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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We just put together our first hive (bees arrive in May). It came with a super also. Should I put the super on the hive straight away, or should I wait until the main body's frames are almost full and then put it on. Also, if I put the super on straight away (or perhaps within a couple days or bees arrival) should I put a queen excluder between the main body and the super.
Thanks in advance
 

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I am a newb, so the more experienced beeks will correct me if I am wrong, but I would wait until they have comb drawn out on 7-8 of the frames in the hive body before adding a super. That way, they won't be overwhelmed by the amount of area that they have to cover. You have a package of bees coming, so they will need to increase their numbers a bit before they get very productive. According to my reading, that could take anywhere from 4-8 weeks.

If you want to use that super exclusively for honey, you can use a queen excluder.
 

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Welcome to beekeeping

Set your hive out where you are going to have the bees at, with just one deep.
once your bees come take out 3-4 frames and insert the queen cage then dump the package of bees in, wait about 5 minutes and slowly slide the other frames in ( only NINE will fit) put the lits on

after 3-4 DAYs open the hive use just a little or no smoke
locate the queen cage and see that she is released
if she is not take a nail and remove about half the candy plug
if she has been release carefully add the tenth frame

anyhow back to the super

after about 3-4 weeks the bees will have drawn out most of the one deep hive body- at this point add ONE MORE DEEP with ten frames

let them draw out those ten frames or so

this will take about 3-4 weeks (FEED LOTS OF SUGAR)

then about june(give or take depending on your area)
add super and keep adding them as they fill them

hope this helps
 

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I agree with concrete, he has laid it out very well for you. If you add too quickly you'll have scattered frames of comb and they may not build up as fast. The same goes when wondering about when to add supers. You want to keep your hive condensed until they need space, but you don't want to crowd them or they will swarm. There are reasons to crowd but for now you don't need to be concerned with that.

Welcome, and enjoy. You'll be hooked.
 

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Concrete laid it out nicely. I'll just add that for package bees on foundation, I feed continuously until they have 2 deeps of foundation drawn out.

I don't use excluders, but for those that do, most don't use them when there's comb to be drawn. Bees are often reluctant to go thru the excluder to draw comb.
 

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Don't put on a queen excluder until they draw out a couple of frames of comb in the super...they won't want to move through it onto foundation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks so much everyone! Concrete-bees, I printed out what you wrote. I have been reading everything I can find in books and online, but had that specific question. I am excited!! Thanks again!
 

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Hey catdance. Check out youtube also. You can see vids of how to install packages.

Good luck to ya.
 

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oh yeah and those darn excluders !!!!

i bet the folks that make them are just laughin!!!!
but really they "do work" just not the first couple of years - reason is it that the bees almost never draw comb above it - no one told me this my first year ..... what a mess i had on my hands - i had swarms up the ... you know what !!!

and could not figure out what i was doing wrong - then a fellow beek stopped my the house and told me to ditch the excluder if i ever wanted honey - since then .....gallons every year!!!!

as for the 4 excluders that i bought the first year ...well.... keep them in the truck incase i get stuck in mud and need traction -- haha

im glad i could help you out -

oh and youtube is great for "seeing" how its done - even the ones in other lang. just watch and see how they inspect there hives
 

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There's lots of other uses for an excluder besides keeping the queen out of the surplus honey. So, even if you decide not to use it for it's intended purpose, it's still a useful tool when making splits, or hiving swarms and the like.
 
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