Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cambridge, MD, USA
    Posts
    110

    Default Average supers per hive?

    I know it's dependent on honey flow and the bees themselves, etc. but I was wondering if there is a general number of supers to figure on per hive to have enough. I'm not asking necessarily for the amount of honey to expect per se, more the question/statement, one should have X number of deeps/mediums/shallows per hive so that one doesn't get to the end of the season and run out of supers to put on the hives.

    Currently I have 4 hives and I have 10 medium supers built and ready to go. I originally figured on 2 per hive with a couple extra; one to harvest and one to leave for the bees, but with the rate one of the hives is going, if the others catch up, I might run out of supers (a good thing I know).

    So I didn't know if there was a general rule of thumb to figure on when considering buying equipment.

    Thanks all!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,250

    Default Re: Average supers per hive?

    That is most likely sufficient, particularly since it is a chore for bees to draw foundation. I have enough for about a 3 box average. You can always start extracting a bit early and reuse some in a best case scenario. Best of luck to you.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clay Count, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    819

    Default Re: Average supers per hive?

    Sounds like you are on track with two per hive with a couple of extras given you have 4 hives. As you are most likely aware of, there are other uses for supers other than for honey collection, such as spacers for top feaders.
    Try living life with the attitude it's not about what you want to do but what you should do!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Average supers per hive?

    Not sure what your area is like but you might want to get the supers on ASAP. I already have one full and a second almost completely drawn. About to stick a cut comb super on shortly. Both supers were bare foundation and I put them on in the first week of April when the cherries started blooming.

    Also started a carni hive from a package on a medium of comb (everything is 8 frame by the way) three weeks ago and they have already drawn out the 8 frame deep I put on top--all foundation. May put two mediums on shortly--was planning on one originally. Another hive I started the same way is just starting the deep though (hygienic italians) so it depends. The carni hive was much bigger than a typical package I think--and was the best package I've ever seen.

    In this part of MD (suburbia-land) the flow dries completely in July.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Spanish Fork, UT, USA
    Posts
    373

    Default Re: Average supers per hive?

    I like to have three supers per hive. Having extra supers gives you a lot of flexibility during the summer. I have had some years in the past when honey flows were strong and we didn't have enough supers. I had to rush out and pull honey off and extract the supers so I could reuse them. If this process takes to long you could loose some of the potential honey crop.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cambridge, MD, USA
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: Average supers per hive?

    Thanks to all!! It's good to know I'm at least in the ball park, I was fearing people would come back and say 5+ per hive, etc. Then I'd worry about that.

    I put honey supers on 2 of the 4 hives (the ones that finished out the second deeps before winter) and put the second deeps on the 2 that only were in singles for the winter. I was planning on letting them fill out the second deep a bit more, then add the honey supers and feed those 2 hives so they have enough for winter. I think the other 2 hives should be able to fill out the 2 supers so I can harvest one, then put the foundation back in and feed 1:1 so they can store that for the winter as well. I didn't want to feed now as I didn't want to dilute the honey with sugar water.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    3,923

    Default Re: Average supers per hive?

    I assume you are all talking about 10 frame shallows. How much does one of those hold?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Summerfield, NC
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Average supers per hive?

    Around thirty-five pounds, or close to three gallons of honey.
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 05-08-2013 at 05:53 PM. Reason: UNQuote

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    LaGrange; Oldham County; Kentucky
    Posts
    158

    Default Re: Average supers per hive?

    Are you saying one 10 frame shallow holds three gallons of honey? If so, wow! I haven't extracted yet since this is my second year (first overwintering)
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 05-08-2013 at 05:54 PM. Reason: UNQuote

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,473

    Default Re: Average supers per hive?

    No, a ten frame shallow gives us 20 lbs, about two gallons, or at least that's what we ended up with last year. Could be wrong, I'm math challenged.

    A medium will hold 30 lbs, or about 2.5 gallons.

    Two mediums per hive plus a couple spares should be good, you will find out if you need more. I have two supers on two hives at the moment, and the way they've been flying when it's not raining indicates I'll probably need four before we harvest in June. Our main flow has just started (black locust followed by linden and then tulip poplar) and I have a nearly full super now. Since you have all foundation, you won't need as much space this year as next most likely, they fill drawn comb faster than drawing and filling foundation, although they can draw foundation like crazy when there is a big flow too.

    Peter

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    3,923

    Default Re: Average supers per hive?

    So about two pounds per shallow frame. Sounds about right - I seem to get about three pounds - 1 qt - per medium. Which is exactly what you are saying. I think our state average is about 35 pounds per hive - which is probably right, but has always seemed low to me. But it sounds about right compared to what you guys are saying.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Summerfield, NC
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Average supers per hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by MelanieWoosley View Post
    Are you saying one 10 frame shallow holds three gallons of honey? If so, wow! I haven't extracted yet since this is my second year (first overwintering)
    It seems to vary a bit; I think it's because I've read that some types of honey weigh more than others. Even while full, not all of my supers have the exact same weight. They are ten frame shallows, but most of my supers have nine frames in them, and we always crush and strain the wax cappings. It'll make a difference if the bees haven't filled a small corner of each frame...the estimates I gave in the other post were pretty much the max I think I've ever gotten. An empty two or three inch patch, on all frames, would probably lower that by a good percentage. It can also vary if there is brood in the frames, which takes up space that could otherwise by occupied by honey.

    A quick Google search on yields, the highest I found was a guy in a forum in Minnesota claimed his shallows brought in honey weighing 42 pounds.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,473

    Default Re: Average supers per hive?

    Yipes, if that were a deep with that much honey it would weight 94 pounds PLUS the box and frames and wire -- too heavy for me!

    We didn't have really full frames on the first harvest, but they looked well capped on the fall one. I'll check again this time, as we can probably leave partially filled frames on the hive this time.

    Peter

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Summerfield, NC
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Average supers per hive?

    Pondering on it for a few minutes, I'm wondering if my estimates were high because of honey remaining in the extractor. In other words, I spin out ten supers averaging a little over twenty pounds, but a little honey that clings to the wall makes the last supers seem to yield more, as I let it drain longer...

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads