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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    nyc
    Posts
    1

    Default is it too late to add a honey super?

    I have two hives in brooklyn. they each currently have three supers filled to the brim with brood and honey. no queen cells in sight, but I'm wondering if I should give them more room. is it too late in the season to add a shallow on top? if so, should I get a queen excluder so it's just honey?

    thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,948

    Default Re: is it too late to add a honey super?

    It isn't going to hurt anything to add another super - but it may not accomplish much for you either. You are in NYC and I don't know your flows. Are you in the middle of one now? Will the super have foundation or drawn comb? If foundation I would be tempted to scatter the frames among the 3 boxes on each hive and see what happens. If comb just add it to the top of the stack. If the boxes are as drawn out as you say there is no need for a queen excluder - the honey barrier of the 3 supers will keep your queen from visiting the top box. You can start harvesting now if you want.

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    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    197

    Default Re: is it too late to add a honey super?

    Greetings fellow Brooklyn beek. I am wondering if you have three supers of honey or three hive bodies with honey and brood. If it is the latter by all means put on a super. Yes you should have given them more room and yes you should put on a queen excluder. Our fall flow is just starting. If it is the former and you have three supers of honey I would harvest and return the empty comb. bees will be much more likely to fill drawn comb then to a draw at this point. I think we are reaching a criticle mass in the five boroughs. Lots of locally mated queens this year. Very exciting.
    Last edited by Margot1d; 08-18-2013 at 08:14 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    North Liberty, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    118

    Default Re: is it too late to add a honey super?

    I'm a bit confused as well. When I refer to supers, I'm referring to those boxes that contain the excess honey the hive produces that I will extract, which sit above the brood boxes. I won't say I haven't had brood in them, but it wasn't by design--somehow I had the queen trapped above the queen excluder or else she wriggled her way up there! At any rate, if your hive is full you should add a box. they may not draw it all out or fill it. You can always let the bees have back what they don't fill completely later by placing those frames above your inner cover, in a box. Sounds like your urban beekeeping is going well--congrats.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    977

    Default Re: is it too late to add a honey super?

    Quote Originally Posted by gowanus View Post
    I have two hives in brooklyn. they each currently have three supers filled to the brim with brood and honey. no queen cells in sight, but I'm wondering if I should give them more room. is it too late in the season to add a shallow on top? if so, should I get a queen excluder so it's just honey?

    thanks!
    How much honey is stored in the brood boxes? In a double deep configuration, I like for them to have a good amount of honey in the upper deep, with a target weight of about 90 pounds or so of honey to overwinter on. If they have not backfilled the broodnest with a good amount of honey, I would not add another super. In our area, they typically do not draw new comb this time of year. If you add another super of undrawn frames/foundation, they probably will not draw it out. If you do put another box on top, I would not worry about a queen excluder at this point. The queen will not cross the honey storage to lay.


    HTH,

    Shane

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,693

    Default Re: is it too late to add a honey super?

    If you are going to put another super on top of other supers already full of honey then no excluder is needed. Queens very rarely travel across three boxes of capped honey to get to open comb.

    As said above, I'd take off honey and extract and reinstall wet supers, super wet w/ residual honey. But maybe you'd rather only extract once?
    Mark Berninghausen To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


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