Honey - Bee in Harmony - Rowe Apiaries

Adding honey supers – Season 6

We have had very hot and dry months of June and July, so it was a great relief to get some rain in August. I was able to check on two of the four beehives that I had set up for making honey (with double deep supers). Two of them were ready for expansion.

Deep double supers

Deep double supers are waiting for expansion

You see how almost every frame has had the comb built and is getting filled with honey? Some colonies really like their honey supers, while others will stuff their brood chamber with honey before they even look above them. The bees are not sheep. They are going to do what the bees want to do 😉

Can you see all the bee spaces filled?

Can you see all the bee spaces filled?

The honey has not been capped yet, but the bees are working on it! So… I took half of the frames and placed them in the second honey super, alternating between a honey filled frame and an empty frame.

2The honey is not sealed: it is not ready for harvesting

The honey is not sealed: it is not ready for harvesting

This honey super is going to go on the top of the other honey super. What would happen if I simply put an empty super on top of the queen excluder and the uncapped honey-filled super on the top of that super? Well, in my experience, sometimes, the bees get confused and refuse to fill the new super with honey, even though it is closer to the brood chamber. Sometimes, they forget about capping the honey in the old super, although it is just above the new honey super…. Anyway, I found that the best way to deal with expansion is to simply show the bees that “it got roomier up there”, by alternating the frames. I remove some honey filled frame and replace them with empty ones. Then, I place the other honey frames in the super that goes on top.

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And, here is the second beehive ready for expansion…

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As it began to rain, just before I got to the third double super beehive, I had to postpone the expansion until next time…

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