I will be expanding my bee operation for next year to 25 hives here in south Mississippi.
How many medium supers per hive would you suggest for maximum yield if using a single brood chamber.
Also are queen excluders really necessary?
Queen excluders are a not necessary if your just going to extract honey. I prefer a cycle or two of brood in mine. It helps to strengthen the wax. If your going to have comb honey then you have two choices. One use a queen excluder over the brood nest to keep the queen out of the comb suppers. If you plan on not using an excluder make sure there is an inch and three quarters or more of sealed honey over the brood. The queen will seldom cross sealed comb to lay eggs in the upper supper.
How many supper? Well that depends on the flow. Usually 3-4 suppers in a normal flow, I have had as many as 7 on a hive. It all depends on size of hive, number of bees, and what the nectar source is. You can get away with just two honey suppers but then you have to be right on top of the hives. Once it all gets filled up then they will think of swarming and you had better extract fast. It is just up to what you are willing to do.
>How many medium supers per hive would you suggest for maximum yield if using a single brood chamber.
A REALLY good year you might need five supers per hive. A bad year you won't need any.
>Also are queen excluders really necessary?
My guess is with a single brood chamber, you might want an excluder. I use all mediums for everything, brood and supers, and I do not use an excluder. When I ran two deeps I also didn't use an excluder, but the queen is not going to stay in one deep. She will lay in the supers under those conditions almost every time.
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