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I think that I tend to add supers prematurely, worrying that I'll crowd the bees if I wait too long. My two boomer colonies have almost completely filled, but not capped, their top two supers. Should I add another or make them cap the top one first? I forget what the advice was that I got a few years ago. Maybe it's 70 or 80% drawn out/being worked...

There are probably a zillion thread on this already, but I'm being lazy and asking for new replies...
 

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"uper when 70% of top box is capped, or full of honey/uncapped?"
Yes. (In the peak flow, depending on my schedule and convenience, I would super on the earlier side of those options as long as there are plenty of bees to defend the space. On the shoulders of the flow or with a lower population, on the later side.)
 

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I was once told that a super in the shed, stores no honey. I have always installed the next super too early, rather than too late.
 

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If you have drawn comb, they will start to fill it very quickly. Foundation they will ignore until the drawn comb fills up, at least in my experience, and if there isn't a good honey flow on they will just chew it.

With drawn comb, I'd put on all that I thought the bees could keep the wax moths and small hive beetles under control in. They indeed will not fill it if it's not on the hive, and it it is they seem to want to stuff it all up with honey, not a bad thing at all!

Mine are filling a super a week at the moment, plus backfilling the upper part of the brood nest. Hopefully the tulip poplar and dutch clover will produce long enough for me to get that extra super of foundation drawn -- it's hard to check at the moment, too many boxes on that hive to easily remove the top one.

Peter
 
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