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I have seen many pictures of hives with 5 or 6 supers on them. I understand that some people use perhaps two brood boxes and also need a couple of supers left for winter in northern climates, but why as many as 5 or 6 supers.

Why is it not better to remove them and process them along the way. Is there risk to having the hives topple or get blown over with more surface area exposed to wind?

Just curious.
 

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I pull them off and process. I suspect most are left tall because of the economy of less trips to the bee yard.
 

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There are probably as many reasons for leaving them stacked as there is for processing fewer of them throughout the season, both ways work so whatever floats your boat. I personally prefer less supers to store come winter and removing full supers from really tall hives is a job for the young. :)
 

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I have hives right now that are 3 deeps and 6 mediums high, and I wish I could pull off some boxes, but sometimes the nectar comes into a hive faster than the bees can ripen and cap it, so I get tall hives with full supers that they are working on. Also I think its neat to see a hive with 200+ pounds of honey on. It doesn't happen every year so when it does, I like to look at a tall hive busting at the seams
 

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Gotta be time related. One time to the yard to pull boxes, one time to move them into the honey house, one time extracting them, one time cleaning every piece of equipment and the floors/walls and such and one time storing all the empties.

I know I hate cleaning my little uncapping tank, hot knife, extractor and what ever else I seem to get honey all over, and I only do it once a season!!!
 

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I end up with a lot of comb honey as I primarily deal with mesquite. it is thick - sometimes very thick and almost unextractable. you have to get it off almost as soon as the flow is over or it crystalizes. I wish I could extract more, but it just doesn't work out that way it seems. If I left a stack of supers until the end of the season It would just end up as semi-solid winter food for the bees.
 

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It's a lot of work and a lot of wasted honey every time you extract. I prefer to do it only once a year.
And often the day job that feeds our family takes priority over our hobby and sideline business.
 

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Wasted honey?
My preference is always to extract as quickly as possible and to keep empty boxes directly above the brood nest to maximize production.
 

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Duplicate post
 

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If you take off you supers and let them sit to long then ants, mice, wax moth could affect your crop. Plus if you leave them on they will finish capping and you can pull them all at once. It is way easier to pull them at once on one day then multiple times. Now if you have a bear hitting your yard then it is a bad plan to wait.
 

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Not all honeys are dry enough to extract as soon as they are capped. If the moisture content is too high it ferments. Not everyone has honey drying equipment either.
True, but any hive with 5 or 6 supers stacked up as the OP states, almost certainly has plenty of extractable honey in the hive. Our new honey is currently running between 15.5 and 16.0%
 

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I like the hive, backyarder!

The only reason I harvest twice a year is because of the honey flavors. Spring is orange blossom, gallberry and saw palmetto (though I had barely any OB and GB surplus, no surplus SP this year :( )

Fall is mostly Brazillian Pepper, and depending on area, Meleleuka. Wish I had more access to Meleleuka. Odd flavor but I'm finding more and more people who prefer it.
Spring honey is premium.

I also do not like prep cleaning and post cleaning. Ugg!
 

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We've pulled two frames, two weeks apart, they are slightly different.
Box #5 is drawn and 90% full but only about half capped. Last week was rainy and humid. They are drawing #6, im hoping this weekend I can remove #5 and set #6 in its place.
A hobby for us and we really didn't expect any honey in our first year. This hive has really caught us by surprise.
 

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I don't use queen (honey) excluders so the queen likes to sprawl resulting in 6 or 7 boxes high. The upside is the more bees, the more honey.
 

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I don't use queen (honey) excluders so the queen likes to sprawl resulting in 6 or 7 boxes high. The upside is the more bees, the more honey.
You have more experience than I do, and I don't use excluders either. It amazes me how the queen stays in the brood chambers and the rest get filled with honey. I had some capped brood in the bottom row of a honey super once, but I wouldn't call that sprawling.
 
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