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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of my hives has almost filled up their first medium super with honey. I checked it yesterday night. Twelve days ago, this super had only undrawn wax foundation. As of yesterday, they have filled all 10 frames with honey, but currently 90 - 98% is uncapped. In the center frames, some of the cells have fresh caps on them - it looks like the bees are just now starting to cap them.
Would this be a good time to add a second super, or should I wait until most of the cells in the first super are capped off (I read "80% capped" somewhere)? If the latter, how many more days should I wait before checking again? I don't want to wait too long and have the bees start thinking about swarming.
 

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Yes, I would add a super. It takes four frames of nectar to make a frame of honey. If they can't spread it out, it won't evaporate and condense down to honey. They need the work space.

If it is 80% plus capped, do a shake test and harvest it if it passes.
 

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Thanks for this Iddee; the idea of needing extra space while it evaporates is a forehead slapper for me; Having made maple syrup I should know how it would slow things having only a one gallon evaporator compared to 40. I had rather been thinking that if given much extra space the bees would scatter honey hither and yon and not cap off any: might have to make some more supers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the advice. I added another super on July 8th (yesterday). Some of the frames were 40 - 50% capped - those girls have been busy.
The flow is in full swing - there's clover everywhere, birdsfoot trefoil, thistle, milkweed, some asters. The bees are working overtime. The down side is that all that surplus honey stores are making them defensive. I used to be able to work them without smoke and without gloves - they just crawled over my fingers and totally ignored me. Now they turn my hands into pincushions the minute I take off the inner cover - I have to wear gloves AND smoke them.
 
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