Sequence Supers Get Filled...
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Pennsylvania USA
    Posts
    62

    Question Sequence Supers Get Filled...

    I am planning on adding 2 medium honey supers on box that has wintered with 2 deeps. Will the bees fill the top super and then the one under it, or do they fill them together. I put one super on last year and to get a second one on, I had to lift the one that was nearly full. Thus adding 2 at one time this year. I am going to put a super on top that has comb drawn.

    Will the top super get filled first?...

    Thanks...1/33rd

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Lumpkin County, GA
    Posts
    784

    Default Re: Sequence Supers Get Filled...

    I would only add 1 super at a time. It makes it easier for the bees to protect the comb from SHB. When adding the second super, remove the first super, add the empty super and then add the first super back so that it is on top. Lifting boxes is part of beekeeping.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    5,522

    Default Re: Sequence Supers Get Filled...

    In my experience the bees will start to store nectar right above the brood nest first and work their way up, if the super has drawn comb.

    Some flows can be pretty intense but short lived, so my preference is to put on more supers ahead of time than actually needed. That gives them more room to spread the nectar out if it's coming in heavy and they can start the drying process. I like to rotate supers and always keep a box with at least some empty comb right above the broodnest. This sometimes helps in preventing them from beginning to backfill the broodnest with nectar. If there is a solid dome of honey above the broodnest in a super they might start working their way down, which I want to prevent.

    If you don't have enough drawn comb for 2 boxes you may want to split evenly between the 2 boxes. Place the drawn comb in the center of both boxes, and fill in on both sides with frames with foundation. That should keep the bees working upward into drawn comb with the nectar and outward drawing new comb.
    Last edited by Mike Gillmore; 03-14-2019 at 03:26 PM.
    To everything there is a season....

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Jacksonville, Morgan County, IL
    Posts
    205

    Default Re: Sequence Supers Get Filled...

    Quote Originally Posted by 1/33rd View Post
    I am planning on adding 2 medium honey supers on box that has wintered with 2 deeps. Will the bees fill the top super and then the one under it, or do they fill them together. I put one super on last year and to get a second one on, I had to lift the one that was nearly full. Thus adding 2 at one time this year. I am going to put a super on top that has comb drawn.
    As with 'everything beekeeping'..............it depends

    Is your honey flow not intense but drawn out ? Then 2 supers is plenty...IF you monitor closely, because there may be an acre field of blooming 'whatever' that wasn't there last year within easy flight range.

    Here in IL, we get Black Locust blooming and 3 or even 4 supers, 2 of drawn comb and 2 of foundation, are none to many for a vigorous colony in a double deep.

    I've seen a strong colony take a medium from foundation to filled and capped in 4 days on the BL flow, and then swarm for lack of room.

    so.....IT DEPENDS...on the intensity and length of the flow.

    Hope this helps

    Gary

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Pennsylvania USA
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: Sequence Supers Get Filled...

    Well, it appears that I may use a combination of all the advice...

    I do have at least one medium with drawn comb so I guess I will put that directly on top of the deeps and then keep an eye on it. Then maybe a super with foundations on top of the one with drawn comb...

    My concern is having foundations partially filled all over the place. This gets to be a hassle at harvest time around the 4th of July. But, maybe that can't be avoided?

    Thanks...1/33rd

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Butler Co, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    419

    Default Re: Sequence Supers Get Filled...

    If I need to draw comb aggressively, I put 3 foundation in the middle of my honey boxes with 6 drawn combs, 3 on each side. Otherwise, I put 4 on each side and one foundation in the center. I feel they draw comb faster in the center than on the edges. When the combs are full and they begin drawing the foundation, it's time to add a box.

    The times I put the foundation on the outside, they seemed to draw the comb out shallower, if at all, before they began backfilling.
    Hindsight is 20/10, not 20/20...
    I always have an idea what I shouldn't have done after the fact.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    5,522

    Default Re: Sequence Supers Get Filled...

    In the supers I don't like to put foundation or empty frames "between" frames of drawn comb, unless they are capped. If the flow is extremely heavy it doesn't matter as much, but in a slow or moderate flow the bees sometimes fill the drawn comb first with nectar and extend the cells out deeper, encroaching into the empty space in the undrawn frame next to it. The result can sometimes be some wonky comb on the frames which is a nuisance and needs to be corrected.

    If the frames are "capped" on each side of foundation, new comb is drawn out more evenly with the capped frames as guides for the new comb being drawn. A lot depends on the time of year and the intensity of the flow. Everyone has their own way of doing things. I just don't like messing around with wonky comb so I do what I can to avoid it.
    To everything there is a season....

  9. #8

    Default Re: Sequence Supers Get Filled...

    You nailed it Mike Gilmore.

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