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Author Topic: Can you super too soon?  (Read 1856 times)
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Ken
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« on: June 17, 2006, 07:00:31 PM »

What happens if you put on  honey supers too soon?
Is too soon better than too late? How long can you leave them on the hive when filled?   Thanks  everybody!! smiley
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2006, 07:30:52 PM »

If it's a strong hive (two deeps or three mediums full of bees), you can pile on supers anytim.  If you're starting from a pacakge I wouldn't give them any more room than they can manage.  If they aren't filling the box they are in with bees, I'd wait.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2006, 07:38:02 PM »

You can leave the supers on as long as you like, just expect them to tap into it if you leave it on all winter.
If you have a good strong hive adding 2 or more supers at a time is usually not a problem even if your using fundation.  the best rule of thumb is to super before a major honey flow and add enough to see the hive through the flow.
As MB states, with a swarm or a package it is possible to super too early, which is supering before you have enough bees in the hive to cover the frames.
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« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2006, 11:55:26 PM »

If your hive swarms though, take those supers off.  I learned this the hard way and now have 30 frames of SHB and wax moths.  Granted I was http://www.beemaster.com/beebbs/viewtopic.php?t=5527">on vacation.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2006, 09:19:10 AM »

And there is part of the reason.  The bees have to guard and care for the comb they have and heat and cool the space they have.  A booming hive will have no trouble doing this with even six or seven supers on.  A struggling colony doesn't stand a chance of doing it with even one or two supers on.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2006, 10:44:52 AM »

would it matter on a new hive if you only used undrawn foundation such as plastic cell and that they will not work it till they are ready. There souldnt be any pest problems such as wax moths due to a lack of drawn foundation. Once the bees start to draw it out they will be able to protect it. I dont practice this on packages but just wondering if this would work. Say you had to be gone for a few weeks.
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« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2006, 12:26:28 PM »

That would depend on several things: how many frames of drawn comb exist, number of boxes already on a hive, and the date of next honey flow.  
If you have 2 brood boxes, putting on 2 or more supers at one time should not be a problem.  
If you're nursing a package or swarm on foundation I would advise against it.
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« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2006, 01:22:36 PM »

The problem with undrawn foundation is they will steal the wax from it, chew it and if it's just wax (or wired wax) it will sometimes collapse in the heat when the bees aren't using it.  I tend to add it a box at a time.
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Michael Bush
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