Adding a super
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Thread: Adding a super

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
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    Warren County, NJ, USA
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    Default Adding a super

    Hi all! I'm new to the forum but have found it a very valuable resource over he past 6 months. I'm new to beekeeping, just got my first hive in the spring started from a NUC. It is now 2 deeps, 10 frames each. The second deep is 7 of 10 frames filled out and feels pretty heavy. In mid July I fed some pollen patties (really just mixed pollen with honey), it seemed to really get the queen laying, now there's a lot of bees. Ive been feeding syrup since the start 1:1 ratio. My question is, now that there's a fall pollen flow starting and a lot of bees, should I add a super? The bee's are still taking syrup (will they ever stop) so I know they'll just put this syrup into any new comb but can you put a super on because of space issues and still feed them just not harvest anything? Should how much syrup the bees take be my indication as to whether or not to stop feeding? Just feeling a bit confused about these things so any help advice or tips are appreciated.

    Thanks
    Christian

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
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    Default Re: Adding a super

    Only a second year guy, but I would add the super under the circumstances. It is getting late in the year, but you say you have a lot of bees and they have drawn or filled 7 frames of the upper deep. Being new, you need drawn comb so add it and keep feeding. You will soon realize how valuable drawn comb is. I don't know your local winter conditions and how beeks overwinter there, but you may need to feed them whatever sugar water they store in the super. If they don't draw it and it starts getting too cold, you can always take it off. J

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
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    Warren County, NJ, USA
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    Default Re: Adding a super

    Hi, thanks for the reply. alright sounds like a plan. I guess the drawn comb will be useful next spring. Thanks for the advice.

    Christian

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    CLARION, PENNSYLVANIA, USA
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    59

    Default Re: Adding a super

    I have the same situation...

    There is a large field, ~10 acres that is mostly goldenrod located several hundred yards from my hive...

    I wonder if I should put a queen excluder on and add the super and try to get a "free frame" of honey for my own use if the bees decide to fill several frames in the super?

    Thanks...BCB

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Yuba County, California, USA
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    Default Re: Adding a super

    If you add an excluder over the top of two deep brood boxes, and then put on a super of foundation, the bees may just swarm on you instead of going through the excluder. If you add a box, leave the excluder out of the equation for this time, and read up on using them for increased honey production for use next spring.
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  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    CLARION, PENNSYLVANIA, USA
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    59

    Default Re: Adding a super

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    If you add an excluder over the top of two deep brood boxes, and then put on a super of foundation, the bees may just swarm on you instead of going through the excluder. If you add a box, leave the excluder out of the equation for this time, and read up on using them for increased honey production for use next spring.
    Fair enough...

    What keeps the bees from making brood, like in the deep frames, in the super? Or is that just unavoidable?...

    Thanks...BCB

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Adding a super

    Each hive has it's own attitude, personality, and work ethic. Keep in mind the time of year and what bees do during that time. You've not shared what your hive configuration is now, nor what's in the super box you want to add, nor what the strain of bees are in your hive. It's hard to give advice without info.

    This time of year, bees tend to be more interested in moving honey up, brood down, pollen closest to the bottom if that's where the entrance is. This is their time of consolidation and placement of stores and brood. It's seldom they'll draw much wax now, but if conditions are just right they will. They'll be more interested in finishing up partial drawn than they will starting new wax in a box of nothing but foundation, but with a strong flow and a strong hive they may. Especially if there are a couple of drawn frames in the box. Once again, what do you have to work with?
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  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    CLARION, PENNSYLVANIA, USA
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    Default Re: Adding a super

    That’s what I have…

    Both of the deep boxes are full with the exception of a couple of the outside frames in the top box…

    The bees are supposed to be Carniolan, although the queen appeared to look like the ones in pictures I’ve seen as Italian…

    The super I wish to add is a medium deep that has frames with the yellow plastic foundations…

    That’s about all the info I can give as this is my first year and my knowledge is limited…

    All I have read indicates to not make the bee keeping hobby complicated. Not sure that is possible so far…

    The wife and I thought we would give it a try in our retirement years, but if it doesn’t go well, nothing really gained or nothing really lost I guess…

    Thanks…BCB
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  10. #9
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    Default Re: Adding a super

    Pretty hive you hive you and your wife have there BCB.

    I don't know your area, so here's what I'll say. Put the super on, without the excluder. I say that because I can speak from experience that this time of year (almost any time of year actually) if you put a super over an excluder on a two deep box hive, the bees will swarm before they go through that excluder to draw plastic foundation. If they don't use the super, you can always take it off.

    One trick that can work is to put the super in between the two deeps, but splitting the brood nest may cause problems as well. The problem is in getting the bees to draw comb this time of year. It's not impossible, it depends on the area and the flows and the bees, but it's hard to do for me here. The bees are not wanting to draw comb they are condensing and consolidating and arranging stores. I do not have good strong flows though, and that's one of the conditions to getting good comb built. Another is Temperature and the daylight hours in a day. To be safe, put the super on, no excluder, and see if they use it. If they start in it, then you can add the excluder if you like, shaking the bees off frames to make sure queen does not get above the excluder.
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  11. #10
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Washington, USA
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    473

    Default Re: Adding a super

    It was stated that 7 of 10 frames in the upper deep are drawn out. Should cgeronimo rotate those frames into the middle to get them drawn out, first? Before adding a super.
    Somebody forgot to give my bees a copy of the book.
    Zone 6B

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    CLARION, PENNSYLVANIA, USA
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    Default Re: Adding a super

    Well, the super is added--Now we shall see what we shall see...

    Each of the frames I pull out of the top deep box were covered with bees and must have weighed at least 3-4 pounds. Most had cells filled with honey or at least they looked like honey cells. The outside ones had many bees on them with only about 40% of the cells filled...

    I do notice a slight crack between the top box and the middle box. Guess I will need to make an adjustment? Should I do it now or wait until I look at the super in a week or so?...

    BCB
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  13. #12
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    Default Re: Adding a super

    That crack is not going to hurt anything at all. The bees will fill it in with propolis if they don't like it, and they'll leave it open if they prefer, for ventilation or whatever they decide about it. So don't worry about it and hope for a super of honey on your fall flow.
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