Getting close to honey super time.

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by melrose, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. melrose

    melrose New Member

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    Three hives have two brood boxes almost full. Is it common practice to use just two brood boxes, then top with excluders and honey supers? I read both schools of thought, 1- just placing the honey super on top, and 2 - placing the supers between the two brood boxes. I know the queen will start laying in the honey supers. How long do you leave those supers sandwiched before putting them on top? and How would the brood effect the honey once you're ready for extraction?

    thanks for the help
     
  2. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    generally you try not to extract any frames with brood present, but no I don't think it would adversely affect taste.

    it is easier to simply place the new box on top. placing the super between (most especially if the super contains foundation only) is not only more physically difficult but also represents some significant down side (you are physically separating the brood nest with empty space). if the bottom is not quite full (but say approaching 90% full) then placing it above will get them familar with this 'empty' space and working on beginning to draw it out before the bottom is full.

    my two cents...
     

  3. Bee n There

    Bee n There New Member

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    Have been messing with this some and it seems that when the bees are faced with drawing out a new super they will resist and fill every space in the brood boxes below with honey and slow the queen before drawing the super. Placing it in the middle so they need to track back and forth over it help them get started. Then as soon as they commit to drawing it out they keep at it even if the super is moved back on top.

    Opposite to this I placed a freshly extracted super on top of a fairly new hive that I just added a second brood box of foundation. My thought was to give them a boost by letting them clean out the frames. Well to my surprise they just started filling the honey super and have ignored the second brood box. Maybe not the best plan for winter but if need be I can bring deep frames in from stronger hives to help them out.

    Even just a couple drawn out frames mixed into a super of foundation can be enough to kick start them into drawing the rest out.
     
  4. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    Mel, whatever you do, do not put your honey super between your brood boxes. If you do, the honey super won't be a honey super very long.

    Bees store honey above the brood naturally. We beekeepers take advantage of that fact and super above, providing space for more honey storage.

    Things are pretty dry here, 100 miles or so North of you. I haven't seen any honey coming in for weeks. Is that not the case where you are?

    If you have a band of honey at the top of your brood frames, an excluder is not necassary. Usually.
     
  5. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    If the super is drawn comb, you can put it on top, over the excluder. If it is foundation, DO NOT put the excluder on until they start drawing comb. They are VERY, VERY reluctant to go through an excluder to get to foundation, but will traverse it willingly to get to drawn comb.
     
  6. melrose

    melrose New Member

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    Things have been dry here also, but every bit of burr they build is full of honey. No rain, but their location allows them access to natural water source and plenty of wild flowers.
     
  7. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    A good "compromise" then is to put on an excluder and intersperse a few built combs (if you have any) among the sheets of foundation you place up above.
    If you are within three weeks of the date when you anticipate extracting, make every effort to keep the queen from laying in your honey supers (by using an excluder). If you have three weeks to go, and expect the hive to collect honey after you extract, you can take one or two combs of sealed brood and move them into the honey super. The bees will emerge and you will be able to extract the honey left behind.
    Just be careful and be sure enough stores are left for winter.