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Should I be bottom supering?


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I have always so far been adding foundation only honey boxes to my hives by placing them on top of the previous box, my hives at home are going great and I added my 6 th honey box, I have been told I should be adding new honey boxes to the bottom ( under supering ) due to the size of the hive, because the bees will shift the honey upwards and the lower boxes will take longer to be capped, I would like to put this question out to a wider group and get some more opinions on this, if I really should , I will, but those boxes are heavy when the hive is taller than me, and I'm 6"4.

 

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I bought what I thought I needed, then bought 2 more boxes. Then I bought the last I’d need, 5 boxes. That 5 lasted 3 weeks. Just bought another 5 yesterday. given that frames get considerably ch

do not under super with foundation supers. it tend to act as a block and the bees do not like to up through it. however you can put fully drawn frame in the center to act as a ladder. tho at 6 hi

Glad to hear your hand is on the mend. Sense of humor might take a while to come right 

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Last time I had a really good look through the honey boxes, there were some frames that were half capped but mostly open nectar, I'm hoping that there has been more capping going on in the last couple of weeks, since it's not harvest season yet, should I be waiting until I get fully capped frames before removing, or should I be removing some that are not quite fully capped? 

IMG_1076.thumb.JPG.699498a4138d3787cb1f5f09c253f6cd.JPG

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20 hours ago, HSV_Darren said:

I have always so far been adding foundation only honey boxes to my hives by placing them on top of the previous box, my hives at home are going great and I added my 6 th honey box, I have been told I should be adding new honey boxes to the bottom ( under supering )

do not under super with foundation supers. it tend to act as a block and the bees do not like to up through it.

however you can put fully drawn frame in the center to act as a ladder. tho at 6 high i would not bother.

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Does anyone do a mid entrance for monsters like that? Robbing risk seems to be low currently, and obviously it needs to be blocked up if any trouble starts, but right now mine are drawing a filling a box per week. No frames are capped yet (thanks for the tip on extracting if you can’t shake it out, I thought I was aiming for 80% capped).

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20 minutes ago, cBank said:

Does anyone do a mid entrance for monsters like that? Robbing risk seems to be low currently, and obviously it needs to be blocked up if any trouble starts, but right now mine are drawing a filling a box per week. No frames are capped yet (thanks for the tip on extracting if you can’t shake it out, I thought I was aiming for 80% capped).

Sounds like your in the same boat as me! I'm having to make more gear as I go, I regret selling my new empty hive on trade me, last week the bees had drawn out a 3/4 and half filled it in 5 days, it might continue like this as the pohutukawa is starting here.

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I bought what I thought I needed, then bought 2 more boxes. Then I bought the last I’d need, 5 boxes. That 5 lasted 3 weeks. Just bought another 5 yesterday.

given that frames get considerably cheaper at 100 I’ve done this the worst way possible. Beginners are slow learners.

So now I’ve just bought an extractor too - this’ll save money because I can recycle the boxes, frames and foundation.

Yeah right.

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11 hours ago, cBank said:

 Beginners are slow learners.

So now I’ve just bought an extractor too - this’ll save money because I can recycle the boxes, frames and foundation.

Yeah right.

 Hi @cBank - what type and brand of extractor did you buy and why?  I am looking at buying one shortly too...

Edited by Rewi1973
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We undersuper for two reasons, whether those reasons have any substance I don’t know.

First is our belief that having empty space above the brood nest encourages the bees to fill it up and secondly the bees fill the supers from the top down so the early honey is ready first and we often thanks that box off and extract to give us more empty boxes to put out and to help keep our main crop monofloral.

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8 hours ago, Rewi1973 said:

 Hi @cBank - what type and brand of extractor did you buy and why?  I am looking at buying one shortly too...

 

Hi @Rewi1973, we have gone for this one

https://touch.trademe.co.nz/listing/view/1478352644

 

Its a little better than the all plastic one and after shipping it’s the same price as the 2 frame ones that are the next cheapest (as the cheap stainless ones are in South Island).

 

It’s only going to do 3-4 hives of frames per year.

Me and a mate are doing it and I was fractionally keener to crush and strain, but he want to reuse frames that are drawn out, without getting more foundation, and that is pretty logical (though $350 buys a fair bit of foundation).

If you use plastic frames and are happy to process your own wax, I think crush and strain is the way to go as you can just roll on more melted wax.

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15 minutes ago, cBank said:

If you use plastic frames and are happy to process your own wax, I think crush and strain is the way to go as you can just roll on more melted wax.

In my view it's a pretty desperate hobbyist who isn't happy to  let a bit of honey go towards drawing out scraped foundation.

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11 minutes ago, cBank said:

I was fractionally keener to crush and strain, but he want to reuse frames that are drawn out, without getting more foundation

 

You don't have to get more foundation if you take care to only scrape to the layer of foundation. The girls will have to rebuild the side walls tho.

I did one on Saturday for a site owner and fresh from the hive  and without time to cool down it was a breeze. The frame was back in the hive within minutes.

 

That said- I do have an extractor, and for 9 frames or more, its worth it.

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39 minutes ago, yesbut said:

In my view it's a pretty desperate hobbyist who isn't happy to  let a bit of honey go towards drawing out scraped foundation.

 

I think I’m missing what you mean - are you saying you can extract via the strain method without pulling all the comb off the frame? Ie scrape it both sides but don’t go too deep?

 

Im not trying to be cheap, I just haven’t come across the method. I understand you don’t use an extractor, could you explain what you do? I’ve searched the forum for any posts detailing your method but all I can find is others giving you are hard time for it - going back quite a long time too.

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49 minutes ago, cBank said:

I think I’m missing what you mean - are you saying you can extract via the strain method without pulling all the comb off the frame? Ie scrape it both sides but don’t go too deep?

Absolutely ! Particularly easy to do if you use manuka special foundation to start with. I hold the frame vertically resting on a stick that runs across the top of the bucket,  and run a large serving spoon downwards starting from the far edge, in other words working the edge of the spoon into the face of the full cells. Probably about a dozen or so downward peeling swipes then another half dozen swipes with a stiff spatula.

Edited by yesbut
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12 minutes ago, Wildflower said:

Why does combed honey have to be off by 31st December?

To satisfy option two of the food standard for tutin in honey. There are other options. 

 

There's a link to the  standard near the bottom of this page. 

https://www.mpi.govt.nz/processing/honey-and-bee-products/managing-tutin-contamination-in-honey/

Edited by Rob Stockley
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