it won't matter how many frames you have, they will see it as all open space to draw new comb in however they want. If you do have your foundation-less frames between two already drawn combs, they will keep the bee space between the new comb they are drawing on your foundation-less frame and the already drawn combs. Over time you can then build up a number of good foundation-less frames, but if you harvest it all for comb honey, you will have to start over again the same way.

    This has been my experience as I am going foundation-less. It is a slow process and there are no guarantees that the bees will do what you want. They will do what they want. You can only marvel at their ability and try to adapt to their way of doing things. The more you learn how they want to do it, the better you will be at adapting what you do to get results.

    --- marty ---

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    SPAIN - Alicante
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Adding 11-frames supers

    I understand.

    Perhaps the concept of unlimited brood nest used by Dee Lusby and Michael Bush means that the size of the main brood nest must be respected on the supers: 10-frames boxes for Dee Lusby or 11-frames supers for Michael Bush. As the size of the brood nest is the same as the supers there are odds that they will be used as brood nest by the bees, isn't?

    If this reasoning is logical and correct then the answer is clear: super with 11-frames boxes.

    But now the question is, Won't it diminish the efficiency of honey harvest as bees want to draw thicker combs for honey? In fact, Won't put it an obstacle to the bees to draw the combs they need for honey storing?

    Thanks!

    Beestrong

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,708

    Default Re: Adding 11-frames supers

    The 11 frames per box is only in the brood nest area. Honey supers can be 9 or 8 frames in a 10 frame box.
    My answer for the supers is that ONCE THEY ARE DRAWN you can put 9 or even 8 in the ten frame supers with good effect as the combs will just be thicker. But when it's bare foundation, the bees will often mess up the comb if you space it more than ten. Ten frames of bare foundation should always be tightly together in the middle of either a super or a brood box in order to prevent the bees from attempting to build a comb between the foundations instead of on them. With eight frame boxes you can do seven drawn combs or even six.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfaqs.htm
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: Adding 11-frames supers

    >However, What happens for the supers intended for honey storing? Have to be eleven-frames too? Or perhaps and more preferably ten, to get thicker honey combs?

    Here's a more direct link to the paragraph Rader quoted:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfaqs.htm#framespacing
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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