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xwb 

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Hello i have just started keeping bees and have just bought two nucs.
The two hives came with 5 frames and i was told to add more gradually, but how gradually!? i looked at them 2 days after i got them and they had already started to build their own 'frames' i removed them and added 2 frames either side.
should i see them as soon as i can and add the last frame and put a super on the top?

many thanks

xwb
 

Heather 

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?Xan, if so - pleased the nucs are going well.:)

Dont let them do their own thing.... Add frames now to fill the brood box completely, just DONT put a frame between any brood- always keep that as a block. As soon as they are drawing out the outer 2 frames - queen excluder in place then a super on top.
Heather
 

jezd 

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?Xan, if so - pleased the nucs are going well.:)

Dont let them do their own thing.... Add frames now to fill the brood box completely, just DONT put a frame between any brood- always keep that as a block. As soon as they are drawing out the outer 2 frames - queen excluder in place then a super on top.
Heather
Heather, on a Nuc/Swarm covering say 2-4 frames when would you add a super? I spotted a comment about the number 7 trigger, slap a super on once the brood box is occupied on 7 frames, then a second super once the first super has capped honey in 7 frames?

Does adding a super early help a smaller colony to grow or cause other issues?

Cheers

Jez
 

admin 

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I have found that by the time a Nuc is out to seven frames they start to build brace comb around the hole in the crown board so its time to super them.
 

Heather 

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if you add a super too soon- it can upset the colony- their workload gets divided and stops the main powerhouse being developed.

xwb had 5 frame Nucs from me,and we put them into a 11 frame box (but only 9 frames and two blank frames to start with).This gave the bees 4 frames to work on and they have now drawn those out. I think he has now added the 2 last brood frames - by removing the 2 blank frames- and when the bees begin to work on those- then a super can be added.
So yes, the queen now has drawn frames to use to expand the colony- so there will be about 6/7 frames of brood. Bees mean honey:)
When they are filling supers, put undrawn frames between filled frames to encourage them to fill all - they will always fill centre ones first - than when about 7/8 filled place another super under the first super.

Hope this helpful
Heather
 

jezd 

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Thanks, this raises another question about the number of frame in supers, 11, 10, 9, 8?

Does anyone place 11 in a super ?

Jez
 
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Surely a National will take 12 frames in the brood but usually 11 plus a dummy frame for manipulations? The guy I'm helping likes to put 10 frames and a dummy but then doesn't understand why there is so much extra comb.
 

Heather 

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I have one national brood that takes 12 frames- I still don't understand why and how - it just does- but supers fit as norm. All the rest take 11 - and my WBC 10
 

jezd 

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Sorry I meant in regards to supers and using (or not) castellated spacers, without these of course its 11 frames on national kit, or castellated at 8,9,10 frames.
 
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It was suggested to me by my mentor to use castellated spacers in the super taking 10 frames and to use drone foundation. being a good girl :)ack2:) I did as I was told and it has worked well for me - well apart from the fact that I used plastic spacers and not enough nails to support it when the super is full of honey, but one learns..........sometimes quickly :)

Frisbee
 

Hombre 

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Common practice, I believe, is to use castellations at 11 pitch in a super to draw the foundation and then swap it into boxes with either 9 or 10 pitch. The logic is that at 11 the bees will behave and not produce swathes of wild brace comb. When drawn combs are put into a super requiring a lesser number frames whereupon the bees will extend the comb depth to maintain bee space and therefore your honey to wood ratio improves and if you are doing this with several supers, you get free drawn frames to employ as you will.
 

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