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Author Topic: Best time to add a second super  (Read 504 times)

Offline crispy

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Best time to add a second super
« on: October 13, 2020, 09:15:07 pm »
Hi all looking for advice on when to add the second super to my new colony , the frames that i have added are being drawn out very well by the bees unfortunately i had to reduce the brood box to 8 frames when i added the in hive feeder so it has gone from a 10 frame to an 8 frame at the moment .

On saturday i will remove the in hive feeder and finish with the sugar syrup until we start to go into cooler months next year and will replace the feeder with one more frame of foundation , the two end frames are being drawn out very well as i looked at them this morning (didnt go into the brood nest ) just to see how things were progressing .

So my question is how long should i wait before putting on my second super ,i have decided to stick with the tried and true method of a single brood box rather than using a second as i wrote about before in another post, putting a queen excluder in between, should i leave it for a few more weeks or should i start on saturday when i remove the hive feeder . foraging is going really well we have a lot of bottle brush coming into flower right now in fact i saw one yesterday that was the biggest i have ever seen it took up nearly the whole front yard big bright red flowers on it the bees love looked stunning anyway thats my question to the experienced keepers out there .   

Offline Biggles

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Re: Best time to add a second super
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2020, 10:50:47 pm »
Hi Crispy

The nuc has a way to go yet. 

You will be needing to see that all frames are drawn and full of brood / stores.  When the hive gets populous enough to have the bees 'well up' when you open the hive is when expansion should be considered, in light of local conditions.

At about the time the above occurs, keep a watch on the top of the frames and take note of when the bees start to build comb on them.  That usually coincides with a 'full hive' and they are on a flow, needing further room.

Read up on the Demaree plan of hive expansion, to assist on expanding the hive at that stage.

Hope this helps.

Mark

Offline crispy

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Re: Best time to add a second super
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2020, 11:06:10 pm »
Thanks mark ill read up on that.

Offline crispy

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Re: Best time to add a second super
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2020, 03:23:31 am »
Hi mark reading your post again got me thinking ,today when i opened the hive there were a lot of bees on the top of the frames when i smoked them they ran down inside but within a couple of minutes they were back at the top again .We are having a spot of 28/30 degree weather at the moment when i had a look at the hive there are a lot of bees out side and on the side without direct sunlight on it ,the attachment is what i saw this afternoon .[ You are not allowed to view attachments ]

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: Best time to add a second super
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2020, 12:04:46 pm »
Hey crispy,
The answer to your question of when to add more space is determined by some math. 
During your inspection, record some numbers.  What you need to know are;
- number of frames covered in bees.
- number of frames of brood.

1 frame of brood equates to roughly 3 frames of walking/working bees when that brood emerges.

Here is the math.  The amount of space the colony needs is
   S =  Frames of bees + 3 x frames of brood

There are 10 frames in a box.  Whenever S is larger than multiple of 10 (10-20-30), it is time to add a box within 1 week of when the calc was done.

For example.  7 frames of bees and 4 frames of brood.
S = 7 + 3x4 = 19 ; needs 2 boxes (20frames)

If not enough space is added at the right time, the colony will go into swarm mode.

Hope that helps!
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Best time to add a second super
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2020, 12:32:01 pm »
Hey crispy,
The answer to your question of when to add more space is determined by some math. 
During your inspection, record some numbers.  What you need to know are;
- number of frames covered in bees.
- number of frames of brood.

1 frame of brood equates to roughly 3 frames of walking/working bees when that brood emerges.

Here is the math.  The amount of space the colony needs is
   S =  Frames of bees + 3 x frames of brood

There are 10 frames in a box.  Whenever S is larger than multiple of 10 (10-20-30), it is time to add a box within 1 week of when the calc was done.

For example.  7 frames of bees and 4 frames of brood.
S = 7 + 3x4 = 19 ; needs 2 boxes (20frames)

If not enough space is added at the right time, the colony will go into swarm mode.

Hope that helps!

It sure helps me. Thanks
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Offline Biggles

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Re: Best time to add a second super
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2020, 04:25:36 pm »
Hi Crispy

How many empty frames are there in the hive?

Clustering like that outside the hive is not unusual on a very warm day.

Cheers

Mark

Offline crispy

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Re: Best time to add a second super
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2020, 07:23:30 pm »
Hi all thanks for that equation honeypump , when i got the nuc it was actually overfull (to many bees) but because it was a replacement it was the one i recieved , anyway with the feeder inside i have had to take out 2 frames to make room as it has some plastic frames in it and with 10 frames when i started it was to tight so i took one out leaving 9 ,then when i had my ant problem and i replaced it with the in hive feeder i had to take out another leaving 8 ,3 x new and 5 from the nuc .

This saturday i will remove the feeder completely so wil put in another empty frame of foundation , the frames have bees on them all even on the side of the feeder as i had to brush them off yesterday to replace the syrup . i havent gone into the brood nest since tuesday of last week and only checked the outer frames which are almost drawn out now with necter in plus there would have been probably a continual hatching of brood so the hive may well be getting full .

What i was thinking of doing was taking maybe two frames of brood from the brood box and putting it into the new super above the queen excluder and replacing the frames with foundation in the brood nest giveing the queen more room to lay once drawn out and once the brood is hatched i can recycle the plastic frames , they are mainly plastic frames and i want to recycle them for wooden this may attract more bees to move up into the second super by my thinking anyway next inspection will be on saturday morning .   

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: Best time to add a second super
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2020, 11:23:29 pm »
Hi all thanks for that equation honeypump , when i got the nuc it was actually overfull (to many bees) but because it was a replacement it was the one i recieved , anyway with the feeder inside i have had to take out 2 frames to make room as it has some plastic frames in it and with 10 frames when i started it was to tight so i took one out leaving 9 ,then when i had my ant problem and i replaced it with the in hive feeder i had to take out another leaving 8 ,3 x new and 5 from the nuc .

This saturday i will remove the feeder completely so wil put in another empty frame of foundation , the frames have bees on them all even on the side of the feeder as i had to brush them off yesterday to replace the syrup . i havent gone into the brood nest since tuesday of last week and only checked the outer frames which are almost drawn out now with necter in plus there would have been probably a continual hatching of brood so the hive may well be getting full .

What i was thinking of doing was taking maybe two frames of brood from the brood box and putting it into the new super above the queen excluder and replacing the frames with foundation in the brood nest giveing the queen more room to lay once drawn out and once the brood is hatched i can recycle the plastic frames , they are mainly plastic frames and i want to recycle them for wooden this may attract more bees to move up into the second super by my thinking anyway next inspection will be on saturday morning .   

A couple of points of advice.
1. Stick to 10 frames in the brood chamber, bottom box.  Going with 9 will violate bee-space and you will end up with some weird and wild combs.  Above the queen excluder, in honey supers, you can go 9.
2. Do not put brood above the queen excluder.  That introduces high likelihood of queen cells being drawn out up there. Keep the brood with the queen below the excluder.  Move honey frames up above the excluder.
3. In as much as possible do not put foundation in the brood nest. Give the nest, give the queen, only drawn combs.  Put the foundation in the 2nd box and have the bees draw it out up there.  Once drawn, then move it down for the queen to use.  If you have to put foundation in the bottom, put it against the wall, last frame in the box.


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Offline crispy

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Re: Best time to add a second super
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2020, 02:59:19 am »
Hi honeypump ill do that ,i have to put foundation in the brood box as i dont have any draw comb and thats where i was going to put it against the walls ,they have drawn out the frames i did put in but they have put necter and pollen in both of them so ill just move them across and add the new foundation on the outside . 

Offline Acebird

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Re: Best time to add a second super
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2020, 08:38:34 am »
My question is why do you have an excluder on?  To me this is pointless and if left on will retard the hive from expanding.  Don't worry about the plastic frames that are drawn out.  You can remove them next year.  I do not know your climate but I would be inclined to pull up a couple of brood frames into another box and get rid of the excluder.
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Offline crispy

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Re: Best time to add a second super
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2020, 10:00:45 am »
Hi acebird i would say that 99.9% of hives in australia are done this way there are probably some that run a double brood hive as i even considered it .A chap i was watching in new zealand on you tube does just that runs a double brood box .The reason that a queen excluder is used is the second box is classed as a honey super and you dont want the queen laying eggs in there so in essence you have one brood nest and all the rest of the supers above the excluder are for honey production hope that helps .

As for the plastic frames it is probably a personal choice but i did find when trying to put 10 frames into the brood box that they made getting the last frame in very tight whereas with timber frames there is more room , i have found that nothing in bee keeping is of a standard size it either a bit smaller or a bit larger depending on where the item comes from .

Offline Acebird

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Re: Best time to add a second super
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2020, 01:23:10 pm »
The reason that a queen excluder is used is the second box is classed as a honey super and you dont want the queen laying eggs in there so in essence you have one brood nest and all the rest of the supers above the excluder are for honey production hope that helps .
You can do that the second year when you have drawn frames.  The first year it might stunt the hive.  In most cases you don't harvest from a first year hive.
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Best time to add a second super
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2020, 02:27:05 pm »
In a steady but slow buildup I would use the 80/20 rule.  If they have 80% full give them one more super.  In a really strong flow, though, you may want to add several supers at the same time. 
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Offline crispy

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Re: Best time to add a second super
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2020, 07:45:01 pm »
Hi all well checked the hive yesterday and removed the feeder , noticed they are starting to build drone comb at the bottom of the frames ,queen has been laying well actually saw some eggs /small larvea in the cells .

I replaced the frame i took out when i put the feeder in but could not fit ten frames in the plastic frames must be bigger that the timber ones so the brood box now has 9 frames . Even though i saw  lot of bes i will wait maybe another week or two before adding the second super and as usual dumbo forgot to take his camera with him so cant show any photos of what i saw .

The cells i thought were queen cells i believe are not queens after researching what they truly looked like they are to small maybe oversized drone cells or a damaged combe that has been patched up anyway still didnt see the queen looked for her but she is sneaky i truly wish she had been marked would make this junior beeks job a lot easier .

Offline Beelab

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Re: Best time to add a second super
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2020, 05:12:32 am »
Hi Crispy. Most of Oz is in a reasonable flow right now. Your bees will likely manage without extra feeding from here on and fill the super beautifully.
Stop feeding, unless you want your honey to be store bought sugar.


Offline crispy

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Re: Best time to add a second super
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2020, 09:47:04 am »
Hi beelab ,yes that is what ive done the feeder is out now got one sting out of it ,had bees all over my hands and one on my palm and she didnt like what was going on and got me , i was using two pairs of those nitril gloves they are not sting proof as people say , im going back to my leather gloves from now on thats the second time they have got through them .

Offline crispy

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Re: Best time to add a second super
« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2020, 06:28:13 am »
Well i have been mulling over this since saturday morning and tomorrow i will add the second super ,thinking back to when i last opened the hive there were bees on every frame and if not smoked they would well up on top in a matter of minutes . At the present moment the bees are working flat out with mass gatherings at the entrance to get back inside .

We have a number of trees out in full bloom at the moment and at the rate i saw bees flying around they must be working pretty hard and i will check tomorrow to see how far they have drawn the fresh frame i placed in on saturday .

What i am thinking of doing is taking a frame of capped or partially capped honey from the brood box and placing it into the second super and then replacing it with an un drawn frame next to the brood frames which hopefully the bees will draw out to give queeny some more room to lay eggs ,now i dont know if im right or wrong and what i have watched on you tube videos about when to put on a second super the brood supers have no were near the bees i have in mine .they have a few walking around on top of the frames i have heaps on top of mine .

So thats the plan of attack for tomorrow morning ,ill put in an excluder as i dont want the queen laying in what should be the honey super as i have given the double brood box idea away for now anyway wish me luck with my endevour . 

Offline Acebird

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Re: Best time to add a second super
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2020, 08:16:00 am »
If you pull up a brood frame there will be no question whether the bees will expand the box.  The only question about doing it early is in hive beetle areas.
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Offline crispy

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Re: Best time to add a second super
« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2020, 10:32:47 pm »
Hi all well as i said i placed a new box on top of the brood super managed to remember my camera today but only got a few pics which ill place as attachments , got stung again through those useless nitril gloves double thickness wont be using them anymore .

Did manage to see the queen today she is a bit of a runt not as big as other queens i have seen still she is laying well and thats what counts didnt get a shot of her though . the bees have drawn out all the frames and there pollen pattie was gone .

So what i have done is this ,in the new box i have tranfered 1 frame of uncapped honey ,and two frames of capped brood hopefully this will entice the bees to come up and work out the frames there i replaced the frames in the bottom brood box with undrawn foundation which i hope they will draw out so as madam has more room to lay eggs

I have opened the entrance right up now realizing the door was partially shut due to the weather when i first transfered them im glad i used the fly screen on top of the frames to stop them sticking down the lid as you can see in the attachments there is a bit of burcomb on top of the frames ,so only time will tell if it is a success or failure but now its done ,ome other thing i saw was what i thought to be two supercedure cells which i destroyed one photo shows one but the bees are all over it  [ You are not allowed to view attachments ][ You are not allowed to view attachments ][ You are not allowed to view attachments ]