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Spare Super - Above or Below Exisiting ?

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WoodenBeam 

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Weather allowing I'm planning to carry out our first inspection over the next couple of days. At the tail end of last year we top & tailed the hive, so, the plan is to reverse this on this inspection, replace a few of the brood frames that we moved to the edges last year & check the general contents of the super / brood frames. The bees have had fondant in the hive over Christmas that has slowly depleted & over the last few days have been bring in lots of pollen. Hive has been hefted & yes, all seems to be okay (as far as a new bee can tell). Now to the question after that bit of background. We're off on hol's for a couple of weeks & just to be sure I'm planning on adding an extra super, frames already drawn, just in case Spring really springs. Is this being over-precautious ??? & if not, can someone please remind me if new supers should be added above existing or between brood box & existing. Many thanks in anticipation.
 

Poly Hive 

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Not sure what you mean by "top and tailed the hive"??

Has your hive got a super on?

Is it above the brood box and if so is there an excluder in-between?

PH
 

ian 

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Hi Finsky

Not yet, Cherry Blossom just started though and have seen the odd road side Dandelion........Most are still a little way off yet though.

Regards Ian
 

oliver90owner 

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Difficult to say from a distance, but should not need two honey supers any where near, yet.

More likely to need extra brood space, before two supers, I would have thought. But all depends on whether the hive has used fondant instead of stores, how strong it might be, how prolific the queen might be, how many brood frames you intend to replace with foundation, when these 'two weeks' actually start and if 'a couple' is particularly precise. If in a National I would say definitely beware of brood space, but commercial is more than just a tad bigger!

The greater risk is more like starvation over the next few weeks, what with colony expansion and posible bad weather, than filling a super, but as I say - don't know enough to comment safely. Forage expectations in your area might be different but the rape around here doesn't look too forward yet.

So, how much I wonder is there in the super? It might be near full, in which case the answer would be yes, but you say you have been feeding fondant since Christmas, so the super is near empty, I would be led to believe?

If you add another super, putting it between the brood and existing super is 'normal'

Regards, RAB
 

WoodenBeam 

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Thanks RAB. Question answered re super positioning not that I think it will be required at this stage thinking about your comments. This is my first year so still 100 plus things going through my mind with regard to the bees. Just v.pleased that they have come through so far.

Left almost a super of honey on the hive at the end of last season as the 1 thing I didn't want them to do was starve. Fondant was added on Christmas day (tradition dictates I believe :) ) The fondant was a pack purchased from the local supermarket, 1kg ? & there is still some left (added to the hive in one go, block being spilt into smaller pieces).

I've been hefting the hive every few weeks and it's not light, nothing to compare with, but I think all okay & there are plenty of bees flying. My aim this year is not to let the hive swarm, keen to expand to 2 hives hence wanting to make sure they have plenty of room while away. My thought process may have been a bit out on this & mind racing ahead of the actual season.

When I carry out the 1st inspection I'll pay particular attention to the stores after your comments as if I am replacing brood frames they will need the stores to draw new & if our weather isn't up to much (that would be a surprise) they will need plenty, so thank you for your advice / comments.

Poly Hive - top & tail - super inc honey / stores placed under the brood box for over-wintering, no q/excluder. Don't ask why, I'm only following local best practice & the bees seem to be doing okay :hurray:
 

MuswellMetro 

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Thanks RAB. Question answered re super positioning .......Poly Hive - top & tail - super inc honey / stores placed under the brood box for over-wintering, no q/excluder. Don't ask why, I'm only following local best practice & the bees seem to be doing okay :hurray:
still not sure of how you intend to arrange your hive


overwinter was it :

roof
crown
brood
stores super
OMF floor

add is your intention to change it to:

Roof
crown
stores super
new super
QX
brood
OMF floor
 

Finman 

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More likely to need extra brood space, before two supers, I would have thought.

I have same in mind. You are a new beekeeper. Do something easy and learn to see what bees do.

If you have now one brood box, give to it second. Weathers are still unvalue and cold. I would put the new box down. Bees enlarge the brood area down.

When it is time to put the third box, real super, change the order of brood boxes too.
 

oliver90owner 

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There is not likely to be any swarming until drone brood has been reared. That is usually a good pointer as to the swarming prospects for the colony.

Regards, RAB
 

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