Time for another honey super?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Larus, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. Larus

    Larus New Member

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    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.
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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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.
     

  3. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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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!
     
  4. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Yep add it, sounds like your flow is in full swing.
     
  5. Larus

    Larus New Member

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    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.
     
  6. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I have never, and will never, work bees without smoke. No veil, no shirt, no shoes, YES. No smoke, NO!!