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When should I stop adding supers?

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warts 

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I have (hopefully) two quick questions if you don't mind and please excuse my ignorance on these topic areas, only my second year). Both my hives are ticking along nicely, my two questions are;

1. Both hives have swarmed (in late April, & I caught them and moved them on to good homes), so are they likely to swarm again this year (there are so very many of them!)...which also links to my next question

2. I have two supers on one hive, and three on the other (the other hive seems slightly busier). Each frame is pretty much drawn out and is on ave 1/3 full of nectar / honey (?), with some less and some more. The number of bees on each super varies from a handful, to a a couple of dozen or so. Bees are coming in with stuff (pollen and I assume nectar as well), though they are no as active as they were a few weeks ago. My question is this, should I add another super (but worry that they will concentrate on drawing this out rather than finishing off the ones already started), or hold fire (but then maybe not enough space...and another swarm attempt)

sorry if these are really obvious questions...

Sally
 

MuswellMetro 

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I have (hopefully) two quick questions if you don't mind and please excuse my ignorance on these topic areas, only my second year). Both my hives are ticking along nicely, my two questions are;

1. Both hives have swarmed (in late April, & I caught them and moved them on to good homes), so are they likely to swarm again this year (there are so very many of them!)...which also links to my next question

2. I have two supers on one hive, and three on the other (the other hive seems slightly busier). Each frame is pretty much drawn out and is on ave 1/3 full of nectar / honey (?), with some less and some more. The number of bees on each super varies from a handful, to a a couple of dozen or so. Bees are coming in with stuff (pollen and I assume nectar as well), though they are no as active as they were a few weeks ago. My question is this, should I add another super (but worry that they will concentrate on drawing this out rather than finishing off the ones already started), or hold fire (but then maybe not enough space...and another swarm attempt)

sorry if these are really obvious questions...

Sally
are the Brambles out yet in your area, as that in my area bramble flowering cause a rise in flow of nectar after a low flow once the OSR has gone.

if it been a drought in the area then a sudden downpoor can also cuase a suddenbloom of flowers and a strong flow
 

grizzly 

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Hi Sally
Whats the Brood Box like ? with regard to room for the queen to lay ?

If you only have a handfull of bees in the supers and they are only 1/3 full each, you could check again in a week, sounds like they have plenty of room numbers wise.

Or if you have a few capped frames in each super, switch them about so you end up with a full super of capped frames and then take away and replace with an empty super.
 

warts 

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Thanks Muswellmetro and Grizzly

Muswellmetro, yes there are brambles out...and Grizzly, though there is a reasonable amount of brood, there is still quite a bit of spare capacity for the queen to lay, and no frames in the supers (when I last looked) where capped. I am off on holiday this Sunday, and then will not be able to visit for 2 weeks..which means that what I do on Saturday will have to cover both weeks

Sally
 

tonybloke 

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can you get another beek to inspect for you whilst you are absent?
 

Friar Tuck 

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are the Brambles out yet in your area, as that in my area bramble flowering cause a rise in flow of nectar after a low flow once the OSR has gone.
I have brambles coming out of my ears :hurray: all around my hives the bees are all over them, i sat last night and watched them come out of the hive and strait for the closest bush.
 

winmag270 

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not saying anymore in case SWMBO reads this... ;o)
I am off on holiday this Sunday, and then will not be able to visit for 2 weeks..which means that what I do on Saturday will have to cover both weeks
Put an additional super on both hives

if they don't need it, it wont hurt

if they do need it it's there for them to make use of


if the weather changes and a strong flow appears, you'll be surprised at how fast a colony will pull in nectar, also the bees will have stored honey in the brood area and when your new queens have mated they will be looking to move this asap to allow her room to lay and it's got to be moved somewhere....

hope that helps :D

enjoy your hols


W
 

Friar Tuck 

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FT, that last one is a great shot!
It came from my phone cam a nokia N95. the best phone / cam i have ever had. :troll: not that im into phone i have this one 3 years ;o) but boy it got a good cam carl zeiss optics lens:)
 

winmag270 

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not saying anymore in case SWMBO reads this... ;o)
[B]scrub my previous post.....[/B]

Put an additional super on both hives

if they don't need it, it wont hurt

if they do need it, it's there for them to make use of


if the weather changes and a strong flow appears, you'll be surprised at how fast a colony will pull in nectar, also the bees will have stored honey in the brood area and when your new queens have mated they will be looking to move this asap to allow her room to lay and it's got to be moved somewhere....

hope that helps :D

enjoy your hols


W
should read, now i've edited it....

I am off on holiday this Sunday, and then will not be able to visit for 2 weeks..which means that what I do on Saturday will have to cover both weeks
Put an additional super on both hives

if they don't need it, it wont hurt

if they do need it, it's there for them to make use of


if the weather changes and a strong flow appears, you'll be surprised at how fast a colony will pull in nectar


with regard to whether your new queens will swarm again.....

probably not as they are new queens / strong pheremones / already swarmed / etc, however, bees do what bees do, so i aint laying any odds on any colony (note the cool use of italics and bold there, who's getting good at this, or what!!), but additional room (ie another super) gives the girls more room to shift stores "up" if they need / want to

you could try bruising the capped stores on the outer frames in the brood box to encourage the bees to move this up, which should give additional space for brood, if it's needed.

enjoy your hols and see what your hives tell you when you get back to them is the best advise i can really give.....


hope that helps :D


W

edited cos i'm stupid and didn't fully read the previous posts properly....
 

warts 

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Hi
Thanks All. I just thought I would keep you updated. I added an extra super to each hive before we left for our hols. I went to check the bees yesterday, and one hive had 8 queen cells waiting for me! (Thankfully the other was just ticking along nicely.) Anyhow, lesson learnt...i.e. never underestimate the ability of the bees to outwit an amateur, especially ME. Not sure if I missed eggs in queen cups before I went away, or just not fully grasping the bee to space ratio required for bees (and my ability to describe it), but you live and learn. And I shall certainly try and be much more proactive next year.

Cheers

Sally
 
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