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Author Topic: Question about supering?.?.?.?.?  (Read 1430 times)
Mr T-Bone
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« on: April 22, 2006, 09:27:13 PM »

Cheesy Howdy folks... I was wondering, why the wait for supering, whay can't you keep your supers on the hives all the time(except during extraction)? smiley  smiley  smiley
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amymcg
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« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2006, 10:07:32 PM »

some people do.

If you're in a colder climate, it is too big of a space for them to keep warm in the winter.
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« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2006, 01:02:20 AM »

Mr T-Bone:

My own worry is guarding such a large space from preditors, hive beetles, wax moth, ants and mice and anything that can make home in the super - this takes all the energy away from normal hive duties and your bees lose all productivity and protection.

The "75%-80% full super BEFORE adding another one" rule of adding a super gives you a large enough count of bees to both run all the normal hive duties AND also put enough workers in the added super to drawl out comb, transfer honey, chase away invaders, etc.. The see available space AS the previous space is running out and they will go to work building it up - if you just stick a super above one that is barely drawn, the upper super will never be built up - it is a negative and un-natural enviroment for the bees and they avoid building it. It causes them to walk too much, with no real PLAN to tackle such a project.

JUST AS.... You are always best to have an entrance reducer that reflects the activity of the hive - in other words, an opening large enough for your bees to fly in and out unrestricted YET protect from invading swarms looking to take over the hive, or any insects or animals that can fit in a larger space.. gives your bees a feeling of READIED RESPONCE. Having too big an opening makes the uncomfortable because they cannot protect the entire space as well, so they are not relaxed nor working at their best.

The ONLY good reason to have a FULL HIVE ENTRANCE (rather than a restricted one) is ventilation - a line of workers fanning greatly to get air into the hive. If you have a hive 4 or 5 supers high, then a fully open entrance allows faster entrance and exiting without worrying about invaders.

You really set yourself up for wax moth if you just place empty or especially drawn frames to hives which haven't even gotten 50% of the lower frames drawn and being used. You need lots of bees to protect a hive and you never want too much space and too few bees to protect it. It just asks for trouble.

If nothing else, it causes your workers to get confused and ut their work efforts in a box that is a long time from being filled. Bees work closely together, they enjoy touching each other and passing the pheromone of the queen to each other. They do not enjoy huge spaces where they can just fumble around doing nothing. When you only live 5 to 6 weeks, you can't waste any time in a super that will not be draen on UNTIL the lower one is 80% full - it does not help or motivate them to harvest quicker, it confuses them and makes them nervous and in a higher alert mode, which GREATLY reduces productivity.

Hope that helps.
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BEE C
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« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2006, 02:00:24 AM »

Beemaster,                                                                                            I have bear problems and no electric fence, so I built this hive hut to put my two hives in.  I have heard that some colder northern european (jump in here Finsky) beekeepers use beehouses as well.  My concern is my beekeeping instructor keeps teasing me that I won't have as much productivity with iron grills in front of the hive entrances.  I don't see too many dead bees or problems so far.  Whats the consensus on this?  Do/have others used bee houses with success/problems? Whats your take on this?,  ,  
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2006, 10:56:29 AM »

They don't winter well that way here.  They might do fine in LA.   I couldn't say.
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« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2006, 12:20:59 PM »

Bee C:

From your photos I really don't see an issue of the bees PRODUCTIVITY being any different (at least not measurably so) than if there wasn't the guard measures you have taken.

I'm sure someone (no clue who - honestly) might disagree, but once a hive has a home, they work out all the bugs of getting to it quickly - just as a squirrel will figure out how to get to a bird feeder, honeybees will practice different entrance/exit maneuvers until they find one they like and "what works for one bee MIGHT NOT work for another" so if you have multiple entrances, you will likely see several combinations of coming and going. The more windows, the more combinations - but to actually see loss in hive productivity, I really don't see it.

I'd tell the instructor to knock off busting your chops UNTIL you have REAL results at the end of the season.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2006, 01:44:17 PM »

I don't think those grills would pose any kind of barrier for the bees but I would think it would stay darker and cooler inside the building causing the bees to get a later start every morning, perhaps then missing out on some nectar because some other bug got it early.

Early bird gets the worm type thing.
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« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2006, 03:40:58 PM »

Very good point Jerry - a BRIGHT LIGHT on a timer could actually get them up early in a situation like that. Set to come on just around sun-up and stay on for one hour would surely do the trick.

A light aimed at the entrance (using direct lighting like an 18 fluorescent tube from a few feet away - why is it I think fluorescence don't work well with timers?) or any bright light using mirrors to put light  at the entrance would really get them up and out ASAP - that morning nectar is sooooo important to getting quality honey stores built up.

Good thinking Jerry - light is so important, no matter how you get it to them - even if it is just mirrors taking sun light and aiming IT toward the entrance - if THIS is possible, it is cheap and should really do the trick. Although a timer and bright light really can get them up and out EVERY time "Temperature permitting"/
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