Removing Supers

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


House Bee
Apr 23, 2022
Reaction score
Donegal, Ireland
Hive Type
Number of Hives
I have 3 hives which I am in the process of winding down for the season and removing supers. 2 of the hives have I super on capped and ready to take off. I have the rhombus escapes on today above an empty undrawn super. Bees have drawn some come in the foundationless frames but not a whole lot. Once I take the supers and the escape off, how long should I leave the empty super on? The bees are still busy bringing in heather and balsam. Do I leave it a few days or take it off within 24 hours? How do you get the bees to go down into the brood box? Small bit of smoke?

Third hive is a much larger beast, 2 full supers, I went to remove the bottom one, switched it with the top one (previously extracted and replaced while the bottom one hadn’t been). Noticed the bees weren’t vacating so had a look and there is some lovely brood both capped and uncapped in the middle frames (i stopped using excluders to get them to move into the supers which they did very quickly). Did the old switcheroo back and am in the process of using the escape to clear these, given that the super below this is already full of honey and bees, will there be an issue with the bees moving down? I suppose given the brood in the bottom super, I should just brood and a half this one next season? It’s very very strong and still capping drone brood as well which I thought was a bit strange given the time of year.

On all hives the brood boxes are being backfilled very very quickly and I don’t want to open up again after the weekend if I can help it. So going into winter I’ll have 2 single broods and 1 brood and a half. I’ll leave them be now until the spring outside of putting a bit of fondant in at some stage (when would be the best time to do that?)

As always, thanks for the replies! Going into my first winter and feeling a bit nervous about it all.
If there is brood they will not leave it. I would take an empty super and put all capped frames from other supers with no brood in it. Leave the brood and uncapped honey above the BB, remove the rest. That is if I understood you!
Thanks Enrico. I actually ended up swapping the supers back around to their original sequence and managed to get the top super off no problem. Will just leave the bottom super on over winter and go brood and a half next year to try a different format to see if it makes any difference.

Got the other super off the other hive and the empty super under the clearer board as well using a small bit of smoke. The bees had built out 2 foundationless frames in about 24 hours which was impressive. They are in single brood box now for overwintering.

2 hives down, one to go. I’ll leave that one for another 2 weeks to see if it makes any difference.

Latest posts