How Many Supers? Vote Now!

I have been overly optimistic in previous seasons when estimating how many supers (boxes on top of the hive where the bees store honey) I need, so this time I thought I would ask you guys for a more objective estimate before I buy any more.

So to help estimate:

  • I have 4 hives with mated laying Queens
  • One hive has ½ a super of nectar, the brood box is full of bees and has a laying Queen, but for a 2-3 week period (end May – early June) there was no laying queen as the hive swarmed
  • Three hives have 6 frames of bees, mated queens that have been laying for about 4 weeks and are still drawing out foundation in the brood box. No supers on top.
  • Weather: Let’s assume a decent summer
  • Each super holds 25lb of honey

How many supers do you think I will need this summer?

  • A. 4 supers (i.e. 1 super per hive) (30%, 3 Votes)
  • B. 5-8 supers (i.e. 1-2 supers per hive) (40%, 4 Votes)
  • C. 9-12 supers (i.e. 2-3 supers per hive) (20%, 2 Votes)
  • D. 13-16 supers (i.e. 3-4 super per hive) (10%, 1 Votes)
  • E. More than 16 supers (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 10

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This poll ends on 30 June 2014.  Also – I would be interested in comments on how you have made your estimates.

Beehive, Potatoes, Globe Artichoke
Beehives, Potatoes & Globe Artichoke – June 2014

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Author: Roger

regaining my sanity through beekeeping

2 thoughts on “How Many Supers? Vote Now!”

  1. Hi,
    Well if I go by how mine are doing this year which has been very well, I have 2 hives one came through winter, No 1 (Aster) a full hive started movement early, been knocking queen cells out for 6 weeks, brood on 11 frames bursting at the seams. 1 full honey super taken off after the Rapeseed finished blooming 3 weeks ago, since filled 2 supers 1 sealed just, number 2 super full of nectar unsealed and number 3 went on yesterday at this rate we shall need 6 for her alone, no 2 hive (Bluebell) came through winter in a polynuc six frames with feeder, again she was laying back in March, now in WBC 14 x 12, (Aster above 14 x 12 brood as well)now a full brood box first super on half full of nectar, this has been done over the last fortnight slower than number one,so might get 2 poss 3 supers from her, I make that nine,I believe yours will be about the same if they all build up quickly from now so I am going for 9. your 4 being slightly smaller than mine are now! I am in Kent, Love your pages will be watching closely,fingers crossed for a good year!

  2. I’m assuming you have the ideal supers (half-heights). One might be enough if the hive isn’t strong or storing well but I’d always add one more than a hive needs so if there is a flow, they don’t run out of space and feel inclined to swarm. In summer there shouldn’t be any concern about keeping the hive small for them to keep it warm so I’d put 1 more super on each hive than they need which means 2 on the strong hive and 1 on each of the others right now but have spares to pop an extra on each hive bringing them each to 2 or 3 supers in July/August.

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