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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
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    2,624

    Question Under supering or over?

    I have just put 2 drawn out supers on each double deep colony but will have to start using boxes that are new undrawn wax and plastic foundation. Wondering if I should undersuper the next box, put it on top, or put it in between the existing two supers.

    I am using excluders but that has not been a problem.
    Frank

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
    Posts
    2,297

    Default Re: Under supering or over?

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    I am using excluders but that has not been a problem.
    One of our seasoned forum members reported to me a few weeks back that he had better luck getting new supers drawn when he gave particular hives nothing but undrawn frames to store honey in. Instead of putting new foundation on top of drawn comb like I have been doing and what you are talking about doing. In the future I will put all drawn comb on some hives and all foundation on others. It does seem like once bees start making wax that they get more proficient at it.

    I have some queen excluders too, they're all propped up against the wall in my shop.
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Ridgeville, SC, USA
    Posts
    383

    Default Re: Under supering or over?

    I agree that once a hive is drawing frames then keep them doing so. Easier to keep them drawing wax then it is to get them started. I put undrawn supers under excluder till they are started good then move them above. Fresh wax is attractive for queens to lay in.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Gainesboro, Tennessee
    Posts
    816

    Default Re: Under supering or over?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Bee View Post
    One of our seasoned forum members reported to me a few weeks back that he had better luck getting new supers drawn when he gave particular hives nothing but undrawn frames to store honey in. Instead of putting new foundation on top of drawn comb like I have been doing and what you are talking about doing. In the future I will put all drawn comb on some hives and all foundation on others. It does seem like once bees start making wax that they get more proficient at it.

    I have some queen excluders too, they're all propped up against the wall in my shop.
    Yes agreed it works much better
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Battle Ground, WA
    Posts
    370

    Default Re: Under supering or over?

    Wow, great discussion. I've been baiting them up with a frame or two of drawn comb with very mixed results. Some hives move right up and start drawing but many don't, they start back-filling below.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,624

    Default Re: Under supering or over?

    Yes to baiting them up, and no to using excluders if you do not have drawn out comb. That is not the question though as I presently have drawn and extracted supers on each hive. My hive numbers are up and I will have to add more undrawn supers. Our flow is just beginning. I am not anticipating any great problem getting the bees onto the undrawn frames but wondering if the trouble of undersupering is worth the effort. In this case I have three options! It has been a while since the finer points of supering have been discussed or discredited as merely "busy work"

    I have heard that Carnis like to keep the honey close to the brood compared to Italians and react differently. Some say a capped super of honey immediately above the brood is a deterrent to filling out boxes further up and could be a factor in swarm preps. Have not really had much problem with swarming as I usually am into the hives often enough to head it off. This summer I have more irons in the fire and my season is about three weeks early.

    I have double screened division boards (Snelgrove board) in place on most colonies which places a deep split above the supers which are in the middle of the stack! That system is tickity boo for 2 or three colonies but it is shaping up to be a bit much work on seven for this old hound.
    Frank

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Essex, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Under supering or over?

    In the same situation I let the bees work up into the drawn comb first, then bottom super with the foundation. I think once the bees work the drawn supers and you bottom super with foundation they realize there is a gap and are more eager to draw wax to fill the gap. I have had a hard time getting them to draw foundation on top of drawn supers. I would put it under the excluder as well.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    4,700

    Default Re: Under supering or over?

    I switched to bottom supering last year, no issues, bees took to the boxes just fine.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk, NY, USA
    Posts
    2,183

    Default Re: Under supering or over?

    crofter, I like to under super with undrawn supers.
    Then when it gets late in the day I get tired of lifting all the drawn and nectar filled supers off of every hive to put the undrawn super on and then put the stack back together. So I pop the top and put the undrawn super right on top. May take a little longer for some colonies to draw it all out compared to real strong colonies that don't seem to care where it's put on the stack but if the flow is on it'll get drawn just the same.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,624

    Default Re: Under supering or over?

    The bees have a few days start on the two supers I have put on and there is a bit of a flow starting from choke cherry so I think I will put some undrawn supers on the bottom. I may try a few hives with the new super sandwiched between the two partially filled ones to see if the bees have a preference.

    Thanks for the suggestions,
    Frank

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