When to add Honey Supers...

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by DonMcJr, May 30, 2012.

  1. DonMcJr

    DonMcJr New Member

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    Ok so my package was hived 7 weeks ago. I already listened to my fellow 2 year beek friend and think I added the top deep too soon.

    He told me yesterday to add both Supers now.

    I have an acre clover field blooming like crazy and 3/4 of Buckwheat starting to bloom.

    I am going to inspect the hive today and am expecting all frames in top deep to be drawn. Bottom deep had 4 frames not drawn and 2 half drawn and I moved the last full frame on each end to the outside. Don't know what to expect with the bottom.

    So what to do? I'm thinking adding one super and stop feeding.

    What would you do?
     
  2. dr.buzz

    dr.buzz New Member

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    If all frames in top deep are drawn, add super now. Most folks would tell you to add the next box when 7 or 8 frames are drawn in the box below, so you waited a little long. If you've been feeding and/or are in a flow, and all your top frames are drawn, you better check for swarm cells. If you are in a good flow and just give them a super of foundation, they'll be able to plug the brood nest out with honey faster than the new comb can get drawn in the super. Depends on how heavy the flow is, etc...But if you have drawn comb, you can add several supers at once...if all you have is foundation, only add one at a time.
     

  3. DonMcJr

    DonMcJr New Member

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    Ok so even if the bottom deep isn't all drawn comb but the top is then add one super. No comb its just plasticell...
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip...
    I have an acre clover field blooming like crazy and 3/4 of Buckwheat starting to bloom.

    tecumseh:
    based on the above statement I would add a super and definitely stop feeding. If I found one or two frames in the bottom two boxes that were totally capped (or nearly so) or frames of SOLID pollen I would shove these to the outmost position of one of the boxes and move anything undrawn in towards the center of the box. the above two items are a bit like a high hurdle for 'the girls' to cross... moving the foundation/plasticell inward (without the high hurdle) will help to get it drawn.
     
  5. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Listen close to Tec on moving the solid pollen and honey frames to the outside. Not doing so can cause big problems. I would move any undrawn frames to the top deep and follow the 8 frame rule.
     
  6. DonMcJr

    DonMcJr New Member

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    Ok I thought it was not a good idea to move empty frames to the middle...So much for the Beekeeping for dummies book lol!
     
  7. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    You do not want to move empties to the middle "of the brood nest" in cooler weather. The broodnest needs to stay 90+ F., so you move the empty in, but only to the edge of the broodnest.
     
  8. DonMcJr

    DonMcJr New Member

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    Ok its only gonna be a high of 70 and lows in the low 50's later this week so I still gotta watch that then right?
     
  9. dr.buzz

    dr.buzz New Member

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    Remember, too, that you see undrawn frames in the bottom box and think they'll go back and finish those before they would ever swarm or anything, but that's not necessarily the case....sometimes they kind of chimney up the middle frames of a couple boxes and swarm without ever touching frames on the outside edges. That's why you can do little manipulations get frames drawn and slow down swarm impulses....
     
  10. DonMcJr

    DonMcJr New Member

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    Ok thanks! I'm turkey hunting and ready to shoot my decoy just for the heck of it cause the turkeys just disappeared since the season started may 7th.

    So its off to fire up the smoker and grab the super frames. I'll take some more pics too as long as this breeze up in the tower blind isn't as strong down by the hive...
     
  11. Gator_56

    Gator_56 New Member

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    You Turkey hunt in a tower blind?
     
  12. DonMcJr

    DonMcJr New Member

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    Yeah with a bow it's only 12 feet up...they usually come in the food plot...but no not this year!

    Well I went into the Hive... All frames drawn in the top deep and only the 2nd from end frames not toatally drawn but starting to be drawn! So I took off the feeder and added the 1st Medium Super with Plasticell Foundation.

    I also got to see the Queen again! Sure is easy seeing here with a big yellow dot on her!

    Here's a Pic the tall stuff on the right past the hive is Clover and Chicory and the little bit shorter far left is the Buckwheat. All the lower stuff around the Hive is Clover that was just planted 3 weeks ago...

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Remember to always stop feeding if you are adding honey supers. Otherwise your 'honey' will be partly sugar syrup, not pure honey.
     
  14. DonMcJr

    DonMcJr New Member

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    Yep Took the feed jars off, Thanks!
     
  15. litefoot

    litefoot New Member

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    Don,
    Sorry to jump into the middle of this thread, but I have a related question. I just added a second deep box because my first brood chamber was up to about 7 drawn frames. The 3 not drawn were virtually untouched while the other 7 were packed with capped honey, capped brood, uncapped brood and uncapped nectar. I didn't have any frames that were purely honey or pollen, so I moved 2 frames that were brood and food mixed to the outside and moved the 3 empty frames closer to the middle. The 2 I moved to the outside had the highest percentage of cells with capped nectar/honey. One of the frames I moved to the outside had the queen on it. Did I screw up?
     
  16. heinleinfan

    heinleinfan New Member

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    Litefoot - Nah, it's not a "screw up" so much as "maybe do it a little different."
    Just move a couple of those empties back to the outside next time you go in, but leave one to try to get them to draw it out.

    I've been reading, this forum and other things online, about not messing up a brood nest too much. They get just the right sized cells with just the right spacing and just the right temp to make it perfect for brood rearing, because they're such smart ladies, and they will raise brood a lot faster when that's not fussed with.
    Putting in 3 empties is pretty fussy, heh, but moving one capped frame of brood/food over one empty is just a little fussy.
    As Iddee mentioned, though, in cooler weather you wouldn't want to move any brood away from their nest area.

    Your queen was probably back into the brood area before you closed the hive up, they can really zoom when they wanna be somewhere else!