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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The nectar flow has really come on in the past week and a half!! :)

I put a second shallow super (wax & wire foundation) on several hives today. If this nectar flow lasts long enough to fill them, can I quit supering?

I only have 4 shallow supers left and I would have to purchase/ cut down some frames to get them running. A would rather not end up with a bunch of half drawn, half full, honey supers to try to deal with over the winter.

If I allow them to finish up the second super and start filling up the brood chamber is that a mistake? My guess would be the supers will be drawn out filled by the July 6th if the flow holds out. Is this wishful thinking on my part? :rolleyes:

Would it trigger a swarm that late in the year? All my queen are 2010s.

I have limited experience handling honey and 12 supers full would seem to be a lot to work with my first year. Of course this is just a guess. I also have limited equipment IE hand crank extractors (2), one hot knife, ect.

If everything on the hives right now were to be filled; 12 shallow supers full is what I would have.

Half of them are already full of nectar and 98% drawn out in a 9 frame in a 10 frame box format.

It will be a nice problem to have, if they all get full and capped.

I think I will be fine, as the flow will have to be strong for them to draw out another super of foundation and fill it with honey.

But, it is better to have a plan in mind if needed, than to have no plan at all.

Thanks for any suggestions,

RKR
 

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bees will swarm if they run out of room. I've had an 8 story hive get full and swarm. If you didn't want to mess with the honey then you should not have gotten bees.
While I can't speak about colorado, around here they will swarm any month if they need more room.
 

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You truly have a nice problem. Super them any time they fill to 70 to 80 percent. Your two options are extract what you have capped and put the super right back on, or buy more supers. With a small extractor honey time is your best option. If they swarm they will pack a lunch and you will not have this problem. If you are checking for queen cells every two weeks they cannot stay gone without a queen. If you find a couple queen cells on a frame you could make a split. Then you will have two hives to buy supers for. I wish that problem on every beekeeper.
 

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I agree, it's a good problem. Not wanting to buy more equipment now is ok and you don't have to to. (It is hardly the same as not wanting to mess with honey and a reason for others to question your right to keep bees.)

Use your spare shallows and make some top bars for the girls to draw out and fill if need be. (Top bars are easy to cut from scrap and there are a lot of threads about making them here.) You can use it for comb honey or crush and strain it for your own use and the bees will have all the room they need if your flow continues.

Wayne
 

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I wish I had a problem like yours. Get as much honey as you can and sell it to pay for the extra equipment.
Have fun.

Mike
Anchorage Alaska
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Fuzzy...buddy.... try some De-caf....really De-caf :) :). MO is Missouri, CO is Colorado.... Cass Co. is for Cass County.. sorry for the confusion.

This is a question of volume and equipment limitations not really that I don't "want to mess with the honey". I spent too much time planing on having the bee hives and too little time planing for the honey, now I have to make a correction in my paradigm. Rookie mistake. I now know that if I am to maintain 10 hives next year that some upgrades in the honey collection and honey handling department are in order.

Americans beek and Wayne you are picking up what I'm putting down. I like the "quick turn around extraction" idea as well as the "top bar" idea.

This is my first year and I was not prepared for the rapid filling of the supers that I have seen this week. But I'm not griping, just looking into my options. Sorry if I sounded like I was griping in the post.

So yes, I now understand that not providing them with all the room they want at any time, is in fact a mistake. I will get the other 4 supers up and running so I have a back up.

What do you do with supers that do not get fully drawn out and have nectar that is not ripe in them? stick them in the freezer for next year?
Or will the bees cap what they can and eat the rest?

Thanks, RKR
 

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uI harvest then put the supers right back on for them to refill. I try to harvest 3 times a year but early spring didn't get me enough to really harvest. I minimize the amount of supers I have to buy doing this and have 3 types to honey to sell. As for uncalled supers I that's a judgement call. Depending on how they look, and feel I either harvest them or put them upside down above the inner cover to be cleaned out and moved into upper deep for winter.

Also remember, once the frames are drawn go to 9 frames per 10 frame super. They're easier to uncap and require less investment as well.
 

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RKR,

Obviously I misread the "state of origin" information. And if that happened to insult you then please accept my apologies.

Until last year ( been doing this now for 9 years ) I always figured on needing 3 supers per hive. But the last two years I have gotten better at hive management and the average is now up to 5. With some hives needing as much as 8 supers.

As for what to do with the ones full of unripe nectar -- that depends on your area, conditions, and weather. Out here the bees work all year so I can just put them back on the hive and leave em. In other areas I would just spin them out and flush down the drain.

Good luck -- Fuzzy
 
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