Western Oregon, late summer. I’m adding another super to a very crowded colony and now the hive comprises 5 westerns total. My textbook tells me I should put the new super (drawn comb, all frames) UNDER the full honey super. Since it’s tall and heavy, I’d have to pull a lot of frames to maneuver it and it would be pretty disruptive. My question: although it’s very late in the season, is it OK to leave the new honey super on the top? (No QX, no plans to extract honey - leaving all for bees).
Hello and welcome to the Flow forum
Yes. I doubt that they will use it, unless you have a spectacular fall flow. In your situation, if I really felt I needed to add a super at this time of year, I would put it on top, because then it is very easy to remove it if they haven’t used it by the end of September.
Let us know how it goes as the season ends. I would love to hear if they actually do use it.
I appreciate your reply! There’s actually a little more to the story…I started out by putting that super on top above an inner cover because I wanted them to do the frame clean-up after I extracted honey. Well, they did a beautiful job of that, but when I went back to remove it (used a bee escape) they’d started packing it with honey! So… I thought, what the heck, I’ll just leave it on and remove that inner cover. A week later there are now lots of bees up there but they haven’t done too much more. I’ll keep you posted!
I think maybe if you put an empty super between the box of stickies & inner cover the bees might have cleaned the stickies up for you.
Sometimes also it just takes a bit more time for things to happen than we anticipate.
If you still have a flow happening then I would let the bees make the best of it but have the box positioned where you can remove it with no hassles if the bees take the honey down during the Winter.
I agree with @JeffH, If I want a box of stickies cleaned up then having an empty box under the box of stickies seems that the bees will clean the frames rather than consider it as just more storage space.
Since the super is already fully drawn out I see no problem leaving it on for winter:
Bees need empty comb for clustering.
Thank you! Would they cluster above the honey though?
It would be best to make sure they have room to cluster below the honey.
Bees normally cluster in the area of the brood to keep the brood warm in cold weather. In hot weather the bees will spread out over the frames and fan to get more air circulation.
True! But in places with winter/freezing temps the queen stops laying & all warming efforts are for her and as many workers as possible. In Oregon where @alibee and her bees live there might not be any laying & brood rearing until February or March.