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Location: Swansea


Postby redwood » Fri May 29, 2015 4:17 pm

This is a frequent question asked by new beekeepers and there is not one definite answer without considering a few things first. One factor and probably the most important one and that is the size of your colony which applies any time from april to september, personally if your hive is 3/4 full of bees and they have plenty of stores in the brood box (BB) and the queen is laying well then this is the time to add a super. Adding a super will also relieve the congestion of the hive which can induce swarming. Remember that adding a super does not give more room for the queen to lay and if she is running out of frames for her to lay you need to add another BB or split your hive before they make plans to swarm. When the super you put on becomes 3/4 full you can add another one directly on top of the BB and put the old super on top of the new super, by doing it this way you will give the bees something to do, cleaning up the old comb or drawing wax foundation. If your bees are reluctant to move into the second super then a frame from the top super(which has uncapped honey) can be swapped from the bottom super and placed directly in the middle of the super. If you have a strong colony and a good flow of nectar coming in then bees can fill a super in a few days so keep an eye on the weather, what is flowering in your area and have a spare super at all times. The last thing you want is your BB full of honey as this will drastically reduce laying space for the queen, if this does happen, bruise the honey with your hive tool or uncapping fork so all the honey is open to the bees and hopefully they will move it into the super. If they fail to move it in a week the the only other option is to remove the frames and replace with new.
Hope this removes a few question marks but if there is anything you are not quite sure about post them here.

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