I was told by a bee keeper that he does not but on a honey super until his hive is full of honey first. Than another one said when he sees dandlions he puts on honey supers and lets the fall flow fill the hive. What way is best, do you think.
Both. Depends on the situation. First year colonies use the top quarter of their brood frames for honey early on, then later in the summer you could try to add one honey super for their winter needs. Once they can start foraging (45 degrees minimum) usually means they start collecting pollen for brood production. It's a matter of putting on a super when "Needed", not just stacking them high and dry.
The second beekeeper that puts honey supers on when he sees dandelions blooming seems right to me. I put mine on shortly [1-2 weeks] after; around normal fruit tree bloom -- apples, plums, etc. Not when I see the very first dandelions!
You need [allow/provide] room for the queen to lay eggs and continue brood rearing during the course of the summer and honey flow. Bees that have reached the age that they are foraging, do not live very long [4-6 weeks] during the summer/honey flows and must be replaced by new bees to maintain a substantial population to bring in nectar, [for winter stores also]. A hive that is full of honeyfirst may swarm if the queen has no where to lay.
Maybe the first beekeeper meant he puts more honey supers on after those that were put on previously are full, or nearly full?
>>That's right,. about 'first year colonies' in post # 2.
Waiting to put supers on till the hive is full of honey restricts brood laying and causes swarming. Waiting till the dandelions are blooming causes them to also fill the broodnest area. This also depends on the strength of the hive and how many boxes are used to overwinter with. Strong hives should be supered before dandelion flow so the supers are cleaned and ready for nectar storage when it is available. First year hives can swarm if they are not given enough room for nectar storage. Bees need more room to store the nectar in its watered down state than what is needed when it is turned into honey. If this room is not given they will backfill the broodnest leading to less room for the queen to lay causing a smaller colony to produce less honey. Later in the season you can give them less room as they do not need to be producing more bees to be consuming the honey you should be harvesting.
A forum community dedicated to beekeeping, bee owners and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about breeding, honey production, health, behavior, hives, housing, adopting, care, classifieds, and more!