REMOVING HONEY SUPERS
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Lynn, MA
    Posts
    328

    Question REMOVING HONEY SUPERS

    OK, this is most likely a dumb question, but I can't get it out of my mind....

    In the spring, when the hive is new and starting to build up, you have to add a 2nd deep when the 1st deep is about 70% drawn. Then you add a honey super when the 2nd deep is about 70-80% drawn and packed and so forth.... If you don't do it in time, the bees detect they are running out of space and prepair to swarm. Right?

    So, what confused me is, when both deeps are drawn and pretty much filled and your honey super(s) are filled, when you pull your honey super(s) in September, I would think that would mean both deeps are pretty much full and the bees have no more space. Why won't they swarm in September? ANd, if I feed through the fall, where are they putting it?

    I'm guessing, since the queen's egg-laying has nearly stopped, the workers will pack pollen, nectar and honey into the spots where the last of the brood hatched from and just fill up all the spaces?
    Lynn, MA

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    5,592

    Default Re: REMOVING HONEY SUPERS

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob D View Post

    I'm guessing, since the queen's egg-laying has nearly stopped, the workers will pack pollen, nectar and honey into the spots where the last of the brood hatched from and just fill up all the spaces?
    That's typical late in the season when the queen slows down egg laying and the colony is preparing for winter. Make sure that you actually are in that mode and the fall flow is winding down. Crowded hives "will" swarm in September if the queen is still laying and she runs out of brood cells because too much is backfilled with nectar.

    That happened with a couple of my hives last year. One of my yards had an excellent fall flowing still going strong and very mild fall weather when I reduced them down in preparation for winter configuration. I should have been paying closer attention but got distracted. Two hives swarmed right before a cold front came through and settled in. The new queens never had a chance to get out for mating flights. I figured it out too late.
    To everything there is a season....

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Lynn, MA
    Posts
    328

    Default Re: REMOVING HONEY SUPERS

    Thank you for your reply.

    I see they are still bringing in pollen. I'm in Northeast Massachusetts (Just north of Boston). Not sure when the Golden Rod finishes up here......
    Lynn, MA

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: REMOVING HONEY SUPERS

    This is a well timed post for me Bob D as I'm a new bee keeper this year as well! There is almost too much info on the web - it's making my head hurt Lol.

    I'm in Ontario, Canada - I have 2 hives, one brood box each and 1 and 2 supers on each respectively. Each hive is booming - lots of brood and larvae in the brood boxes still and the brood boxes are chock full of bees - but very little honey on my outer frames. In my hive with 2 supers, the top super has 6 capped frames. The other frames are in various states of being filled - same for the super on the other hive.

    The golden rod flow is in full swing and the bees are bringing in a ton of pollen. It was my understanding that we should be leaving honey for the bees and my plan for winter was :

    deep brood > honey super > candy board > quilt box. (I'm guessing this would require removing supers, feeding only the brood box and putting a honey super back on)

    or should I be removing all the honey supers and running :

    deep brood > candy board > quilt box. (feeding 2:1 sugar water after the supers are removed)

    Rob

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    5,592

    Default Re: REMOVING HONEY SUPERS

    I think you should probably have a 2 deep brood set up on each hive in your region. I'll let the Canadians chime in, but double deeps is pretty common here.
    To everything there is a season....

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Lynn, MA
    Posts
    328

    Default Re: REMOVING HONEY SUPERS

    Yes, in the cooler regions with long winters, 2 deep brood boxes to overwinter with is strongly recommended. Even with two here in New England I end up heavily feeding in the spring and placing pollen patties in because they run out of food sometimes. I'm feel safe to assume they would never make a Canidian winter with only 1 deep.

    Talk to your local bee club or beekeepers in your area. They may even recommend you combine hives to be sure there are enough stores for the winter. But I'm no genius when it comes to this. Ask around......
    Lynn, MA

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    4,849

    Default Re: REMOVING HONEY SUPERS

    Oh they will survive Canadian winters OK but I think they need closer attention to having them chock full in the fall. When you take the supers off they often scary light on stores! You have to stay on top of swarm control too.

    My son runs quite a few singles in with the doubles and finds the same required feeding situation in the spring that Bob D mentions. They can get locked on brood and either starve entirely or lots of chilled brood which is a negative for any disease. You can make more honey from a given amount of equipment but it is more management sensitive than doubles in my opinion.

    I was going to run singles this season but I got nervous at how crowded they were getting and let them grow to doubles and some to a deep and a medium.

    People doing indoor storage do well with singles.
    Frank

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