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Howdy all,

I put a second deep on about 2.5 weeks ago and checked it yesterday. About 70-80% of the frames are covered in comb and bees, but 90% of the cells are empty. Reading some of the past forum questions and answers, I know "when do I add a super" is a common question with a pretty consistent answer (when ~80% of the frames are drawn out).

My question is this:
Should a super be added when ~80% of the frames are full of empty comb?

or

Should a super be added when ~80% of the frames are full of full comb (brood, pollen, honey, etc)?

Thanks in advance for the clarification!
 

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Depends on the rate at which they are expanding and how much nectar is coming in. On a strong flow, they are going to store nectar and make honey, so you can add another box when you have 70% drawn, but otherwise, they will tend to "chimney" up in a narrow band and leave the rest of the comb undrawn, sometimes for the rest of the year.

I would wait until you have brood in those frames -- the bees won't need more room until the brood starts to emerge, and it's better to wait until they do so. At that point, you will have lots of wax makers available and the new box gets drawn out pronto.

If you don't have a decent nectar flow going, you wont' get comb drawn unless you feed.

Peter
 
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