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When to add super?


My nuc arrived yesterday and five existing frames were installed in the brood box with another three frames for them to start work on. Any advice on when Ishould put the super on top? At the moment it’s just the brood box and roof.


When the brood box is full ; -)


This has been discussed over the last few days, see the following post:


this was the best respons I have seen posted, I bookmarked it for when I get mine started



Blanc. Always let your bees build up before adding the top Flow-Super/Honey super. The standard is that you are ready when the bees have drawn out 6 to 7 frames in an 8 frame configuration. Make sure you have nearly 3 to 4 frames of brood in the frames n some honey/nectar n pollen around the edges of these brood frame. You need a strong well populated colony of worker with eggs, larva n emerging worker to forage before they can give you honey. Up where I live in the Pacific NW of Washington state we try to get two brood boxes but up first or the bees won’t have enough supplies to winter our cool wet winters. Be patient. Each region had different requirements. It usually our second yeR up here we can harvest …


This is an excellent reply.

I might just disagree with

I might wait till all the frames are drawn and 5 frames are solidly covered in brood.
Running two boxes is sensible if you are going to let the bees overwinter on their own honey. On just the one box, once you have taken the flow frames off for the winter where are the bees going to keep their stores?..unless, of course, you are going to rob every skerret and feed them sugar syrup.
Here in the UK I wouldn’t expect any honey from a nucleus colony in its first year.

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Well written ! Every region n person has personal experience for their region. I applaud you ! Here I run 3 ten frame Langstroth hives. We do let our hives winter over on their own honey n add sugar or patties if needed only. We winter with two double deeps. Our bees will usually winter well in the upper deep honey box but drop early Spring to the lower brood hive as weather warms some in our foothill country SE of Seattle. Most important for us is ventilation to keep our bees from getting wet from condensation. We us a open or partly open screened bottom n screened inner cover that works well for our damp cool winter. Thanks for all thoughts n counter comments. We learn as we exchange ideas. Happy beekeeping. Gerald


Could you put on a half nuc to make sure they have enough winter honey before putting on the flow. All new at this. I don’t want to leave them short of honey for the winter.


Hi Bernie, I am not sure I am picturing your idea. Are you thinking that you could put on a small nuc frame over the brood box and then a flow super on top of that?

In general, with only a few exceptions that involve a lot of adaptions and work arounds, you don’t mix the box sizes. A nuc stacks on a nuc, an 8 frame on an 8 frame, and a 10 frame on a 10 frame.

If you had a nuc full of stores you could set it next to the hive temporarily and let the hive rob it into empty frames in their supers.

Thinking ahead to winter is a good idea, and how to help your bees get thru the dearth, but unless I am missing something here, a nuc would not be part of the equation. ; -)


No keen on the “robbing” idea. It will only encourage bad habbits