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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This may sound like a stupid question- but then, there are no stupid questions, only stupid people. :D (Yes, I am a bit self-deprecating!)

In central Alabama, established colony to arrive shortly in a single deep. I've thought about just plopping a honey super on it right away. (Brand new equipment, so the frames in the honey super are not yet drawn.) Would it be more advisable to put on a second deep so the colony can build numbers, and put on a honey super as well? I'd like to get a little honey this year if it's possible. (I'm leading a mead making workshop in July, and would love t use my own honey if I can.)

If I've left out any vital info, ask away. If you have any advice, I'll take that as well. I bow before the masters. :)

Be well
-UF
 

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It is not a good idea to put on two supers or too much space ever. The bees have to defend all that space from wax moths and small hive beetles. When the first super is 70 percent full add the second super.
 

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You probably need some information from someone local to you. It sounds like you are buying one deep hive body with drawn comb and bees. I suspect that you might be able to over winter in a single deep down there, but again someone local would know.

The other question is when are your honey flows and when are you getting bees? If you get the bees before your honey flows, you could put the undrawn honey super on, wait until they start drawing comb in the super, then add an excluder and when you get a few frames of honey capped put your other brood box on under the excluder.

I don't know how much honey you want (my son made some mead and got 15 lbs from me). That is about 5 medium frames.

After you remove your honey super you will need to feed unless you still have a honey flow going. Warning: this could all blow up on you and they could swarm. This is a more difficult management style, especially for a new beekeeper.
 

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(I'm leading a mead making workshop in July, and would love t use my own honey if I can.)


Where will you be doing the workshop? i live in Columbiana.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all the good input! Based on this, my current plan is to just go with the supering, and wait until later add a second brood body.

@fant214: I'm leading the workshop in Radford, VA.

Be well
-UF
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Forgot to address beedeetee's question about the amount of honey... I really only need about 9 pounds at the lest. I'm doing a 3-gallon batch at the workshop. 9 is probably slightly more than enough.

Be well
-UF
 

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Adding a single honey super is probably your best approach. You may want to use an excluder, though, to keep brood out of the super (I have a couple of extra, if you need one). And, after you pull your honey super, put a second deep on and then feed; some Honey-b-Healthy plus the sugar water worked well for me last Fall....your girls will need to build up for the winter and it generally takes a 2-deep or at least a deep and a medium to overwinter down here.

Say hello to the iron double moon for me!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Adding a single honey super is probably your best approach. You may want to use an excluder, though, to keep brood out of the super
I've heard excluders can go quite a long ways toward preventing comb from being drawn out. I understand trying to keep brood out, but what sort of impact do you think it would have with my non-drawn frames? (BTW, thanks very much for the offer, but I went ahead and got excluders just in case...and this case may have made that pay off.....)

Yeah, the moon over Homewood amuses me. There's enough tree cover that I can't see it from where the hives will be, but I have jokingly called my little operation the Iron Moon Home For Girls, as well as the 16th Place Home For Girls. :)

Be well
-UF
 

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I've heard excluders can go quite a long ways toward preventing comb from being drawn out. I understand trying to keep brood out, but what sort of impact do you think it would have with my non-drawn frames?
That's why I said to put the super on and then when they have started drawing out some comb, then add the excluder. I suspect that with a single deep that they would be more likely to go through and get started, but I would start without it for a couple of days.
 

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The bees do not know it is a super they will move straight into it as if it were a brood box. Beedeetee makes a great point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm revisiting this thread after picking up my bees this morning...

Once more, I have two established colonies in single deep brood boxes. I'm hoping to get some honey production right away, if possible. (I have a mead making workshop coming up, and would love to use my own honey if possible.)

Adding a single honey super is probably your best approach. You may want to use an excluder, though, to keep brood out of the super....
After talking with my bee supplier this monring, he advised adding a second brood box first. He said plopping the honey super right on top of a single brood box (with the excluder in between) was just asking for a swarm.

I should mention I;m experimenting with plastic frames. Some folks have said they're fine, others really despise them quite a bit. (...but as I've been told, ask 10 beeks one question, you'll get 13 answers.)

Thoughts?

Thanks for your time and insight! Now that I'm officially a newbeek, I'm sure I'll have many more questions!

Be well
-UF
 

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I would plop the medium super on top of them without the excluder. They will move up and either use it for brood or store honey in it, or most likely both. Nothing says you cant remove frames of honey from this super/2nd brood box and replace with drawn comb or more foundation frames for them to draw, fill or lay in at their leisure. Pretty sure you can pull 3 frames (9 pounds) and leave the brood frames in there, then come back and pull some more as they store it. I'm not a fan of single deep brood chambers, I know others are and that works for them, I like deep/medium or 2 deeps for brood then super above that.
 
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