I can't remember if you did a cut down split to get them to work the rounds. If so can you give an over view of what you did, and timing etc. Also way to go!
Yes Chad, that's exactly what I did - back on the 16th of May. Based on what I've been told since, seems as though that was a little too early in the season, but I'm still figuring these things out.
As far as the 'cut-down' went, I had 2 deeps on that hive to begin with. I removed the top deep, moved it to it's own bottom board to use as the base of a 'new' hive. Switched frames between the two boxes so that the "Ross Round" hive got as much capped brood as possible (and left them the old queen). Ordered a new queen for the 'new' hive, she did fine, and the population of that hive as really taken off now that her brood has been hatching for about 9 days now. The "Ross Round hive" had about 3/4 of the bees formerly in 2 deeps now in 1 deep and 1 RR super (REALLY CONGESTED) - so you can understand why I was so concerned about 'keeping ahead' of the bees and adding so many supers, but I think the problem for me was that I did the split a little too early - thus the population of that hive just exploded in the month of June.
Anyway, I continued to add RR supers (4 total) based on the idea of crowding them, but not to the point they would swarm. Well, they DID swarm on the 17th of June. Captured that swarm and reintroduced them back into the same hive. A couple of days later I removed 3 frame of brood with 4 queen cells and started another colony (that colony is doing fine now), replacing those frames with drawn foundation - just to relieve a little of the congestion.
The colony was not 'finishing' off that 1st super I had given them back in May, so I removed the top (4th) super back on the 19th of June, had to leave town on the 20th, figured the "1st" super would be ready to come off by the time I got back - sure enough, took a look yesterday and it was nicely capped. Wish I had been home over the past week, could have taken it off sooner, but it couldn't be helped.
I should also add that I gave that hive a new RR super when I took the first one off, so they still have 3 supers on.
Let me know if you have any other questions.
Yes, I'm finding the system realatively easy to work - the hardest part is my newbieness - not really knowing enough the timing of nectar flows, not knowing "how crowded is too crowded", things like that. I know that will come with experience, but we're all a little impatient I guess. Right now, I'm the weakest link.
I love not needing expensive extracting equipement, or making a mess, or taking up the entire day go thru the process. I think it took about 45 mins. total from the time I got the super in the door until all the rounds were out of the frames, trimed and put in bags and placed in the freezer - and that was with me 'oooooing & ahhhhhing' over every one
I'm such a girl! If I was in a hurry it could be done in probably 15-20 mins. per super. Anyway, I'll be curious to see how much of a market there is up here for comb honey. If not, I've already got my Christmas shopping done!