Adding first honey super

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Steve777, Jul 16, 2013.

  1. Steve777

    Steve777 New Member

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    I think it's about time to add my first honey super to my new hive (3# package earlier this spring). I put the second brood box on a month or so ago, and the girls seems to have drawn all the comb in it, and are starting to show signs of crowding (building some comb up to the inner cover, etc), and there seems to be bees in all but the last/outer frame slots. So thought I would ask some questions regarding putting supers on:

    First, are these signs I mentioned a proper indication of time to add a super, or is there something else to check for?

    Second, I have read conflicting advise regarding whether to add a super with or without a queen excluder at first. What is the general advise? (FWIW, I will be putting in frames with new foundation, not drawn comb).

    Third, what is the general "rules" for adding new supers? Any harm in putting on more space at once? And when to put on the queen excluder?

    TIA
     
  2. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Add the super when there is a flow on regardless if the second brood super is completely drawn or not the bees can build comb up top to store honey as well as comb for brood in the brood nest. you dont want the bees to plug the brood area with nectar restricting the queen egg laying ability. With drawing foundation I would not use the queen excluder. The bees will draw out the comb and fill it with nectar as they go limiting the chance the queen will lay in it. But an excluder can keep the bees from working the foundation.
     

  3. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    I would not use excluder with a new box of just foundation. I don't think they will go through the excluder. Let them get up in there pulling and filling. Then add the excluder.

    Just make sure when you do add it, that the queen in not up there running around and gets trapped up there.

    As far the time to add. i have found out this year that you want to a little earlier if it's foundation and not puled comb.
     
  4. Steve777

    Steve777 New Member

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    Thanks. And a couple of follow up questions:

    Do folks here recommend 9 frames in a 10 frame box for supers?

    And how long roughly should I wait until I add the queen excluder? Just until they start drawing out the comb, until some percentage is drawn?
     
  5. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Because you are drawing foundation place 10 frames in the super. Once the comb is drawn switch to 9 frames next year and the bees will draw the cells out a little longer making the combs a little thicker.
    The queen excluder question? if the queen doesn't lay in the top box then it may not be needed. if you find brood in the honey super and the queen is not staying down in the brood supers it will take 21 days for fresh eggs to emerge 24 for drones. So if brood is found the frames with brood can be moved into the brood boxes if the frame size are the same, left above an excluder for the brood to emerge.