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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Lee County, Florida, USA
    Posts
    63

    Default Adding a super as well as nadiring a new brood box

    This is an info gathering question for those who know about nadiring and such as opposed to a true Warre Hive question. If I add a new brood box to my hive (nadir an empty, foundationless box below the current brood nest) and also add a shallow super (with foundation) above, how will the bees react? Would they go up first, building comb and storing honey or brood (depending on the use of a QX or not), or would they go down and build out comb on the foundationless frames for brood first? Assuming they are both in need of expansion space and there is a flow going on. I'm not going to a true Warre Hive situation, at least not yet (AHB area), but am looking at various beekeeping ways. It's all so intriguing! Thanks for any insights. FreyaFL

  2. #2

    Default Re: Adding a super as well as nadiring a new brood box

    If it was me, I would give them a top entrance. That way the bees hauling nectar. Can go straight into super,that might help promote them filling it up. A three quater inch hole would be enough. Then you can plug it with a wine cork if need arises.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Lee County, Florida, USA
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: Adding a super as well as nadiring a new brood box

    That sounds reasonable. Thanks!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Adding a super as well as nadiring a new brood box

    Your welcome Friend!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    5,720

    Default Re: Adding a super as well as nadiring a new brood box

    If there's a flow on they will go up first, long as there's foundation in there.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Rock Port, MO. USA.
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: Adding a super as well as nadiring a new brood box

    To Oldtimer: I find your statement to be true for my one and only hive. I had 3 boxes for a little over 1 1/2 month and my bees won't build down the third (bottom box). So, as suggested by another beek, I placed a super with 2 "ladders" (a foundation nailed between halved topbars) and they built on that first. Recently, my bees have started building a (burr?) comb on the bottom box. I hope they do fill up the bottom box before winter gets here.
    IMG_3581.jpg IMG_3582.jpg
    Bottom box.............Super

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Adding a super as well as nadiring a new brood box

    I know this is an old thread but thought I'd comment after a summer of experimentation. I've found that the bees will not build down in spring until they are done swarming. Even small hives seem to swarm. As a result I now have one warre/lang hybrid where I am trying to get the hive out of the warre for better swarm management.

    Anyway, on my lang w/ a captured swarm I did as asked above--added a box w/ foundation above and one w/ foundation starter strips below. They moved up--and this was during a dearth. Not only that, but they chewed all the wax off the starter strips below and left the wires. My other warre would not build into the third box despite the top box being full of honey and the bottom box full of clustering bees. This hive was started from a package and a half this spring and swarmed once they hit the two box size. My guess is the two box size is the natural hive size so to get bigger requires some form of manipulation/help. Last week I removed the bottom box and added a top box with foundation glued to the guide bars w/ wax. Foundation hangs to the bottom of the box w/ 1-2cm space at the bottom. The bees have already drawn out half the box (I added a top feeder too so this may have given some encouragement).

    Plan to remove the box once drawn to use next spring under the hive so the bees have room to expand (the theory is that it is not the potential expansion room in the hive that is one of the factors in swarming but the lack of drawn comb to move into). Will also place a super w/ foundation as we have a strong spring flow here.

    I've decided that beekeeping is like gardening Doing it "naturally" is a good goal but if you don't weed, cultivate, and manage occasional pests you will not get any yield.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Adding a super as well as nadiring a new brood box

    Just thought I'd update: Adding the box w/ foundation and a top feeder worked like a charm. In two weeks they drew the whole thing out and filled w/ about 30lbs of half ripened sugar water honey--even added to their stores below. Just removed and left in the yard for my three hives to rob out for me.

    Looks like I have a drawn box to use next spring! Think I will add it below the nest in spring for brood nest expansion and add a super or two w/ foundation for honey. Then harvest along w/ the top brood box next summer and repeat the process next fall. This rotation would allow the renewal of one brood nest box per year.

    We'll see if this tamps the urge to swarm in May.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    227

    Default Re: Adding a super as well as nadiring a new brood box

    Its early morning and I'm a little foggy, so please excuse my slow wits. So ... If I understand correctly the bees eagerly move up to fill above with honey but refuse to move down to increase the size of the brood. And everyone is having trouble with the third box. Thinking aback about it, it seems to me I have seen similar behavior. I think I'm going to check with the English Warre groups to see if they have observed this pattern.

    So what's the plan of action? Add one on the bottom and one on top in the spring?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: Adding a super as well as nadiring a new brood box

    In my experience if you are going to nadir you need to add a seed comb. I have never been able to get the bees to move down without putting a comb down below. I plan on doing both, which includes putting a seed comb above and below. In fact if you put a comb with some brood in it, they have a much greater chance at moving down. This seems to work better if you have half frames or partially drawn comb. It's certainly possible to move full combs. It's just much harder.
    Not Michael Bush. My name is Dan. Sorry for the confusion.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    637

    Default Re: Adding a super as well as nadiring a new brood box

    Warre beekeepers all over the world report the same phenomenon. In my experience it depends on the size of the colony populating the Warre, as well as the nectar flow at the time. I have good success with colonies moving down past the 2nd box as long as the swarm is large and the nectar is flowing. I populated a Warre earlier this season with a very large swarm that quickly built out over 4 boxes. Small swarms in poor weather usually stay the entire season in 2 boxes.

    I've started experimenting with nadiring and supering at the same time to let the bees decide which way they want to go. Sometimes they go up, sometimes down, sometimes both directions. If I super I always move a few combs up from the box below as a "bridge." Otherwise they will build the combs upward from the bars below and you'll have a very messy box. "Bridging" usually fixes this, but not always. If you've got comb to throw in the bottom box, too, that can also help.

    Matt

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: Adding a super as well as nadiring a new brood box

    I had a 6 box Warre tower this year. They sat on a box at the bottom of the hive all season that they never touched. I don't know how to explain my experience as others report no problems nadiring. I just know that I have never had a hive that was able to nadir without my help. I am fine adding that comb to encourage them to move down. I'm just reporting my experience.

    Another side note....I don't see much for swarms here. The only bees I have seen around here have been mine. Maybe they are out there, but I just haven't seen them.
    Not Michael Bush. My name is Dan. Sorry for the confusion.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Adding a super as well as nadiring a new brood box

    My first warre did move down into an empty box during the spring but only after several swarms. They swarmed for two weeks and then, overnight, capped all the honey in the top box and began drawing comb in the third. My second Warre from a package swarmed after two boxes and then, again, capped all the honey in the top box. This hive did not move down into the third though. By this time the flow was about over. If I had fed they may have moved. Anyway, I suspect that the swarm instinct must be fulfilled before the brood nest expands down in the spring if left to their own devices (and the flow is good).

    I had the box drawn out mainly to give the queen a place to lay eggs in spring so the urge to swarm is reduced. We seem to have HUGE spring flows here so the brood nest gets back filled pretty quick. I will probably add two supers w/ foundation at the same time I put the drawn box on the bottom and I suspect they will go both directions at the same time (barring some catastrophic winter). The hive fills the two boxes currently (twice as big as my first hive last year). Will post what happens next spring.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,720

    Default Re: Adding a super as well as nadiring a new brood box

    Just bear in mind as per advice from others, if you put a box on top next spring it must have some bridging comb or the bees have a major job getting comb started properly.

    In fact this is likely the main reason Emile wanted people to nadir, to keep it simple so the bees could start building from the top of the new box, but if they top supered, people would have had to add that little bit more complexity of adding bridge comb.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Adding a super as well as nadiring a new brood box

    Plan on using full length foundation like I just did for the supered box I removed yesterday. Was an inch gap between the foundation and the top bars and they did just fine. They did attach the comb drawn on the foundation onto the top bars below but this happens w/ nadired boxes as well.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Adding a super as well as nadiring a new brood box

    Can't tell me Bees don't think. They got us spinning around!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    227

    Default Re: Adding a super as well as nadiring a new brood box

    I wonder if there is a reluctance to move to the bottom. I have had good luck with the whole moving down thing when I add several boxes at once.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Adding a super as well as nadiring a new brood box

    Quote Originally Posted by Zonker View Post
    I wonder if there is a reluctance to move to the bottom. I have had good luck with the whole moving down thing when I add several boxes at once.
    I've wondered the same thing. When they drew the box out this year it was the second from the bottom. Wonder if having a solid bottom board may fix this or they just prefer some space between the comb and bottom.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    5,720

    Default Re: Adding a super as well as nadiring a new brood box

    Quote Originally Posted by JClark View Post
    Wonder if having a solid bottom board may fix this.
    Yes it will help.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

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