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Adding a 'super'.

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martin.henwood 

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I've just bought a colony of bees from a retiring beekeeper. He tells me the hive needs a super added ASAP.

Is it just a question of plonking a super, with frames and virgin foundation, on top of the brood box with a queen excluder between them?.

A quick reply would be welcome, the last thing I want to do is encourage a swarm.

Regards
Martin Henwood
 
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oliver90owner 

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That might depend on whether the space required is for honey storage or for brood space.

Might depend on the size of hive and the strain of bees also.

If you have nothing more, then as you say is all you can do, but I would probably be missing out the QE, or the colony may soon be in swarming mode.

Welcome to the forum, BTW.

Regards, RAB
 

martin.henwood 

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From what I've seen, my brood box is in a pretty poor state. Would I be better advised to add a new brood box instead of a super. My thinking is that I can then get my bees onto new foundation. Is this the right time of year to do this.

If it makes any difference. I don't anticipate taking much, if any, honey this year.

Thanks for your help so far.

Regards
Martin
 
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rae 

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8 and 3 nucs...it's swarm time...
You need to have a look inside - the answer, as ever is "it depends".

It could be a reasonable size colony, say with 4 or 5 frames of brood, and rapidly running out of space for stores, which are coming in pretty fast now - especially if you are in OSR country. In this case, you need a super and a QX, foundation in the super is fine, they will build it.

It could be that it is a thriving colony, rammed to the brim with brood, with say, 7 or 8 frames of brood, and no space to expand. In this case you need more brood space first. Depending on species, you may want a bigger brood box - so giving them a 14x12 to work on, with no QX, would put you in a really good position.

As O90 says....sticking a super on with no QX would be a good "catch all" - but you will be then left with the slightly annoying problem of getting the queen out of it later. Better that than losing the bees in a swarm.....

If they are not a prolific strain, you could give them a standard brood rather than a super, let them build that, then split them later. I've learned that having more than 1 colony makes life a lot easier.
 

peteinwilts 

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it sounds as if you need an experienced beekeeper to look at what you have got and point you in the right direction... whereabouts are you??
 

oliver90owner 

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Hi,

As I said in my first line.

Yes, depending on hive (frame) size!

Getting them onto another box would be good from a disease aspect, but you will still be left with the size of brood required for your colony. By all means pop her upstairs with some laying space in a couple of combs transferred and move those frames back below at the earliest oportunity. Three weeks later the bottom box will be devoid of brood and likely any stores will be moved up too, so another box would be needed shortly, again dependent on brood box size and strain of bee.

Many colonies will out-grow a Standard National brood box. WBCs are even smaller. No brood space could well precipitate swarming.

As a new beek , you may be better served with two colonies (I always recommend starting with more than one) and an early split into two (or more) could be more useful to you if, as you say, you are not anicipating taking any, or much, honey.

Give a little more info - it helps. Experience, training, hive type, location, etc. Makes giving advice more reliable and more pertinent to your particular case.

Regards, RAB
 

MuswellMetro 

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From what I've seen, my brood box is in a pretty poor state.
Martin
A bit more information and we'll get there

what do you mean...is it the outer box is poor, or the comb is poor and old/black

if it is the box then a bailey change ( brood box on top then later remove old box) then add QX and super(s)aftyer new box drawn ( they can get cold if you add new brood box and super at same time

if its just the old poor brood comb..bruise the outer brood honey store then add QX and super(s) introduce new brood foundation into middle of brood by removing a one bruised store frame ( placing it above the crown board bruised) the bees will expand the brood area by moving the honey up

once the brood foundation is drawn and layed in you can then working poor brood comb out to the side and out, or do a split,......i'd do a split if the hive is bubbling
 
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martin.henwood 

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The outer is Ok. Some of the comb looks old and black, in places there are holes in it.

How about this for a plan: I put a brood box on top on the existing box, wait until sone new comb is drawn, and the queen sets some brood in there, then making sure she is in the top box place a QE between the two boxes. when all the brood have left the lower box, remove it and place a super on top of the new brood box.

OR as there lots of stuff coming into blossom, do all of the above and put a super on top of the two brood boxes right from the start.

Thanks again.
Martin.
 

Poly Hive 

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Can we do this in stages and gently please.

You mention outer... is it a WBC you have?

If you want to move them up then put on your box of foundation and as the middle combs are drawn and laid as you say put in your Qex and check in three days to see you still have fresh eggs up top to prove the Q is up there.

Sticking with the brood aspect, then as the frames are drawn out you can think of adding a super.

Not a brood and a super together please as that is far too big a jump, think of the heating aspect?

Little and often is the way to success here.

PH
 

MuswellMetro 

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The outer is Ok. Some of the comb looks old and black, in places there are holes in it.

How about this for a plan: I put a brood box on top on the existing box, wait until sone new comb is drawn, and the queen sets some brood in there, then making sure she is in the top box place a QE between the two boxes. when all the brood have left the lower box, remove it and place a super on top of the new brood box.

OR as there lots of stuff coming into blossom, do all of the above and put a super on top of the two brood boxes right from the start.

Thanks again.
Martin.
first option and feed...they will take it if the want it

not and extra super until most of the brood is drawn and the Q up the new brood box will be too cold and the queen will not move up ...and all their effort will go trying to warm it up, rather than forage and draw wax


Next...treat for Varroa
 

martin.henwood 

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We seem to be getting a concensus now. So, first step, add a clean brood box on top of the existing box, no queen excluded. Then wait and watch.

Thanks everyone for your help.

Regards
Martin
 

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