Once the frames in the first super have been drawn
out and filled with brood, pollen and honey, you
will need to increase the size of the brood nest by
adding another super of frames and foundation. If
you have started with undrawn frames of foundation,
it will sometimes assist the bees in drawing the
outside frame foundation by moving the frame over
one place or so and replacing it with a drawn frame.
Do not spread your brood out; the frame you are
moving should not have brood on it.
Once your second brood super is drawn out and eighty
to ninety percent full, and there is still a good
honey flow on, you will need to add a honey super.
Usually with nucs or packages you will not get a lot
of surplus honey, the bees are using the nectar to
build comb and strength. They need both brood
chambers full to survive over winter.
When placing honey supers on the colony, most
beekeepers like to use a Queen excluder to keep the
Queen from laying brood in the honey super. If your
honey super has undrawn foundation, it is not
prudent to use a Queen excluder: the bees will often
not go through the excluder to get to the foundation
and may swarm instead. In this case, you would put
the super on without an excluder. Once the bees are
established in the super and are drawing the wax
into comb, the frames can be checked to be sure the
Queen isn't on the drawn foundation. If she is here
she can be put down into the brood chamber and the
excluder put in place. To assist in getting the
foundation in this super drawn out, you may move the
drawn comb to the outside against the super wall and
the undrawn to the center of the super where heat
from the brood chamber is greatest, giving
considerable help to the bees making the comb.
rule of thumb for honey supering is that the bees
should never be using all the comb available to
them. When the super is one-half to two-thirds full,
add another super. When the second super is half
full and the first completely full, add a third
super, etc. The honey crop may be removed when the
frames are fully or two-thirds capped with wax.