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Discussion Starter #1
So it looks like I should be able to collect honey this year but one bit of information I haven't yet gotten an answer to is when is it OK to put on a honey super? Does the 1st and/or 2nd deep need to be mostly full of capped honey cells before adding the honey super or can you just put it on at the start of the season and take it off whenever it gets full?
 

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I like to see all of the frames in your box drawn and bees on 90% of the frames before adding another box. I like the bees to be forced into the new box - otherwise they may consider it to be not a part of their hive. Too much space seems to discourage bees.
 

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So it looks like I should be able to collect honey this year but one bit of information I haven't yet gotten an answer to is when is it OK to put on a honey super? Does the 1st and/or 2nd deep need to be mostly full of capped honey cells before adding the honey super or can you just put it on at the start of the season and take it off whenever it gets full?
michos - Andrew and Rusty both have excelent answers here about when it's a good time to put on the supers. The one thing i'd like to mention is about the DEEP hive bodies. Some people actually run just single deeps and super with honey supers using queen excluders to keep the queen out of the honey. It's more common practice though from what i've seen to actually use two deeps for the brood chamber. As for when to put the second deep on, it is the same as what they have mentioned. It's always a great idea to keep plenty of bees to cover the area. When I install a package 3# i use 8frame equipment. I wait till the girls have all 8 frames pulled out and the queen has at least most of them covered with brood prior to putting on a second deep. Then I wait till that area is the same way prior to going on with the honey supers. Hope this helps in some way.
 

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The bees will only work the space they need. If you keep adding boxes, they won't touch the excess, and instead you leave them with a huge amount of space to defend. Only add space when it's looking like they need it. (I use the rule of boxes fully drawn, and at least about 80% covered with BEES...like...everywhere!) Don't push them to make honey for you. Is this your first season? You don't want your brood boxes full of "capped honey cells"....You want them full of brood! No offense intended...but have you done any reading or picture studying to know the difference between brood/drone/honey? Truly, there is a ton on google and You Tube. It helps a bunch to study frames when you aren't dealing with a bunch of stinging ladies. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Many thanks for the responses. This all makes sense. Yeah, perhaps im a bit anxious to get honey. I put a second deep on my hive after the winter and the bees went to work fast. Had about 70% of the 2nd deep in use and was about to add a honey super or two when the hive swarmed once and then again...so now im back to a full first deep with few bees to work on/protect the 2nd deep. In addition, since they swarmed twice, it took forever for the new queen to establish herself and start laying...so im still in honey collecting mode with too few bees to make it happen. I was, however, able to capture the two swarms so at least I have 3 hives now...
 
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