New to bees and loving every second of it. I find it so fascinating, I can sit for hours just watching them.
Started with a nuc, the colony grew super fast and in no time I put the super on. It’s been 4 weeks now that my super is on, all frames are full of bees. The side window is packed with bees.
I’m hoping to get honey my first year, however I don’t see any indication that the frames are filling up.
Crossing my fingers
Hey Charlie, congrats on your new obsession (like the rest of us!). Your in MA right? In your area you should check with other Beekeepers to verify but I think you should have two brood boxes since your winters (like mine) can be brutal. Your primary goal is to build a super strong colony in your first year so that in spring of next year you can pull honey without harming the colony’s supply over winter. Then you will be able to get more that summer/fall as you gain more experience with what they need in your local climate.
Too late, because I already added the super. I have 10 frames in the brood box, it should be okay.
You said the bees haven’t yet used the flow super? Do you have an excluder on?
Like Tim said check with the locals, but you really should be adding a second brood box before adding the flow super or you won’t have any bees come next Spring.
Don’t expect to be harvesting any honey in your first season, that goes for climates like mine too.
Nice one Charlie, and welcome! Sounds like you’re having a ‘super experience’
I think the concern about going into winter with a single brood box is valid, but it doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker as long as you take other measures like mite management, wind-blocking, insulation and extra feeding. Since you have to empty Flow frames and store them in cold climates, rather than leave them as winter storage for the bees, do that once they’re ready and keep the bulk of that honey to feed back to your colony (healthier than sugar syrup).
Edit: realizing you said you have NOT seen any honey stored in the super yet. The bees have a serious amount of waxing to do before nectar can be stored in those Flow frames. I have a new Flow super on a large dbl brood colony that got started in May, that I only put on so the bees could prepare it for next season. I plan to take it off and store it next month before they have a chance to load nectar or worse, propolis in there. I’d recommend you take a closer look at the activity and make sure it’s waxing not propolizing going on.
Sounds like a plan. Thank You
What is your plan? Out of curiosity
I don’t plan on harvesting a lot of honey my first year. If i take a few jars, I’ll be happy. I plan on leaving a lot for the bees. That will feed then all winter, their own honey is what is best.
My brood box is super healthy. Good queen. The super with flow frames is chalk full of bees. It’s looking good. I plan on inspecting it very soon to see what the inside frames look like. I don’t see a lot of honey by just looking in the rear of the frames. Inspection will give me the answer I Hope.
I think 1 brood box will work. I’m hoping to start a 2nd hive next year. A split from my existing colony.
That’s the plan.
I’d follow Tim’s advice.