Years ago, common sense told me that the bees would have a much easier time (and yield more honey) if I bottom supered. Experience taught me it doesn't matter. It's all about colony strength and nectar flow--not empty super position.
I agree. When you managing a "flow" do you have two deeps and then your honey supers on top of the two deeps? This is my set up. An "old timer" told me I should split my hives and put honey supers with queen excluder on top of the deep box that has the queen. He says this will yield me more honey and that if I take the honey off in early August I should have enough time in Missouri to build the hive up for winter. What do you think?
I used to bottom super but for me I realize that it doesn't matter much. Frankly, I've had "brood in the honey super" problems when I bottom super and I don't get that once the first super over the brood boxes gets filled up. Once there's honey above, the queen tends to stay down. I don't use excluders (for this situation) anymore.
If I don't extract and if the flow is heavenly, I'll add a ventilation shim between the second and third super (BTW, I use all mediums to it's usually three brood boxes followed by honey). The shim is about 2" with vents all around and a generous entrance. I typically get a lot of activity at that entrance.
That said, I usually don't grow the hives that big. I extract....throw the wet supers on above an inner cover, treat and plan for winter. If I get a wonderful fall crop, it's usually only a box and I gratefully pull and extract...again putting the wet super over an inner cover and then I get serious about the cold weather.
My theory on honey flow management is to get them good at storing their own food. I rob their pantry if they are plentiful. Otherwise, I let them pollinate the world around me.
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