Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Added another super 7.10.15

My “blue” hive has had a second super for over a month. They seem to do a lot more storing of honey. It was the same last year. Now they look more balanced.


I checked the windows in the back of the supers….


I can lift the back off and look inside….most of my frames have been cut down for better visibility. The wide one is they way they normally come.


The “blue” looked like it still had a few empty frames they need to build comb on.

The ‘pink” hive looked like it needed more room…so Jim and I suited up.

This is now the super on top..


Jim lifted the super and I added an empty one under it. Empty as in frames but no foundation so they will have to build comb the natural way…just like they would do in a hollow tree.


He was surprised at how heavy that super was. Guess it had more honey than I thought.


This close up shows some capped cells. That is new comb. (white). It will darken after thousands of bees run around on it.


The Sabal Palms and the Cabbage Palms have been blooming for several weeks and there are still plenty out there starting to bloom. Sure glad we got that super on.

These are Sabals…the one on the right has almost finished blooming…the 2 on the left are getting ready.028c

This is what the bloom looks like.


This is a Sabal Palm but it was knocked down during the hurricane in ‘04…but the top has turned and started growing up….it is behind the hives.


This is a Cabbage Palm. They surround us and the woods are full of both types of palms.


I put the super below the first one. I did this because last year we had to leave for a month or so and when we got back they had not used the top two. I read that sometimes they get a “honey ceiling” and don’t go above it. So they started back filling the brood nest and swarmed.

When I did the “blue” hive I put a few frames of sealed honey in the new one and put the other on top so they would have to use both.

You can see the new white comb and the frames where my camera reflection is are empty.


None of my frames have foundation. I’ve thought about putting some in the supers to make honey removal easier…but haven't.  I leave them a full super and take some for us. I don’t want to feed sugar water. I’m trying to keep them as natural as possible.

I have a two deep brood nest so maybe I should be leaving 2 supers of honey for them. If we were in the north I probably would…but we have stuff blooming here almost year around and I plant everything I see bees on.

This is part of my African Blue Basil bed…there are 8 tubs of plants here…..another 4 across from them.


Lots of little flowers….and they bloom most of the year. A frost did kill a few but they grow like crazy.


I like being able to check on the bees without having to disrupt them. The bottom deep on “blue” does not have a window but the 2nd one does…both on “pink” have windows. We had bees in “blue” before we realized how nice it would be to have them.

I take some pictures in a week or so to show you the new comb…


  1. I love your idea of installing viewing windows in the hive boxes. I'm thinking of playing the old copy-cat card and remodelling some of my boxes to match. How do you clean off any wax that gets on the glass? You guys are so lucky to have a climate allowing such a variety of flowering plants. I can only dream of flowering palms. Thanks for the post Carol, a very enjoyable read!

    1. flat razor blade will do it....We are surrounded by palms...not only on our 5 acres but there are acres and acres of palm tree farms withing 5 miles...I know they only travel up to 2 most of the maples bloom in great is that...

    2. Jim used plexi glass ...I put paper towels between the window and the cover during the cold weather to prevent condensation. Dont know how much cold they would add to your hives in your part of the cournty...since you insulate it might be ok....Michael Bush might have some info on that...he is in colder country...maybe not as cold as you.

  2. Ah yes, my climate. It does put limitations on what options I can perform before compromising their winter safety. For instance, top bar hives don't work very well in our long winter deep freeze. Still, I might try a viewing window in a honey super that I'll harvest and remove in late summer. Like you, I'm a fan of Michael Bush.

    1. We have such extreme differences in is interesting to see what we are doing.
      The windows in the supers is probably a good idea. I love checking on them without messing them up.


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