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Just started my hives this year, they now have 2 brood boxes each nearly full. Would it be better to start adding honey supers or another brood box. My thoughts behind this question are will not get honey this season so for the sake of the hive a honey super or another brood box to strengthen the hive for next season.
 

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I would add a medium to them. They can draw it out quicker then a deep. And the comb drawing
period end is fast approaching.
 

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the drawing time may soon becoming to an end in Missouri, but in Indiana you will be coming up on a goldenrod bloom. believe me your bees can fill a medium super during a goldenrod bloom. some people tend to down Goldenrod honey. but I find it pleasant. and to get a harvest on your first year is a pleasurable treat. You should get 1 medium from each hive. AND I would take it! two deeps at our latitude is enough to winter a hive. IMHO!
 

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the drawing time may soon becoming to an end in Missouri, but in Indiana you will be coming up on a goldenrod bloom. believe me your bees can fill a medium super during a goldenrod bloom. some people tend to down Goldenrod honey. but I find it pleasant. and to get a harvest on your first year is a pleasurable treat. You should get 1 medium from each hive. AND I would take it! two deeps at our latitude is enough to winter a hive. IMHO!
Thanks so much, I am very new and haven't figured out the nectar times yet. This is great information.
 

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I'm in MO too. This is my first year with bees. Does predicting the end of comb drawing mean we're about to have a dearth? And would it be because it's dry or an every summer thing? I was hoping they'd do OK on prairie flowers and weeds. Seems like we have a lot of them in August usually, but I don't really know which kinds they can use. Also the soybeans are really late this year and won't bloom for a few weeks, I think. One of my hives has most of three medium 10 frames filled. The other is a small swarm I trapped about 3 weeks ago. They've filled most of one medium. I was hoping it'd build up enough before winter to not need two much feeding. Is that likely? Most people here use two deeps for wintering. The hives I think my swarm came from have only had one for years. I'm 90 miles south of Kansa city.
 

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I run all mediums for brood and honey. I like the idea of being able to swap frames among supers and supers among hives. My basic hive configuration is 3 medium supers. Some are in 10 frames and some are in 8's. From there I just add more supers throughout the flow. This year is way different then last year as for as flow, etc. Normally, around here you get the start of the seasons flow in mid April. Then it really kicks in around Mothers Day. and goes through June. By July 4 it is "normally" over until Goldenrod and asters bloom in September. Where I am located if the hives have the top medium full of honey and some scattered in the other 2 mediums by October 1 they can make it through the winter. If not then I top them off with 2x1 sugar syrup to get them up to weight. Then I start feeding again in early March. That is when I start feeding heavily with sugar syrup and protein patties. This helps them build up numbers for the coming spring flow. This template works for me.
 

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It doesn't matter what you put on. It matters what you take off for wintering. I believe in the Michael Bush school of thought. Keep the equipment the same. So in your case it would be another deep but in the end it doesn't matter.
 

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I would put on a medium or shallow and see what the do with it. If you get soybean honey, they may fill it for you. If not, and it stays empty, you can take it back of in October. If they put some honey in it but don't fill it, you can leave it on over winter, too, it won't hurt and will give them something to work on early.

In any case, check the weight in early September and if you can lift the back of the hive, feed 2:1 syrup and some protein until you cannot lift the hive with one hand. That will get you through the winter in good shape.

Peter
 

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I would put on a medium or shallow and see what the do with it. If you get soybean honey, they may fill it for you. If not, and it stays empty, you can take it back of in October. If they put some honey in it but don't fill it, you can leave it on over winter, too, it won't hurt and will give them something to work on early.

In any case, check the weight in early September and if you can lift the back of the hive, feed 2:1 syrup and some protein until you cannot lift the hive with one hand. That will get you through the winter in good shape.

Peter
I was wondering how you knew if the hive had enough stores for winter. The lifting with one hand, how many hive bodies is that for? Interesting way to tell.
 

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I have had so much trouble understanding nectar flow and also seen many questions about it on this forum. I found this link North American Nectar Flow for Bees at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_nectar_sources_for_honey_bees
Found it to be very helpful for a newbie. I copied it to an Excel sheet so I could have it available offline and thought others might be interested in it.
 

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That is a good link for a beginner like me. Didnt see an mention of Korean Lezpedeza. Does anyone know if bees benefit from it? It blooms in August when not as man plants are blooming. Blooms are pretty small though.
 

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Pull a couple of frames from the outside of your top box and insert a couple of frames either on the edges or in the brood nest itself. No empties side by side. They will draw brood cells instead of honey cells. Those frames will be handy next spring.
A box on top will get you honey cells, single inner frames in your lower boxes will get you brood cells.
 

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My apologies, but I guess I'll confuse the issue a little more. There are so many different strategies in beekeeping, and sometimes it's difficult to decide which way to go. I'll stray from the general consensus and say that in your situation I would add another deep right now. My decision making process for the present is actually centered around swarm control management for next Spring.

When next March and April roll around, and the bees begin backfilling the brood nest in preparation to swarm, you will have no empty "drawn" deep frames to open up the broodnest and help prevent swarming. Medium or shallow drawn frames will do you no good next spring if your brood is in deeps.

I would add another deep now and get them to drawn out as many deep frames as possible this year. When Fall comes around you can consolidate down to two deeps and store the additional deep frames for next spring. You may even end up with a few deep frames of Goldenrod honey you can extract and store. Even if they only draw out half the frames in the 3rd deep I think that's better than having mediums or shallows drawn.

If you can keep your hive intact and prevent swarming next spring they will draw out and fill plenty of mediums or shallows for you. If they swarm, you lose half of your colony potential. So, that's my advice for what it's worth. I know just how frustrating it can be to successfully overwinter a colony in deeps and have no extra drawn deep frames to stop them from swarming in the Spring.

By the way, that's why I ended up switching to all mediums.
 

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I agree with the deep frame draw.

I stick with deep frames everywhere so far. Yeah, the honey box's get heavy, but I make a lot of nucs and can use any frame anywhere I want, any time of the season.
I may eventually incorporate 6 1/4" frames when I start planning on harvesting honey, but until I get my stash of deep frames drawn I will stick with getting as many as I can done. They are invaluable for management.

Not meaning to start any controversy, but I really don't like mediums for a broodnest area. They just don't seem to draw out the mediums as well as the deeps. Seems like the bees perhaps need to ready the frame for the queen and every time she visits a different frame, there is a down time period? Not really sure of the reason...just an observation. Sure they are lighter, but if I have a heavy 8 or 10 frame box, I just get the old man or take a few frames out one at a time.

If I had all medium frames and box's, I'd be dead now for all the assembly I'd have to have done:)

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