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How Many Supers?

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ENZO 

House Bee
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Hello All,
I was just wondering, like most beekeepers I just keep adding supers on my hives when required, but my question is, does the hive/honey storage efficiency decrease as the hive gets taller/larger? I normally start to remove the supers when they reach 4 as height and manipulation starts to become a chore after that but would there be a problem or a loss in efficiency if I just carried on puting supers on.

Not all hives get this large but if I'm lucky I get several hives with 6 to 10 supers filled with surplus honey, over the season, hence I find myself extracting several times a year.

Does it tire the bees more working a tall "skyscraper" hive in respect to ventilation and converting the nectar into honey?

This may seem a stupid question but there must be an optimum "total size" of a hive.

I have read quite a few books and this has never been mentioned.

Many Thanks, Enzo
 

oliver90owner 

Queen Bee
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Question. Where is all this work carried out? Just over the broodbox? So one super is much the same as any other once you get more than two high. There will be some cooling to the colony with a high stack of supers, but what that amounts to is debatable, what with the bees organising the airconditioning and it being summer. But that energy loss will be tangible. It might also depend on any top ventilation too (I don't usually provide any).

So, I would think no more than three and preferably two. Now with a polyhive there may be no practical limit........

With the potential of 4 supers on a hive, I hope your security is good. I would think honey in the bucket is safer than on the hive these days!

Regards, RAB
 

ENZO 

House Bee
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Thanks RAB, I never thought about security, but you must remember, I live in Jersey and I know almost all the beekeepers here but then again you never know

I still park the car up and leave the keys in, there is nowhere to go :)

I run hives with no top vents, insulation built into the roof and mesh floors.

Enzo
 

oliver90owner 

Queen Bee
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Cars? They will joy-ride and then throw in a match! I can understand that Jersey will be a little more isolated from the worst of the 'scum'

Regards, RAB
 

VEG 

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I also have 4 supers on 2 hives and this is about as high as I will let them go as when full at that height it can be difficult to lift off. The other hives are slowly getting there as well. I will have to extract some before my main flow of balsom starts soon.
 
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