Adding Super
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Thread: Adding Super

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Claiborne County, East Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    84

    Default Adding Super

    I am still new at this and I am trying to determine when would be the best time to add a super to a single deep brood box. I am in hardiness zone 6 b. I am thinking in Mid March or I may add as soon as I see flowers start blooming. I am also planning on putting a strip of formic pro on at the same time. What are your all's thoughts on this?
    Some days it's not worth chewing through the restraints.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Lumpkin County, GA
    Posts
    874

    Default Re: Adding Super

    You only add a super when the brood box is 80 - 90% full. It is not driven by the calendar. It is driven by the productivity of the bees.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Claiborne County, East Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    84

    Default Re: Adding Super

    Quote Originally Posted by ericweller View Post
    You only add a super when the brood box is 80 - 90% full. It is not driven by the calendar. It is driven by the productivity of the bees.
    I am sorry, I should have stated that I am assuming the brood box to be full. They have over wintered in just a single deep. They have been eating sugar patties all winter.Iwill be checking before adding a super.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Lumpkin County, GA
    Posts
    874

    Default Re: Adding Super

    I would check the outer frames and if they are filled or close to being filled, I would add the super. You don't want to give them too much empty space.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Edgefield County, South Carolina
    Posts
    1,019

    Default Re: Adding Super

    This member has not been active in a few years but had a lot of good post and fairly local to you. There could be some good nuggets there. He is also very active in the Cookeville Beekeepers Association and they have a good web page. It should fit your timeline--

    https://www.beesource.com/forums/sea...rchid=12218623
    https://cookevillebeekeepers.com/
    sc-bee

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    7,822

    Default Re: Adding Super

    A couple of clues to look for. Any white comb built on the top bars speaks of spare wax being produced and that means a flow. Another tell is a small saucer of sugar water placed several feet away from the hive. If the bees drain it, the super is not needed. If they ignore it, they need the super! Since you say you are new, do you have drawn comb in your supers? If not the bees may fail to move into them and swarm instead. If this is your circumstance, pull a frame of eggs and larvae, replace that frame with foundation and move the brood frame up into a box above an excluder. The bees will move up to cover the brood and start working in that box. If you run mediums for supers, put on two with a slot in the middle for the deeper frame.

    When in doubt, put on the super! The bees can't fill it if it is not on.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Plumas County, California, USA
    Posts
    241

    Default Re: Adding Super

    This is only my third year, so I'm not an expert yet. And you've received good advice above. However, last year I was where you are now and I learned a few lessons the hard way. So just a couple of things to be aware of. It is surprising coming into your second year how quickly an overwintered hive builds up. You need to be prepared for this, and move quickly when it's time. The hard part is timing. How much brood is there? How many bees are there? You want a lot of each, but not swarm conditions. For me the hard part was seeing all the capped brood and doing the math, so to speak: within 12 days a significant portion of that brood will be bees, with more to follow everyday, and there's uncapped larvae and eggs, and the queen is still laying. Be prepared.

    It's unclear to me when you say add a super whether you mean a honey super with a queen excluder, or if you mean adding another brood box. The terms get confused sometimes. If you are going for honey production, I think getting closer to your flow is better. Will you still be feeding sugar? You wouldn't want sugar in a honey super. You're in zone 6b. I'm in 7b. March 1 would be a bit too early for a honey super where I live, but maybe you have a quicker warm up than we do. On the other hand, early March wouldn't necessarily be too early to think about creating room in the hive by adding more brood space or by making a nuc split or something like that. I mean, a medium super would give the bees more room to hang out, but not more room to build up.

    Regarding the formic acid: make sure your temperatures are in the proper range for it to work. Another thing is that the bees do need a place to go to get away from the strip--which means either bearding or going into a super or other box on top. If you have't already, go to the MAQS website; they have a lot of great information. One other concern about the formic acid--but maybe others with more knowledge could chime in. MAQS (and I guess Formic Pro) can have an adverse effect on the queen, slowing or preventing laying for a few days up to a week. We're coming into build up time. This may not be the best time for formic acid. You might take a look at other methods, especially if there is not a lot of brood as yet.

    I think that for second and third year beeks, this question of timing and expansion and supering is one of the most difficult.
    Year 3
    Zone 7b 3500 ft.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Garden City S, NY
    Posts
    91

    Default

    I’m pretty sure my hive is ready for a honey super. Does it matter if it’s a deep or medium? Meaning is it better for a medium since it’s gives them a better chance at filling and capping all the frames as opposed to a deep which they may not fill up completely?
    The weight difference doesn’t matter to me with regards to picking them up. Thanks.

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