When to put supers on?

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BoStor 

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Not really: as Steve said, a BB heavy with stores is usually enough, but how bees get enough on board is the great unknown. Your window of opportunity to develop the colony is from receipt until wasps begin sweet feeding in late summer and into autumn, so if no flow is on you'll have to feed syrup to keep the queen laying.

Beekeeping is a long game so focus on getting the BB rammed with brood, bees and stores, and think about honey in 2022. Of course, July and August may turn out to be the season of all seasons and honey may pour in, so add a super.

To get the hang of beekeeping you must adapt and synthesise three factors: the life cycle of bees, an ability to use your kit effectively, and knowledge of your local natural environment.

A text book is a useful starter but your management decisions must be led by the state of play in front of you at any given time, and not by the calendar.

Where do you live?
Thanks to you & Steve for great advice which makes sense to me. I live in rural SW Ireland & belong to newly formed FIBKA branch.
 

Curly green finger's 

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U/F entrances are a bit different in their response to wasp attack and robbing though - they appear to be a natural deterrent.

I run my Paynes polys with the entrance block in and with the standard 100mm entrance all the year round;. I've never seen this width of entrance causing any serious traffic jams but ( don't get the massive flows from OSR or heather or fields of white clover and I suspect when there is a bit flow from that type of forage that a bigger entrance may be necessary. I do think that with the entrance block fully out on a Paynes Poly hive it would be overkill ... and very susceptible to attack from robbing, wasps and even possibly rodents ... it 's a very larhe entrance block and I think it stems mainly from the hive design.

It is possible to vary the entrance with a standard entrance block by pulling it out at and angle - it does not have to be an all or nothing situation - vary the entrance to suit the volume of bees using it.
I see poly hives have a sliding entrance but most are sold for deterring wasps.
Point me in the right direction if there is a sliding entrance block for cedar hives.
A piece of 2x1 does the trick and a bit of dolerite.
 

pargyle 

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I see poly hives have a sliding entrance but most are sold for deterring wasps.
Point me in the right direction if there is a sliding entrance block for cedar hives.
A piece of 2x1 does the trick and a bit of dolerite.
Not all of them .. my Paynes have a solid plastic entrance that can be used two ways by turning the block round by 90 degrees - the option is 100mm x 8mm slot or four bee sized holes.


It works very well.

There is some advantage to having a sliding entrance block but it's just as easy with a solid timber one just to angle it in the slot to give more or less of an entrance as required. There have been some very creative entrance tunnels using electrical conduit shown on here in past threads which I have admired but never made ... just not needed when the standard Paynes one works for me ... perhaps one day.
 

Swarm 

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Thanks to you & Steve for great advice which makes sense to me. I live in rural SW Ireland & belong to newly formed FIBKA branch.
Forgot probably the most important bit after getting them nice and strong. A good, effective Autumn varroa treatment. Enjoy your bees.
 

Beelosser 

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It is very different thing, when the plant makes nectar and when bees can cather it effectively.

Bees are active and bees gather effectively, are very different things.

Then I invented a term Bees Working Hours, when I had beehive on the balance.

The hive got 5 kg honey one day, when day temp was 25C and next day it got 7 kg when day temp was 29C.... It was 40% more than yesterday. ... WHY?

I would imagine that 29C is worse day because it is so hot.

Then I noticed that bees stopped foraging totally in the evening when temp reached 18C .
In 29C day 18C was reached several hours later than in 25C day.

We can see too that after cold night it takes much more time that the morning warms up, it dries nectar and bees start to forage. And how strong nectar they bring home, it has a big difference.

That week, when I followed what is happening on the hive, bees got 50 kg honey in 7 days. The hive brought in that summer 170 kg honey. Its nect door hive brought as many boxes.

The secret of the good honey flow is not the the minimum things, what plants and bees do. It is better to look maximum limits.
I assume different bees work at different temperatures. Here in Edinburgh we seldom have many hours above 18C.
 

Finman 

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I assume different bees work at different temperatures. Here in Edinburgh we seldom have many hours above 18C.
Bees are almost the same. They work in that temperarure where they live. I use Italian bees.

How often you get 100 kg from your hive?
 

Amari 

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There is no way I am ever going to leave in an entrance block on a large colony when they are trying to bring in all that white clover nectar.
Gosh, I thought white clover was a virtually extinct crop:cry:
 

Curly green finger's 

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Not all of them .. my Paynes have a solid plastic entrance that can be used two ways by turning the block round by 90 degrees - the option is 100mm x 8mm slot or four bee sized holes.


It works very well.

There is some advantage to having a sliding entrance block but it's just as easy with a solid timber one just to angle it in the slot to give more or less of an entrance as required. There have been some very creative entrance tunnels using electrical conduit shown on here in past threads which I have admired but never made ... just not needed when the standard Paynes one works for me ... perhaps one day.
Thanks for the link.
Gosh, I thought white clover was a virtually extinct crop:cry:
:laughing-smiley-004don't get upset there is better forage out there like thistles
 

Etton 

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In deepest darkest east Yorkshire ive just today moved all supers to hives ready so less effort when the time comes... Osr is near just need temperatures to rise... Ive heard its going to be a cool year from long range forecast so fingers crossed they are wrong
Me too!
Slightly worried though, as even if by putting on the supers when its still cold the brood could get chilled with heat rising into the super but also if not flying could they move any remaining (syrup) stores up into the super.
 

tonyofarr 

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Gosh, I thought white clover was a virtually extinct crop:cry:
Not in this area on the Devon/Cornwall border, but you do need temps over 20 c for a good crop off it, and luck because the fields are cut for silage every 6 weeks and if the timing is not in your favour you lose out.

If you walk down to the hives at night when they are working the clover, you can hear the bees making a roaring sound as they fan the combs, it is wonderful.

Luckily if the weather and farmer's activities are against us there are plenty of brambles about for the bees to work.
 

Little_bees 

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In deepest darkest east Yorkshire ive just today moved all supers to hives ready so less effort when the time comes...
Me too!
Slightly worried though, as even if by putting on the supers when its still cold the brood could get chilled with heat rising into the super but also if not flying could they move any remaining (syrup) stores up into the super.
@Etton I'm assuming linoleum bonypart meant he moved the supers near to the hives they were going to go on, whenever that may be.
 

Beegarden 

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Am promised a new queen with 4 frames. Plan to add 2/3 frames with foundation and fill rest with dummy board.
Want to go into Winter with a maximum strong colony so assume that I would have one super to keep either on top of brood or
nadired.
Correct if wrong as am a learner still to get 1st bees.
Wise words from Ericbeaumont and Steve. You are getting your nuc quite late in the year to expect much more than a hopefully strong brood box, Bostor. This forum is really great for advice, albeit varied but always well-meant, but you do need to fill in some of the basic gaps by reading a well-recommended beekeeping book. It's now hailing here in Norfolk, so I may still be at your stage in June! :rolleyes: Good luck on your new journey.
 

bobba 

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Thanks for all the great advice everyone, I have still been reading.

I put a new brood box on hive3 yesterday (Monday). I managed to pull a mussel or something in the top/right of my chest, when lifting the old brood+1/2 off the stand. Then had to put the hive back together in agony. I was going to put a brood box on another hive, but thought I best call it a day. I did not think I would be doing anymore heavy lifting for a week, but luckily I am 99% better already. So am counting my self lucky it was not worse.

Note to self - dont try lift a brood+1/2 in one go again, you numpty.

I was hoping to put supers on tonight. But weather is still cold so will give it one more day.

My bees are going crazy for laurel trees atm, bringing back stacks of pollen. There are a few near my house, I see the bumble bees like them too. It nad never occored to me before that bees would like laurel.
 

pargyle 

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Note to self - dont try lift a brood+1/2 in one go again, you numpty..
One of the things about getting older is that the mind still thinks your body is 26 years old and the body recognises that it is NOT 26 any more ... those twinges are signs of the conflict between mind and body and should not be ignored. I have an arthritic knee, whilst it is normally something I can live with, I made the mistake of pushing it too far a couple of weeks ago with the result now that I am really suffering and suspect that I have done some serious damage - not that I can get a doctors appointment before next week to be able to find out !

Take care - beekeepers back is a pretty real hazard in this hobby.
 
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