When to put supers on?

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

Antipodes 

Drone Bee
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Messages
1,191
Reaction score
432
Location
Tasmania
Hive Type
langstroth
Agree with above: vertical slit is the way to go under current weather conditions. Ken Basterfield wrote an article somewhere a few years ago on how he (and Dan) does it with queen in bottom BC but with entrance pointing to the rear and with most of bees and brood in BC above the split board with forward entrance. Supers are above this. Works OK and with less heavy lifting at each inspection compared with using snelgrove (or similar) methods.
 

pargyle 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Oct 16, 2012
Messages
12,546
Reaction score
2,610
Location
Fareham, Hampshire UK
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
6
Thanks John, that looks like it would do some good ....
Agree with above: vertical slit is the way to go under current weather conditions. Ken Basterfield wrote an article somewhere a few years ago on how he (and Dan) does it with queen in bottom BC but with entrance pointing to the rear and with most of bees and brood in BC above the split board with forward entrance. Supers are above this. Works OK and with less heavy lifting at each inspection compared with using snelgrove (or similar) methods.
Here you go.... I've never tried this but I can see the logic ...



SNAP !!!
 

bobba 

House Bee
Joined
May 2, 2019
Messages
345
Reaction score
146
Location
UK - Hampshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
4
Thanks John, that looks like it would do some good ....

Here you go.... I've never tried this but I can see the logic ...



SNAP !!!
I like that swarm board, I may give it a go.

I only asked when to put supers on, and now I know a new method of swarm prevention and how various ailments can be treated.

In a segment in a documentary I watched recently they had dug up what they believed was an Anglo Saxon charm to prevent swarming. Methods may have changed, but we still look at our bees and think "please dont swarm, just stay put and make honey".

I finally got my supers on. And had the 1st proper look for the year. My beloved H1 has not been building up like last year, I peeped 2 weeks ago, and population looks the same. But H2 is doing much better, and filling up quite well.

In H2, the bees had build comb between the frames of 2 boxes and it was full of brood. So I destroyed a lot of fat brood as I pulled the boxes apart :cry:. I have seen them do this on the supers before and pack it with honey, but not with brood.

I had a look for mites but could not see any, so that's one positive.

But Supers on 2 hives, and 2 more downgraded to double brood ;). So I am excited to see how they all do.

And thanks for all the info, I have learnt some useful things.
 

pargyle 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Oct 16, 2012
Messages
12,546
Reaction score
2,610
Location
Fareham, Hampshire UK
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
6
Isn't that just typical of this forum? :D
Yes ... usually you get an answer to a question you didn't ask and then it wanders off to provide answers to something totally different that you didn't need to know ... entertainment and education at its best !
 

bobba 

House Bee
Joined
May 2, 2019
Messages
345
Reaction score
146
Location
UK - Hampshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
4
Isn't that just typical of this forum? :D
So true.

In most forums it seems whenever I ask a question I get the default answer:
"That has been asked before, use the search"

But here, every question I have asked, no matter how daft or noobish, has received an answer.

There are always helpful people here who take time to answer questions and share knowledge.
 

ericbeaumont 

Drone Bee
Joined
Sep 23, 2010
Messages
1,291
Reaction score
786
Location
North London, West Essex and Surrey
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
70
the bees had build comb between the frames of 2 boxes
Suggest you check the bee-space between boxes. If bottom bee space (which most if us work with) your top bars should lie flush with box top rims. They rarely do so, but the runners can be taken off and re-set.
Comb between boxes is also a sign that the nest is running out of space.

I had a look for mites but could not see any, so that's one positive.
If you get to the stage where you can see mites your colony is in deep trouble. At this time of year varroa will be tucked up in brood but provided your 2020 treatment was effective, mite numbers ought not to impact on the colony until late summer.
 
Last edited:

bobba 

House Bee
Joined
May 2, 2019
Messages
345
Reaction score
146
Location
UK - Hampshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
4
Suggest you check the bee-space between boxes. If bottom bee space (which most if us work with) your top bars should lie flush with box top rims. They rarely do so, but the runners can be taken off and re-set.
Comb between boxes is also a sign that the nest is running out of space.


If you get to the stage where you can see mites your colony is in deep trouble. At this time of year varroa will be tucked up in brood but provided your 2020 treatment was effective, mite numbers ought not impact on the colony until late summer.
Thanks for the tips.

I put the (full) brood box on the top for the winter with the 1/2 below. It was between these boxes I had the problem. They did not do it last year.

I have BB space, and my frames are bang on flush with the top. So I dont think incorrect bee space caused the problem for me.

I have be thinking about it, and this hive was doing it in supers towards the end of summer. Even though there was space in a super below, they still wanted to fill the gaps between frames in the supers above.

So I wonder If it is just something this hive likes to do.

Or it could be because of the shear number of bees that were in there last year. When I took the supers off, I left a part full one on the bottom, so hive was left with brood + 1/2 + super (on the bottom). And the bees could only just fit in there, every frame was packed. So I think they may have built it when I was feeding syrup in the autumn.

It was heart breaking for me (I know I am a bit of a softy with my bees). It was almost every frame, there were easily 200+ fat brood, some like big maggots, but lots had had part developed wings and legs. So some were very close to emerging. I am sad that I killed so many right at a crucial time. I expected more of a reaction from the bees, but luckily they did not seem bothered in the slightest, even when I had to scrape a load away.
 

Nannysbees 

House Bee
Joined
Jun 8, 2020
Messages
180
Reaction score
83
Location
Barry
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
2
Thanks for the tips.

I put the (full) brood box on the top for the winter with the 1/2 below. It was between these boxes I had the problem. They did not do it last year.

I have BB space, and my frames are bang on flush with the top. So I dont think incorrect bee space caused the problem for me.

I have be thinking about it, and this hive was doing it in supers towards the end of summer. Even though there was space in a super below, they still wanted to fill the gaps between frames in the supers above.

So I wonder If it is just something this hive likes to do.

Or it could be because of the shear number of bees that were in there last year. When I took the supers off, I left a part full one on the bottom, so hive was left with brood + 1/2 + super (on the bottom). And the bees could only just fit in there, every frame was packed. So I think they may have built it when I was feeding syrup in the autumn.

It was heart breaking for me (I know I am a bit of a softy with my bees). It was almost every frame, there were easily 200+ fat brood, some like big maggots, but lots had had part developed wings and legs. So some were very close to emerging. I am sad that I killed so many right at a crucial time. I expected more of a reaction from the bees, but luckily they did not seem bothered in the slightest, even when I had to scrape a load away.
Happened to us as well,I was gutted
 

Latest posts

Top