Supering Your Colonies- Swarm suppression

So, this year, we brought in 43 colonies of 9-frame supers from Tony Lalonde in Saskatchewan, and 78 colonies from Bill Stagg in BC. It is now that you should be thinking about supering your colonies, either through the purchase this year or through your over wintered colonies to ensure that your hives dont swarm in the next few weeks, as we head in to the summer clover flow! So, heres how you can do it:

TBH’s

A.B.C has designed a suping lid that you can place between 2 Golden Mean TBHs (I have them for sale if you would like one, just let me know). Heres the basics:

- Use your spacers (3/8″ spacers that came with your Golden Mean TBH design) to space each bar apart in your main box. (This is going to be your brood box).

- Inspect your hive and find bars with over 80% capped brood on it and place it in to your new TBH that is going to be on top (TBH2). You will want 4 of these frames plus a frame of honey. This encourages the bees to use the super as the nurse bees will move up with the frames, but soon the frames will empty and begin to become filled with honey * BE SURE THAT THE QUEEN ISNT ON THESE BARS, YOU DONT WANT HER ON THE TOP!

- Place your A.B.C Queen Excluding Lid on top of your TBH1. Then set your TBH2 on top.

You will notice that overtime the drones are in the top-box. This is because of a two reasons: they cant pass through the Queen Excluding lid and they want to be where they will be fed the more readily, so why not in the honey super!

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How to super a Langstroth hive. I like to super my young colonies, or my hives without surplus wax, from below, keeping the inner-cover/feeder board closed so that the bees are forced to festoon down to the entrance, encouraging wax production on the new frames!

If you have 9-10 frames of pulled comb, and lots of bees, you can do the following:

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  • Take the middle frames of the brood nest and move them to the middle of your bottom brood box. (Move frames 4 and 5 to  bottom box)
  • Take frames 8,9 and 2 an place them beside the frames below. Fill box outside 4 spaces with empty comb
  • Compress the frames of the top and bottom boxes to the middle so that it is like so: New Frame (NF)

Top Box: nf-nf-1-3-6-7–10-nf-nf

Bottom Box: nf-nf-nf-2-4-5-8-9-nf-nf

2)  You currently only have 1 brood box of bees with 10 frames- Going foundationless

You have the same conditions as above, but foundationless, so you are wanting to be sure that the new comb built is straight. Do the same as above with the brood nest, but your hive numbering is going to be as follows:

Top Box: nf-1-nf-3-6-7-nf-10-nf

Bottom Box: nf-2-nf-4-5-8-nf-9-nf

This keeps the brood nest together, and also offers the insulating properties of the remaining periphery honey stores to keep the colony warm. The bees will build comb fast this way, but you need to have the inner cover closed or else the heat loss can stress your bees and brood development.

If you have a small colony, 6-8 frames in total of brand new wax and lots of bees

  • Take the middle frames of the brood nest and move them to the middle of your bottom brood box. (Move frames 3, 4, 5, 10 to  bottom box in the same position)
  • Take frames 1, 2, 6, 7, and place consolidate them to the middle of the top box. Fill box outside 4 spaces with empty frames
  • Compress the frames of the top and bottom boxes to the middle so that it is like so: New Frame (NF)

Top Box: nf-nf-1-2-6-7-nf-nf

Bottom Box: nf-nf-nf-3-4-5-10-nf

 

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