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I'm still very new to this. I've been doing alot of reading but can not find the answer to my question. When do I add supers? This is going to be my first hive and will be getting my bees in Mid May.
 

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How will you get your bees? Will they be a package, a nuc, or a fully developed hive? Assuming you go with two deeps for brood, or three mediums for brood, and assuming you are starting with undrawn frames or foundation, I would add the first super when the bees populate about 70% to 80% of those boxes.

Let's say you start with a package, I would keep them in one deep brood box until they have drawn and filled 8 of the ten frames or so. Than add the second deep, let them draw and fill again 8 frames, before you add your first super.
 

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It's not an exact science and most people have their 'preferred' way to do things, but a general rule taught to me was "when they are drawing out the 8th frame of a 10 frame, add another." It's better to give them a little extra room, then not enough. As long as they want to continue building, let them, they'll slow down or stop when it's time.

Craig
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I will be starting with package bees and my hive will be new with undrawn frames and foundation. I plan on using 2 deep brood boxes. I was planning on using 10 frames per box.
 

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I wouldn't worry about adding supers till you get your brood boxes filled in. You are going to need to feed really hard to get them to draw out the frames. It takes a lot of nectar for them to produce the wax needed for this. Once they get 7 to 8 frames drawn out then add the second brood box. You will probably need to rotate the end frames into the middle to get them to draw them as they tend not to draw out the end frames very well unless you really crowd them.

Once they have filled out both brood boxes and you still have a flow on then you can add the super.

good luck
 

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Alpha6 is right. Maybe this helps.

When I started, I got a single package that I hived into a single deep. It was about the middle of May. Fairly warm but not hot temps. New box, new frames, new foundation. I fed them a lot. It took about 4 or 5 weeks for the colony to draw wax and fill out 2/3 or so of the bottom deep with brood. So, around the first of July I was adding my second deep. They filled that up pretty quick but then superseded the original queen. I was still feeding but they weren't taking and we were in a dearth. Things picked up in late August and I added a super...more to draw wax and see what they would do. The queen ended up in the super so I let it go and overwintered with two deeps and one medium.

So......don't add a second box until the first is pretty full and well drawn. Don't add a super until the second box is getting full as well. Feed as long as they take it and don't worry about things until you need to.

You're going to have a great time!
 

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I use the 7/10 and 8/10 rules, as previously stated.

When running Russian queens, add another super when 70% are in use, and 80% for other races.

Don't stop feeding your bees sugar syrup until they are done building out the comb and you're ready to add your first honey super.

And good luck!
 
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