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Author Topic: Help me to understand about supers and brood boxes  (Read 11944 times)

Offline DayValleyDahlias

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Help me to understand about supers and brood boxes
« on: May 12, 2007, 01:59:19 pm »
Here is the scenario:

Got a nuc in a 8 frame box.  Was told to place a super on top in one week.  I did that, also put an excluder on.

I am not concerned with harvesting honey for myself...want to just do right by the bees.

I got this advise and I do not understand what is meant by "empty"...didn't I just put an empty on?  Do they mean, after the super has frames filled with honey,to take it off, and place an emptyon on the brood box, and place the full on on top of the empty??  Her is the advice:

Leave just the one super on.   If we get warm weather from now thru then end
of this month, then, remove the top of the super and see if there is a lot
of capped honey on the outer sides of the frames and... that there is
sufficient honey stored throughout.

If that super is full, then... that's when you put an "empty" super on them.
And, as I said before, place the empty one on top of the brood box so that
they start filling those frames up in IT.
ONLY SUPER IF THERE IS PLENTY OF NECTAR.   PLACE AN EMPTY SUPER ON TOP OF
THE BROOD BOX.


Didn't I already place an empty on the brood box?  Are they justtaking it one step further assuming that the currently EMPTY super will get full??  Still CORNfused here...


Offline doak

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Re: Help me to understand about supers and brood boxes
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2007, 02:38:31 pm »
The brood chamber is to raise bees. You know that. A good strong colony needs 2 brood boxes. Then you may want to flip-flop. In other words when the Queen has moved into the top brood box and it is full of brood, put it on bottum and the bottum on top. You should have to do this only once this late. BUT if the queen has not yet moved into the super, then it will not be necessary to do this.
If you do not use two deeps, the queen will most likely move into the super and lay eggs, If this hasen't already happened
Some like to use medium boxes for brood.
No matter what size the box, if it is used for brood rearing it is a brood chamber.
3 medium supers equal 2 deeps.
It is less work to just put the next empty super on top of the nearly full one. If you do not give them more space in some form they will swarm. NOT may swarm. They will swarm.

I have no idea how you can have a good healthy colony, "without taking some honey. "IF you have any nector flow to amount to anything.
If you have not done so, and any more new B's, I recomend getting at least one book, two or more is better.
Beekeeping for dummies is very informitive.
Beekeeping, A Practical guide, by Richard Bonney.
Starting Right with Bees. ROOT Publishing
First lessons in BEEKEEPING, A DATANT PUBLICATION
This is just 4 of the  10 or so I have.
Hope this helps.
doak

Offline Kathyp

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Re: Help me to understand about supers and brood boxes
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2007, 02:52:25 pm »
i think i know where you are and where you need to go.  see if this makes sense:

1.  you started with a nuc.

2.  nuc gets full...you add an empty box on top or bottom ( i like top. it's easier). you are expanding the brood chamber.  not adding a honey super.  NO EXCLUDER should be used at this point.

3. when second brood box is almost full, you add honey supers. at this point, if you wish, you may use an excluder.  the honey in the honey supers is yours.  the stuff below is for the bees.

if you have a really active queen and a long season, you may want to expand to 3 brood boxes before adding honey supers.  see how quickly she fills the 2nd box with brood.  if you are only running 8 frames, you may need a 3rd brood box.

you have a hot climate.  get an inner cover.  you can prop the outer cover open a small bit to let out heat, but still give the bees only a small hole to protect from robbers.

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Offline doak

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Re: Help me to understand about supers and brood boxes
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2007, 02:59:56 pm »
Ditto what Kathyp says.
The swarm I got the last week in March  filled the second deep full of honey in 10 days. Of coruse this was drawn comb. I added a third "deep". now theres two mediums on.
Kathyp is right on the 8 frame hive. A good strong Queen will warrant a third brood box.
doak

Offline DayValleyDahlias

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Re: Help me to understand about supers and brood boxes
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2007, 03:54:01 pm »
I had no idea..I have een reading
Bee Keeping for Dummies, Backyard Beekeeping and Complete Guide to Beekeeping, AND American Bee Journal...AND this forum...PLUS getting some info from the NUC people...

Seems as though I need to remove the excluder and allow the 2nd box to become another brood box...I will buy a shallow super for surplus honey...How does that sound?

I can't pile stuff too high I am 5'1"...

I will wait for warmer weather and take off the excluder...

Thaks for all your help...

Sometimes with too much information and "beek language" it can be a bit hard to understand...

Offline AllanJ

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Re: Help me to understand about supers and brood boxes
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2007, 04:24:35 pm »
From your other posts and description of the activity and the amount of bees you have, I think you desperately need a 2nd brood box added asap. You do not have to wait for better weather unless it is storming. Just whip out the excluder and let them have at the box above it.

As regards to when you add more supers.. the bees need an awful lot of space to process nectar. Add supers when the previous one has about 7 frames of drawn foundation... not 7 frames of capped honey, but drawn foundation.

Offline DayValleyDahlias

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Re: Help me to understand about supers and brood boxes
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2007, 04:48:09 pm »
Okay I will remove the excluder and let them have at it...

Offline kgbenson

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Re: Help me to understand about supers and brood boxes
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2007, 05:21:08 pm »
I had no idea..I have een reading
Bee Keeping for Dummies, Backyard Beekeeping and Complete Guide to Beekeeping, AND American Bee Journal...AND this forum...PLUS getting some info from the NUC people...

Seems as though I need to remove the excluder and allow the 2nd box to become another brood box...I will buy a shallow super for surplus honey...How does that sound?

Good, except, I would order more than one shallow - you might need them this year, you will almost certainly need them for next year.  I would get at least three.

Quote
I will wait for warmer weather and take off the excluder...

I wouldn't.  Suit up, walk out there and slip the thing out.  No need to disassemble the whole hive and it should take no more than a few seconds - then the bees can do their thing.

Keith
Bee-sting Honey . . . So Good It Hurts.

Offline tillie

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Re: Help me to understand about supers and brood boxes
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2007, 08:15:47 pm »
I can't pile stuff too high I am 5'1"...

I'm 5'2" and when the boxes get too tall, I either take off a super of capped honey and take it inside to harvest it or use a Rubbermaid stool. :-D

And, Sharon, I have lots of books and have read them, but it makes more sense when you are actually doing what's in the books.  I just reread the Backyard Beekeeper and got tons more out of it now that I know what he is talking about - and he writes in simple, easy to understand ways - I just wasn't able to take it in until I had some hands-on experience.

You're doing fine - keep up the work,

Linda T in Atlanta

Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: Help me to understand about supers and brood boxes
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2007, 12:34:33 am »
Just for clarification and empty super is one without honey or brood.  A super full of drawn comb maybe empty of honey.  A super of foundation is empty of both comb and honey. 
every box above the bottom one is a super regardless of use of depth.
Usually there are 2 types of supers on a hive: brood and honey.
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Offline DayValleyDahlias

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Re: Help me to understand about supers and brood boxes
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2007, 01:33:24 am »
Oh, thank you all...yes I do feel rather like a rudderless ship on a restless sea...your replys are helpful and encouraging...

I really just want the bees to bee happy...me too!  HAHA