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Super New-bee Question


Ok. This has probably been asked already so my apologies for any redundancy. We just put our NUC in place this morning. I’m not going to open the (edit) hive up for at least a week so they can get settled in.

Here are my real questions: In the first year, is it unlikely to harvest any honey (Washington State)?, and second, the more important, are the bees drawing from the brood box and/or “2 Deeps” for food reserves for the winter/low nectar time of year?

If both the brood boxes are filled out with brood/bees this year is it reasonable to add the flow and see what we can get from the colony this year?


Please don’t keep you bees locked up for more than a day, they need to ventilate the hive, orientate, cleanse, breathe and forage, you will have a lot of dead bees after a week if they are kept locked up. Open them immediately, they won’t leave their brood. I will leave the double brood and winter store question to a beekeeper in your area to answer.


I agree with @Rodderick. In fact I would suggest opening them straight away. I’m also not able to answer your regional questions.

However to answer your second question: yes the bees will draw from the stores they accumulated into the two supers during winter. That is one of the reasons why they store it in the first place. It’s important to help the bees conserve their stores. Give the hive plenty of all round warmth & don’t allow cold wind to blow directly into the entrance.


No no. sorry for the confusion. I put them into the hive straightaway yesterday right after i picked them up.


There seems to be some confusion about your intent here. I read it as you don’t intend to inspect for a week? That seems fine to me. However, if you have somehow restricted your bees to the hive, I agree with @Rodderick and @JeffH.

If you started with a nucleus in March, at the beginning of the nectar flow season, you may get a harvest. However, starting in mid-June it is going to going to be a challenge for the bees just to lay away enough stores for next winter.

Err, yes…? Sorry your question was a bit confusing to me. :blush: The answer to the question I think you are asking, is if you have 2 brood boxes, they will put both brood and honey/pollen in the brood boxes. They will use this during a dearth, but if you left a honey super on over winter, they would also use that. I would not recommend leaving honey super above a queen excluder over winter in your climate.

In Washington state, you will certainly need 2 deeps for brood to help them survive over winter, and you may need to feed them as well. I would get both brood boxes filled with bees and stores before you put any super on the hive.

Yes, but make sure they really are full. That means:

  1. All frames have fully drawn comb over most of the frame, and
  2. The comb is 80% filled with food or brood, and
  3. Every frame is covered with bees.

In fact that rule applies to adding any box to a hive. When you put the nucleus into the hive, it should be in one box of 8 or 10 frames (depending on hive size). When that box fits the above description, you can add a second brood box. When the second brood box fits the description, you can add a super. Etc. :wink: