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Author Topic: strategies for taking off supers on heavily populated hives  (Read 1228 times)
tandemrx
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Location: Whitewater, Wisconsin


« on: August 14, 2012, 10:36:36 PM »

I have a few hives that are quite heavily populated such that the supers and pretty jammed with bees and the deeps (2) look quite busy as well.

Wondering if anyone does anything special after removing the supers to deal with all the congestion.

I normally never really deal with it and just let them stay congested and deal with the rare fall swarm, but this is a very odd year and any spring swarms I had were so early that the hives or swarm colonies are now busting with bees.

I had an early august swarm which I don't think I have ever had before (except in my observation hive that swarms willy-nilly because it is only 3.5 frames).

Such a weird year with the warm winter, draught and hot spring summer, now an august that isn't acting at all like august . . . not as quite as dry and hot as usual and more alfalfa blooming and not being cut around here.  Goldenrod seems like it will be big, but so far it is just barely getting started.

So again, curious if others do anything special during honey harvest time with their busiest colonies when removing supers. 

Almost thinking of reversing the 2 deeps since I am sure they are ignoring part of the bottom box.  Or even considering adding a 3rd deep to the most populated hives, but that would require a lot more equipment if I was to do it to many and I wouldn't have enough drawn frames to do this to many.



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D Coates
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« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2012, 09:04:57 AM »

Fume boards with Fishers Bee-Quick.  I can't recommend them enough.  It'll push bees out of the supers with ease as long as there are no young.  But they stay in the hive during and there appears to be no confusion.  I paint the fume board tops black to speed up the process.  I used to use a blower to blow them out but that created quite a bit of confusion and puts an enormous amount of bees in the air.
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mikecva
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« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2012, 12:24:00 PM »

I also use Fishers Bee-Quick. I need to put a little more on then directions say but I think that is a function of the type of fume board you. I use a spray bottle of 1:1 to help calm the remaining bees that may need to be removed from any frames. I do not use any smoke when removing supers because I do not want the smell in my honey.   -Mike
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Buffalo Bee Farm
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« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2012, 03:09:43 PM »

i use a leaf blower... works excellent.

Does put bees in the air, but so what...

it was mention thye dont use smoke because they dont want the smell in the honey... but yet they use a chemical that's sole purpose is force the bees out via smell... doesnt make sense to me...

i can pull a super in mere seconds with a blower compared to waiting for the chemical to work (maybe) and i have to have a fume board per hive etc... more equipment... one cheap sthyl leaf blower and i am done...

But thats my two cents with 80-100 hives...
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Boom Buzz
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« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2012, 04:15:59 PM »

I think Tandemrx is saying he has the honey supers off to harvest, but now that the hive is back down to just the brood boxes in two deeps he has lots of bees and maybe not enough space in the two deeps!?   What do people to in this situation?  I have not had this problem but I guess I would be tempted to put on another super box, and look to reduce down to the over winter box when the bee population reduces down later in fall.

Buffalo Bee, just curious, how do you go about using the leaf blower?  Take the honey super off and put it on rack or something to blow down through the box with frames intact?

John
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tandemrx
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« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2012, 06:15:02 PM »

yes, I wasn't asking about bee removal for harvesting, but what to do with that congested hive after harvest.

I really don't want to add more supers as I would like to reduce feeding as much as possible and let them use any left over goldenrod flow to fill the deeps.  But I don't want them to be so congested they will swarm.
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Joe D
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« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2012, 06:36:05 PM »

Keep a check on their stores, add a super back on that was extracted.  I don't have many hives, when I went through it to take supers off I take my time inspect most every frame for capped honey . I have an empty super to put frames that are ready to go, the ones that aren't stay on the hive.  I usually leave 1 super per hive.  In a week or so if they have finished that super I will add another that was extracted.  Most dont' but I had a full super on each hive last winter.  Good luck with your bees.



Joe
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AllenF
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« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2012, 07:53:20 PM »

I let them beard.   Goldenrod backfills the old brood area in the 2 deeps for winter storage. 
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