LESSON 134: When To Add More Boxes To The Hive www.honeybeesonline.com 217-427-2678


Hello and welcome to Long Lane Honey Bee Farms. We are David and Sheri Burns. We are passionate about beekeeping and we work hard to help you enjoy honey bees and beekeeping as much as we do. We are located in east central Illinois, a hard working family beekeeping business seeking to earn your business. I am an EAS certified master beekeeper and started beekeeping in 1994. We’ve been in business since 2006We hope you’ll make us the place where you will purchase all your beekeeping equipment and beekeeping supplies, but also the place you come to receive all of your beekeeping education.

In today’s lesson, I’ll answer one of the most commonly asked questions, “How do I know when to add the next hive body or super on my hive?”

winterbkind Before today’s lesson let me encourage you to FEED YOUR BEES! Those of us in the central US or further north need to feed our bees coming out of winter. Most hives starve to death in February or March. Our Winter-Bee-Kinds are a big boost for hives in late winter or early spring. There is a period of time when nothing is blooming, but it is warming up and the bees have eaten through their winter honey and pollen stores but there is absolutely nothing out there for them. Click here to order a Winter-Bee-Kind. Available in 10 or 8 frame. If your bees have made it this far through a tough winter, don’t neglect them now!

Ice Not only are our bees tired of winter, but we are fighting all the feelings of cabin fever too! We are taking our Vitamin D and wishing that spring would hurry up and arrive. The closer we get to spring, the more snow we keep getting. Come on! Sheri and I are both avid motorcyclists and last winter we rode our motorcycles all through the winter. Remember how warm it was. It was 80 degrees in February and March!

class3 Sheri and I really enjoy hanging out with other beekeepers. It might seem crazy but  we enjoy welcoming a building full of beekeepers every Saturday here at our honey bee farm. Beekeepers are just the best kind of folks to associate with it seems to us. Thank you for being one of our customers. We know that you could do your business at other beekeeping places, so thank you for sharing your lives with us. Let me tell you about some of the great folks I met down in Arkansas.

Ark11 I just returned home from spending a few days speaking in Little Rock, Arkansas at the University of Arkansas Agricultural Extension Department where the Arkansas Beekeepers State Association held an awesome event. It was so much fun. I spoke on: Breaking the Brood Cycle, The Value of Nucs, The Basics of Queen Rearing, Bee Pheromones, and Triage Beekeeping. Southern hospitality was at its best. Many people commented that they were fans of our Beekeeping video channel on YouTube. A special thank you to all the Arkansas beekeepers!!

We have a rapidly growing fan club who receives our special weekly mailing of specials we offer, links to our videos and other beekeeping tips. Click on the “Join our FREE Email Mailing List” below to sign up. Sometimes things appear in that mailing that do not appear in this blog, so join both!

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Sheri and I have presented two basic beekeeping classes in February and due to popularity, we have three that are almost filled for March. March 30th class still has 8 openings.

Also for those of you who might be interested in a 3 hour class, we are offering a very introductory beekeeping crash course on May 4th from 9am –Noon at our facility. $39 Click here for more information.  This class is VERY introductory, nothing compared to our all day classes. But if it works for you to just quickly learn the basics of basics, this class might be for you. We look forward to introducing so many more people to the wonderful life of beekeeping.


Let me tell you about another exciting event we have coming up June 17-21, 2013. We are hosting a 5 day beekeeping institute here at our honey bee farms. This event consists of 5 awesome days of beekeeping teachings. You can sign up for the whole week and take all 5 classes and save, or take one or more classes individually, you decided. Here’s the schedule.

Monday June 17th – Basic Beekeeping Sign up for just this class or the whole Beekeeping Institute Week

This class is part of our week long beekeeping institute and will benefit those interested in keeping bees, as well as those who have been keeping bees for a couple of years but need a refresher course. We have designed this one day beekeeping course to cover topics on basic beekeeping. Click here to register now.

Tuesday June 18th – Practical Beekeeping   Sign up for just this class or the whole Beekeeping Institute Week

Now it’s time for the next step, hands on, practical steps to really learn beekeeping. Join our Practical Beekeeping class June 18th, 2013 as part of our week long Beekeeping Institute. We’ll be teaching on proper field management such as lighting and using the smoker, how to reverse the hive boxes, tips on how to find the queen, how to use drone comb, beetle traps, powdered sugar treatment of mites, swarm prevention techniques, splitting hives, honey extraction, repairing boxes, Cloake board use, and inspecting a top bar and Warre hive. We will even place a live swarm in a tree to teach proper techniques on how to capture a swarm from a tree. (Many of these events will be demonstrated live in the field weather permitting, but inside if the weather if bad.)
Click here to register now.

Wednesday June 19th – Advance Beekeeping    Sign up for just this class or the whole Beekeeping Institute Week

Some people have kept bees for years but continue repeating the same mistakes and are not gaining the experience they need. They keep losing their bees. Many beekeepers are stuck being a first year beekeeper year after year. Take the next step, and leap into becoming a better beekeeper! We’ll take a more in depth look at swarm prevention, splits, overwintering hives, pests & disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention, increased honey yields and tricks of the trade. Join Beekeeper David Burns, EAS certified Master Beekeeper and other experts for a day of Advance Beekeeping on Wednesday June 19th, 2013 at our new facility at Long Lane Honey Bee Farms. Click here to register now.

Thursday June 20th – Learn How To Raise Queens   Sign up for just this class or the whole Beekeeping Institute Week

Our queen rearing courses continue to fill up and so we are offering another queen rearing class for Thursday June 20, 2013 9am-3pm at our new classroom facility here at Long Lane Honey Bee Farms. This is part of our week long beekeeping institute. Take all 5 classes and save $46. Every beekeeper can benefit greatly from learning to raise their own queens. With constant struggles with queenlessness and queens disappearing it’s time to take the next step and stop buying queens and start raising your own! It will be worth the investment. Click here to register now.

Friday June 21st – Honey Bee and Insect Photography Taught By World Renowned Insect Photographer Alex Wild
Sign up for this class by itself or sign up for the entire Beekeeping Institute Week

AlexWild21 As part of our week long beekeeping institute we have a special day long class on honey bee and insect photography taught by world-wide renown insect photographer Alex Wild. Alex’s honey bee photos appear in many popular beekeeping books and magazines. His website is: http://www.alexanderwild.com/ Save $46 and sign up for all 5 classes for the week or take this class separately. Click here to register now.

LESSON 134: When To Add More Boxes To The Hive?

David33 Once you install your package of bees or nuc, your bees will begin to consume nectar from flowers or consume sugar water if you feed them. They will begin to produce wax from their wax glands and add it to your frames of foundation, drawing the foundation out to become drawn comb. Bees need to consume 8 pounds of nectar to produce just 1 pound of wax. Sometimes actually seeing and observing a lesson is better than words. So visit my new video on my website by clicking here because I have heard from many new beginner beekeepers that they do not understand the different between drawn comb and frames just foundation.

Click here to watch my video on knowing when to add another box to your hive. Just scroll down on our website and you’ll see the video. Or direct your browser to: http://www.honeybeesonline.com

Install1 My video explains it this way: Remember that when you first install your package or nuc, you will only want to use one deep hive body. Do not use more than one box.  If you use more, this can slow down the bee’s progress in drawing out comb and give extra, unprotected room for pests to hide in corners, like wax moth or small hive beetles. But the big question is how long should you wait until you add the second box. This applies whether you are using deep hive bodies for the brood area or medium sized boxes. Add your next box once the bees have drawn out 5-7 combs in their first box. How long this will takes depends upon the weather conditions and your individual bees. Inspect every two weeks to monitor your hive’s progress.

After you have placed your second hive body on, wait until it has 5-7 drawn comb with bees on the comb and then add your super. When adding your super, it is a good idea NOT to put a queen excluder on under undrawn foundation. So first, place your super of new, undrawn frames on the hive and wait until the bees and started working a couple of frames and have drawn out one or two frames. Then, add your queen excluder under your honey super. However, check each super frame to ensure the queen has not made her way into the super. If she has simply pick her up by her wings and release her between two frames in the deep hive body below then add your queen excluder, placing the super above the queen excluder.  If you do not want to handle your queen, try gently bumping the super frame she is on, shaking her into the deep hive body. But, I bet you will not see her up in the honey super if you catch the super with only one or two drawn comb.

Install2 Continue to add supers using this same idea, but be sure to wait until 5-7 frames are drawn out then add another super. I am frequently asked if the second honey super should be placed on top of the existing super or below it. Either way works. However, I prefer to place additional supers on top of existing supers. The filled super above the two deep brood nest area acts as a queen excluder. The queen seldom crosses the honey barrier of a full super. So by adding addition supers above a full one, I do not have to use a queen excluder.

Again, check out my video on this lesson by scrolling down on our main page at www.honeybeesonline.com


Do you need a hive? Our hives are family made right here in central Illinois!  Fully assembled and painted. Our hives include frames and foundation. Order now and avoid the spring rush and possible back logs. Thinking about making some spring splits in a few months or catching some swarms? You better have a hive ready to grow into! Click here for more information or to order now. Thank you.

Thanks for joining us for another beekeeping lesson. So much more to learn! We do hope you’ll give us a call, visit our website at www.honeybeesonline.com and come over and meet us at one of our classes.

See you next time!
David & Sheri Burns
Long Lane Honey Bee Farms

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