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One super on each!


Two brood boxes (deeps) loaded with bees!
Lots of bees, brood and honey!
Bee larvae.

This is the time of year for supering and a time when beekeepers feel fortunate that they can at all. At least this newbie.

Supering is the adding of honey supers, the shallow boxes of frames in which bees draw out comb to fill with honey. If your bees have mostly drawn out all the comb in two brood boxes and filled more than half of the frames with brood, pollen and honey, it means they're running out of room and could easily swarm to search for a larger space to live. Adding the first supers of the season to your hives is both exciting because it means there will probably be excess honey for you to harvest and crucial because it gives the bees more space and makes them relax about swarming.

After you add the first supers, it's important to check them every week or every other week so that when they fill up, you'll be on top of adding more supers. I realize I have to leave them alone to do their thing during the summer, but last year's record harvest of 220 pounds from two hives happened with constant vigilance and attention to my bees needs.

Early summer is an exciting time of year for beekeepers as they watch their bees bring in pollen and nectar, but remember to provide a water source for your bees near the hives or at least, somewhere on your property. They need the water to make the honey and to keep their hives cool. I simply pour water daily on the lid of large kettle on my deck I used to use for making beer, but any shallow container will do. To make it easier for the bees to get at the water, partially fill the container with gravel or marbles so they don't drown trying to get their water.

Stay tuned and enjoy your weekend!