Adding Supers?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by jaafallon, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. jaafallon

    jaafallon New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have a hive (two stacked hives, 9-5/8") that's a fair distance from my home. I just checked it and it is FULL! So my question is:
    1. Is it alright to add a honey super here at the end of July? (I'm in Northern Nevada, USA, and we probably have 6 to 10 weeks before first frost).
    2. If it is alright, do I add one super or two?
    3. I assume a queen excluder would be used as well?
    4. Anything else I need to do or learn?

    Thanks again, always get good advice here (and I have a lot to learn :roll: )

    jim
     
  2. rast

    rast New Member

    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Here's my 2 cents on what I understood from your post and remember I'm a Southerner.
    You have a double deep and the top box is full of honey. In your upcoming winter you probably need a double deep of bees to survive it with a deep of honey on top of them. Don't use the excluder until you have a double deep of bees and food for them.
    I don't know if you have any drawn comb or not, if you do put it under the honey super and hope she (queen) moves up into it. I would probably put another on top if there is still a flow.
     

  3. jaafallon

    jaafallon New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Rast,

    Thank you for the response.
    I have two hives, stacked (both deep) and the queen has had access to both hives so I was going to add a single 6-5/8" honey super on top of that using a queen excluder just below it. I'm unfamiliar with the term "drawn comb" so I can't answer that.
    Last year I had two sets of hives, one a single and the other a double and both came through the winter in very good shape.
    Sorry these questions are so basic.

    jim
     
  4. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hello!
    Sounds like you have 1 hive. I always thought 2 hives meant 2 queens.

    Here in Southern NJ, a hive consists of 2 deep brood boxes or equivalent. My hives consist of 1 deep and 2 medium brood boxes (I call the boxes that the bees need to survive brood boxes regardless of size).
    Once they are full of bees and honey I add a medium super. (super is what I call it when it's used for my honey consumption)
    Drawn comb is honeycomb that the bees have made or "drawn out"
     
  5. jaafallon

    jaafallon New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thank you Eddy Honey,

    I do have a total of three hives (i.e. three queens) and all are two hives deep. I figured out what drawn comb was after doing some research in the forum. The particular hive I was referring to in this post is completely full so I guess adding a super will only give them more space to place additional stores for next winter. Can't see any harm in that. Thanks all, again, I really appreciate the responses I get here.

    jim
     
  6. Zulu

    Zulu Member

    Messages:
    973
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Yep Jim, if they need space , add a box.

    Terminology thing

    Hive is a group of wooden ware , stacked multiple units high with a single queen and bunch of bees

    Typically a hive body is called a "deep", many people will keep two deeps as the breeding area for the bees and any boxes above that are called supers, commercial beekeepers will only use deeps for all their boxes , but after two high will call them honey supers.

    in the south I found that most use a single deep, and one medium as the brood area, and then mediums for supers (
    this is what my mentor was doing, so did the same )

    One last thing, when adding a super, either add the new box below the top one, or mix up the frames, ie pull a few full frames, and alternate a full one with an empty frame in both supers.
     
  7. rast

    rast New Member

    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    If it is completely full, yes, you need a super. Now that you know what drawn comb is, does that medium (6 5/8) have drawn comb or foundation? If it is only foundation, unless there is a strong flow on, they normally won't go through an excluder to work it. That is the disadvantage to using different size boxes. If all the same you could bring some frames up from the second box to entice them up above an excluder.
    Don't worry about asking basic questions, none of us mind and ego's keep some from asking at the expense of their bees,
     
  8. jaafallon

    jaafallon New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The 6-5/8 super only has foundation. I need to order some more supers anyway so I think we'll get more 9-5/8 sizes instead of the smaller mediums. Thank you for those tips too.

    jim
     
  9. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You can add the 6 5/8 without the excluder. After they are drawing out 2 or 3 frames, add the excluder if you want. I never use excluders, so you can leave it in the basement if you want.
     
  10. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

    Messages:
    1,249
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Jim:
    First of all, welcome to the forum. If you're going to add new supers with frames/foundation, it's a good idea to spray them with 1:1 sugar syrup. This will sometimes give them the incentive to start drawing out comb, or sometimes not. Bees don't always read the same books or websites that beekeepers do. Good luck
    Rodger