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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    St. Marys, WV
    Posts
    23

    Default When to add supers ?

    Hello all. I am a new Beek living in very rural WV. Trying to do this with/by the book. So far pretty good I think. I have Carnies, 2 hives, and have already added the 2nd super. My question is, when to add the third ? Checked the hives this morning and one has all of the second hive made into combs but not filled. Do I go ahead at this time and add the queen excluder and super or do I let the frames start filling ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Harrisonburg Va
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: When to add supers ?

    How many brood boxes per hive are you using ? Add more hive bodies when the one on top has filled 70-80 %...bees everywhere...covering the top of most frames when you open it.. I use two deep boxes for brood..then medium supers for honey....good luck ...enjoy

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN USA
    Posts
    685

    Default Re: When to add supers ?

    Yup, when hit hit 75-80% capacity in your last box (8 frames out of 10 showing regular activity) its time to add the next one.
    Beekeeper since 2013. Read my bee blog at:
    http://harrisonbayhoney.blogspot.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    St. Marys, WV
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: When to add supers ?

    Thanks for the help. I've added another hive body with queen excluder. What I have is a deep and medium for the brood. I'm using shallows for the honey boxes for a couple reasons. One is weight and the other is one of my grandchildren, who is nine is actually showing interest.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Harrisonburg Va
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: When to add supers ?

    Some would say to not use an excluder....bees sometimes don't like go tnrough them....I've never used them....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    St. Marys, WV
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: When to add supers ?

    I've kinda understood there is a 50/50 split on that thought. Installed one today and will give it through the weekend and will check on Monday. I'll make sure to post back what I find. The few area BKs that are around use them here. One fella has Italians and they do ok. I'm on a very big learning curve right now and everything is fascinating to say the least. One hive is very strong and the other not so much. Started both at the same time and is interesting to see the difference between the two. I think I will get deep into the weaker hive on Monday and check on the Queen and see how she is laying. Didn't notice a lot of Drones so I will just see what I can see

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN USA
    Posts
    685

    Default Re: When to add supers ?

    Yeah, some hives don't like excluders, but they go a long way towards making it easier to harvest honey from your supers without worrying about getting a mouthful of bee larva.

    Go ahead and put it on, and if you see that they aren't making ready use of their extra space, try taking it back off again and see if they suddenly start moving up.
    Beekeeper since 2013. Read my bee blog at:
    http://harrisonbayhoney.blogspot.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Lower Lake, California, USA
    Posts
    173

    Default Re: When to add supers ?

    IMHO if this is your first year (mine also) by 'the book' says don't take their honey on the first year.

    Soooo don't need to worry about brood in the honey your not going to take! I'm just enjoying watching how they do things & maybee I'll learn something also!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    St. Marys, WV
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: When to add supers ?

    I was under the impression that the bottom two hives were for the Bees and everything above that was harvestable. But I have no problem leaving the third for them also. My question now is. With the excluder in place, I assume they will still feed on that honey also if needed ? I am actually not set up nor am I ready to harvest honey anyway. Is there a " Rule of thumb " as when to Harvest ? I know what I have read, but nothing beats experience.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Wilson NC
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: When to add supers ?

    i have found that when adding supers, if you are using a super with new foundation to put the super on without the excluder for a week or so and let them begin to draw it out first. Once that begin working it add the excluder. This eliminates the barrier of the excluder so they will go ahead and explore the new super. If this is the first year for the hives I wouldn't take any honey off. Let them have what they store up and use it like they need to this winter. If they dont use it in the winter you can take it off next spring before the flows. My hive set up is one deep for brood chamber, queen excluder and then medium stores for honey. Its all what works for you. Single deep brood and excluders can be a long discussion but find what works for you.
    I caught 14 swarms this year as early as mid march, hived them with all drawn comb and I am leaving them everything they store. If they have extra after winter, great but I want them to have all they need the first year for the winter.
    I take my supers off when approximately 75-80% of the frames are fully capped. When adding additional supers I like to "seed" my new supers. I will take a frame or two of honey from the super already on and put it in the new super. This pulls there attention up into the new super to take care of the honey. I've found that they begin drawing the comb out faster.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Lower Lake, California, USA
    Posts
    173

    Default Re: When to add supers ?

    I started with one hive (deep + med-super) and one nuc. the hive had brood in some of the super frames, so when I added another Deep I moved the brood to the outside for it to hatch and they backfilled it with honey. the full supper on top of the new deep drew them FAST!
    Some of the bee books say 'excluders will wear out the bees wings squeezing through, faster'. So I'm going to watch how the 'honey barrier' works on keeping brood below it. Next year when I'm looking at harvesting honey I'll leave the few frames that have brood until they hatch. This will give me an excuse to not have to do everything all at once.

    Have fun!
    Last edited by nobull56; 06-28-2013 at 11:18 AM. Reason: mised word

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    St. Marys, WV
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: When to add supers ?

    Quote Originally Posted by bassbee View Post
    i have found that when adding supers, if you are using a super with new foundation to put the super on without the excluder for a week or so and let them begin to draw it out first. Once that begin working it add the excluder. This eliminates the barrier of the excluder so they will go ahead and explore the new super.


    When adding additional supers I like to "seed" my new supers. I will take a frame or two of honey from the super already on and put it in the new super. This pulls there attention up into the new super to take care of the honey. I've found that they begin drawing the comb out faster.

    This sounds like really sound advice. I have read or it has been mentioned to me before. Seems like I didn't retain that very long . I'm 55 and I blame that for everything I forget. LOL. I will look into it Monday. If they haven't moved up I will remove the excluder and replace the shallow super to get them to feel at home.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    St. Marys, WV
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: When to add supers ?

    Had a chance tonight to check on the excluder. At the most a dozen or 2 in the top. Went ahead and removed the excluder for now to let them feel at home. How long should I let this go ? I'm planning on putting it back in Monday morning.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Fenton, MI
    Posts
    255

    Default Re: When to add supers ?

    Quote Originally Posted by handhewn View Post
    How long should I let this go ? I'm planning on putting it back in Monday morning.
    Sounds to me like you have tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday. Then comes Monday morning.
    I count three days.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,901

    Default Re: When to add supers ?

    As Jackam was trying to say I think, three days is probably not going to be enough time for them to occupy the super of foundation so you can put the excluder back on. Wait till they have drawn out a couple combs at least and are starting to store something in them, then add the excluder. John

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Fenton, MI
    Posts
    255

    Default Re: When to add supers ?

    Quote Originally Posted by jmgi View Post
    As Jackam was trying to say I think,
    John said it so much better!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,337

    Default Re: When to add supers ?

    handhewn, You were asking about a "rule of thumb" of when to harvest, you can harvest at any time that the honey frames are capped, or leave the supers on the hive and harvest in September. If I need early honey I will go through my supers in July and look for capped frames, after harvesting these I place the extracted wet frames back in the supers and leave them till September. When harvesting in September it is always best to check your hives at that time to see if the brood boxes have the stores they need for the up coming winter then you can give them a few of the honey frames if needed or feed.

    I am located not too far from you down the river in Belpre, 57 and forgetfull as well, I hope your hives do good this year.
    Bill...in Southeast Ohio Zone 6A

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    St. Marys, WV
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: When to add supers ?

    Hello Bill, I think I know you. I believe we work at the same facility down below Marietta along the river. See ya Tues. and be ready for questions


    Mike

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,337

    Default Re: When to add supers ?

    Hey Mike, yes we do know each other, good to have you aboard, I can see a lot of bee related conversations in the coming future.
    Bill...in Southeast Ohio Zone 6A

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