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Do temperatures dictate when to add honey super in spring?


Do I wait till night-time temperatures are above 10-13 deg C before I add the super? Daytime temps are 15 - 24 deg C, night temps are still below 10 deg C. I don’t want the hive to freeze!?


Temps kind of dictate when to open a hive. Any time we open a hive during cold weather, we let cold air in. It makes the bees work harder to get the hive temp up to where they want it after we close it up again.

Certainly don’t pull the brood apart during cold weather, unless you really have to.

Pick a nice warm day to add the honey super…



I would hold beck the super for a few weeks — unless the the hive is busting at the seams. I am assuming you have only a single brood box and no super hive. The temperature is only a single part of knowing when to add a honey super. Longer days, the availability of forage for nectar and pollen, the hive population of bees all need to be taken into consideration.
For example is the number of bees strong enough to keep the brood warm when they are all in for the night. Assess the foraging in your area, maybe you are heavy with Salvation Jane
(Patterson’s Curse) or if you are urban is there a dearth or a flush on.
Temperature is only a part of the consideration, maybe ask for some local advise from nearby bee keepers or your nearest bee group.
Regards Carol.


You need to do a brood box inspection before you add your Super. @JeffH is the minimum temp for opening the brood box 15 degrees Celsius (from memory)?


Depends on other things, like wind, rain and the urgency of the inspection. Assuming sunny, little wind and no other major issues, I would inspect quickly at 16C or higher. If over 20C, I would be more leisurely. :blush:


Hi Faroe, I agree with @Dawn_SD, however it’s always worth remembering that we’re exposing the brood to a less than ideal temp for it, unless it’s around 35C. The bees will have had a thermostatically controlled blanket over the brood. The quicker we can put the brood back, so that the bees can put that warm blanket over it, the better.

It’s more critical with open brood I think. Sealed brood seems to be more tolerant to less than an ideal brood temps. That’s what I’m discovering.