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Do you wait until 7/10 frames are capped to add another, or do you add 2 at a time (if fully drawn out)?
 

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i would do one at a time, but it varies on flow and shb here. Keeping a hive strong and almost cramped is the best way to deal with SHB. Too much room can be bad, but you may not have to worry about that out there!
 

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Do you wait until 7/10 frames are capped to add another, or do you add 2 at a time (if fully drawn out)?
Yes, 7 out of 10 sounds good, then I would add one....when you still have a good honey flow.
 

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How good is your nectar flow, and how often do you check your bees?

Try to stay 3 boxes ahead of your bees. If they are working in a box, give them at least 3 more medium supers of drawn comb.

Bees need 2-3 extra boxes of drawn comb for drying down nectar. Not giving them space cramps their production.

You will never know how much honey your bees could have made if you don't give them boxes.

Now if you want to limit your honey production to 2 boxes....just give your bees 2 supers and be happy if they fill them.
 

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Where did you learn this CB. I know you stack yours on, but I have never heard of this style....What makes you think they need 2 boxes to dry down nectar?
 

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I'd have to mostly agree with Countryboy. I might disagree on the reasoning but if you've got 7 frames capped then they are already backfilling the frames in the upper brood box. As soon as they make any decent progress on one super they get 2-3 more empties. I try not to go more than 5 high just because of the weight.
But a good hive on a good flow can put on 2 boxes in 12 days.

If they run out of room, they swarm... Then you don't need any more supers !!
 

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SHB would eat you alive odwn here if you did that for sure
 

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Where did you learn this CB. I know you stack yours on, but I have never heard of this style....What makes you think they need 2 boxes to dry down nectar?

It's something I picked up from Allen Dick at www.honeybeeworld.com, and supported by personal observations. I've seen bees put nectar into upper supers, and then move it back down into lower supers when they started capping honey when the flow was slowing. Why else would bees spread out nectar, and then move it around when it dried down?

The more surface area the bees have to dry down the nectar, the faster they can dry it down.
 

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I've seen bees put nectar into upper supers, and then move it back down into lower supers when they started capping honey when the flow was slowing. Why else would bees spread out nectar, and then move it around when it dried down?

The more surface area the bees have to dry down the nectar, the faster they can dry it down.


Maybe, but might the moving down of the dried nectar in the upper supers be a result of the flow ending and the observed spreading not necessarily being intentional? I'm not suggesting that the don't move it around. I just don't think it happens until the end of the flow and they want to cap off the frames in the main working super. During a strong flow there is no need to move everthing around and I put two full deeps of drawn comb on and they definitely pack the bottom deep first and dry back full cells before capping. Moving that I've seen comes at the end of the flow if, and only if, necessary.

Boss Bee: "The flows over ladies, time to cap."
Worker Bee: "But all these cells aren't full."
Boss Bee :"Umm, right. Just move that stuff up in the attic down here and top all this off."

-Reid
 

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I like what Countryboy said. And one thing is for sure, you can take this to the bank. They won't fill them if they aren't on the hives. I've tried, it doesn't work. So, If I see nectar in a cpl of frames in the top box, I put on a cpl of boxes. If the top box has actual honey in it, I put on three. And then I check them in about 10 days or 2 weeks. On a good flow w/ strong hives they can fill them up really quickly.

And if they do, and it is early enuf in the year, take them off, extract them and put them back on for the fall flow.

Right now i am taking off the summer crop. About 30 pounds it seems is what I am averaging. The yard that I did yesterday was 50 pounds per hive for sure, on 40 hives. That was a work out for me.

But I am going against my own advice and not putting the boxes back on. They already have two or three boxes on them and if they fill those that'll be great. And then they can pack the top(second) deep w/ honey for themselves and I won't have to feed them when they get south for the winter.

Besides, those combs that are on them now need filling again. It has been a cpl of years since they had honey in them.
 

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wish we could do that...shb would run you over.....
 

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Allen Dick used to run up to 4500 hives. He observed that bees liked to spread thin nectar around to dry it down. In my own hives I have seen bees putting some nectar in upper boxes, and then those boxes became dry a few days later and the flow was still on.

Maybe the quality of nectar affects things. Perhaps the more watered down the nectar is, the more they like to spread it out to dry it easier.

I think you are better safe than sorry - add a couple extra boxes. If they don't need the space, it won't hurt anything in a good strong hive. (Note: we don't have severe infestations of SHB here.) If you don't give them the extra boxes, you will never know if they needed the space or not. If you do give them extra boxes, they may surprise you with a little more honey.

But I am going against my own advice and not putting the boxes back on. They already have two or three boxes on them and if they fill those that'll be great. And then they can pack the top(second) deep w/ honey for themselves and I won't have to feed them when they get south for the winter.

Why don't you put your sticky supers above the inner cover? It's like emergency space. They won't use the combs unless they need it. They'll store honey below the inner cover first, but if they plug those boxes up, they will start working the boxes above the inner cover.
 

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I don't use inner covers on my 600 colonies.
I'm lazy. Busy doing things like packing and distribution.
I want the boxes above the two deeps, which haven't had honey in them in two or three years, to get honey in them. And to get cycled through the honey hopuse where some of the bad comb will get cycled out of the system.
I have left two and three boxes on each hive as I am pulling the summer honey.
I want the deeps to get alot of honey in them. The two deeps that make up the brood boxes. That way i won't have to feed any more than I need to.

That is my line of thinking this year. After all, it is late summer here in the North Country. Slept w/ windows closed and a blanket the last two nights. Goldenrod is in bloom, but not yet producing. So, if it does produce a crop it will show up in the supers that are still on and in the brood boxes.

The best laid plans of mice and men, gain glaf a glae. (or something like that.) Sorry John.
 
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