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1st Honey box getting full, when to add another?


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I added a 3/4 honey box to my 2 FD brood box hive 3 weeks ago, its only in the last week the bees have drawn every frame and all the frames are full with nectar, do I wait until they cap the nectar before adding another honey box? Wait until 80% is capped? Or just add another anyway, if so, do I just put the new honey super on top of the other honey super, or do I lift the full honey super and put the new one under it? Cheers

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If I put the new honey box under the full one, should it shift any full frame to the new box?

If I put the outside frames into the centre, do I move full nectar frames to the outside? ( no nectar is capped yet ). Cheers for your help, I just got my bees suit back after getting alterations done, it's only been 1 week and things are going nuts! My two new nucs now need another brood box to.

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if you under super with foundation frames (i guess yours is foundation) then you need to put some drawn out frames in it. otherwise the foundation can act as a block and the bees won't come up very well.

 

with swapping the frames around the idea is to put the full ones to the outside. the outside frame tend to get done last. bees like to work up the center, so you pull the ones they have finished to the outside and put the unfinished in the centre.

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At this time of the year with the main local honey flow happening I would say put on more boxes right now, don't wait.

I have on average 2 boxes on each hive that are not yet in use to give room for the bees to expand into as they need more space for honey curing and storage. I hope to be adding more boxes in 2 weeks time so they again have 2 boxes of spare room.

I like to put foundation just above the QE with the 2 outside frames with drawn comb and the mostly full boxes to the top.

Some hives like to work up the middle of 3 or 4 boxes expanding towards the edges and others like to work up one box at a time.

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i wouldn't bother wait until its capped.

argghh typo.

that should be "i wouldn't bother waiting until its capped"

capping is not a priority, getting the frames drawn and filled is.

 

 

Once a honey box is capped and full, do you take it off the hive or leave it on the hive, I'm a bit worried about harvesting any honey, Ive have never had bees in the winter and want to make sure I have enough for them over winter.

How do you store honey frames?

you can leave the box on till harvast time. need to keep at least a good minimum size to avoid overcrowding.

but no reason you can't harvest some now and put another box on in its place.

 

for winter you store honey stores by leaving it on the hive.

empty boxes/frames that you have extracted the honey from get stored in your shed.

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Today I added another FD brood box to my other nuc, I may of left it a bit late, every frame was 100% drawn with nectar packed in every cell on the outer frames, when I was looking for 2 frames to shift to the new brood box every frame around the centre had heavy capped honey with brood, was I correct in shifting 2 frames of light brood and heavy honey up to the centre of the new box? Every frame had a heap of capped honey with varying amounts of brood.

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Hi Darren,

 

It doesn't matter which frames you moved up, if the bees are short of space they will move up to the next box. If your new boxes have only foundation though, then moving up a couple of full frames will encourage them up.

 

Bees move up through the centre of the hive in preference to the sides. Think of your bees as a sphere, moving up and down the hive as they need more space, food, warmth etc. Most of the action goes on in the centre with the edges being used/filled last. If all the frames are full to the very edge, you need put your next box/es on sooner.

 

I super up rather than under. (Put the new empty supers on top of the filled ones). Partly this is just ease for me, but it also means I can keep track of the order in which my supers are filled. Its a personal choice.

 

With regard to over wintering your bees, I keep one full super on all my hives for winter reserves. This may seem a lot, but I run strong hives and they hit the ground running in spring when I want them to increase in size. It also means I never have to feed sugar or syrup. Again it is personal choice. I would rather my bees had honey than sugar and I don't need the extra work of making up and feeding syrup.

 

Hope that is useful. It sounds like your hives are going well and that's the main thing.

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I guess over supering is good if you can check your hive regularly because you can monitor their progress by just looking at top super but say, if you're going away for longer like 5 weeks or so,is it advisable to undersuper since they draw foundation downwards the frame?

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I guess over supering is good if you can check your hive regularly because you can monitor their progress by just looking at top super but say, if you're going away for longer like 5 weeks or so,is it advisable to undersuper since they draw foundation downwards the frame?

i wouldn't under super for that particular reason.

if you only have foundation boxes, put them on top and let bees draw them out as required.

under supering with foundation can sometimes act as a block stopping bees from coming up.

over supering is simply easier to do, a lot less heavy boxes to lift and doesn't make the hive top heavy like under supering does.

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Had a nice decision to make yesterday on a hive which was converted from FD to 3/4 starting in September, was quite low energy. Since taking out the excluder it has become very strong, and up to 5 boxes by adding and inserting alternated boxes (drawn and foundation).

When opened yesterday brood was present up to m3 with lots of honey, and m4 and m5 were chokka with honey about 80% capped, also between the boxes in brace comb.

Over or under supering ?

My logic was to super between m4 and m5 on the basis that the lower super, full of honey, would act as a block to keep the queen from laying up, and the hive urgently needs honey space as there is a flow on. Cleaned up the top of the lower box bars, inserted new m5, and the hive is now up to 6 boxes.

Will have a look in a week, for fun, and see how fast m5 has been drawn and filled. And see if she has decided to lay there. And I don't mind lifting 3/4 honey boxes.

Or could have under supered, but that could delay harvesting if the queen lays there, which she will.

Or over supered, maybe drawing the bees up as well, which could have worked well.

Nice situation - and I am sure there are other opinions.

Thanks in advance.

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Hi Darren,

 

It doesn't matter which frames you moved up, if the bees are short of space they will move up to the next box. If your new boxes have only foundation though, then moving up a couple of full frames will encourage them up.

 

Bees move up through the centre of the hive in preference to the sides. Think of your bees as a sphere, moving up and down the hive as they need more space, food, warmth etc. Most of the action goes on in the centre with the edges being used/filled last. If all the frames are full to the very edge, you need put your next box/es on sooner.

 

I super up rather than under. (Put the new empty supers on top of the filled ones). Partly this is just ease for me, but it also means I can keep track of the order in which my supers are filled. Its a personal choice.

 

With regard to over wintering your bees, I keep one full super on all my hives for winter reserves. This may seem a lot, but I run strong hives and they hit the ground running in spring when I want them to increase in size. It also means I never have to feed sugar or syrup. Again it is personal choice. I would rather my bees had honey than sugar and I don't need the extra work of making up and feeding syrup.

 

Hope that is useful. It sounds like your hives are going well and that's the main thing.

Thanks for your info, I hope I don't have to feed sugar again, I would rather feed honey, if I was to split my strong hive into a nuc or single FD box, would I help it along by feeding it honey or sugar? I'm not much into eating honey, I would rather it be for the bees before myself.

 

Wow, I had a quick peek under the roof at the 2nd honey super I put on 4 days ago, and it is 90% draw, couldn't see any nectar but I was only a peek, I gotta get my A to G and get some more gear!

When I added the second honey box I forgot to under super it and shift frames into it, I just put it on the top of the 1st honey box, the bees definitely found it!

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