Questions with Mike Palmer

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Mike Palmer Answers Your Questions

Mike Palmer keeps bees at French Hill Apiaries in St. Albans. We are grateful that he has agreed to answer questions on beekeeping in Vermont, his workload permitting.

VBA Members: Ask Mike your question with this form. (Requires you to login to the site.) We'll post the best questions and answers here as regularly as possible. (Personal responses to questions will not be possible.) livemarks


Super Order

Bob Stahl writes:

My bees came through winter with 2 deeps and a medium honey super on top. In the spring I reversed and now all is well - but my honey super is sort of being wasted on the bottom of the hive. I'd love to pull it out & put it back to use as a honey super and am wondering what your thought are on that. I know I'd have to be sure the queen isn't in the honey super and that there might be brood in it - that will eventually hatch out. I just don't want to buy more honey supers when I have some - just sitting on the bottom of the hive. Thanks Mike!

I would leave the super right where it is, and add new supers for the honey crop.

My standard brood nest configuration is two deeps and a medium super. This allows for ample brood rearing space for the queen, and food storage space for winter stores. It doesn't really matter where in the stack the super is located...bottom, middle, or top. As with your super, when located on top the first year, it cam be reversed to the bottom in early May. This reversal prompts the bees to remove any left over, crystallized honey. Any brood will emerge as the brood rearing cluster moves up in the hive. The following May, the hive is reversed again, and the super is re-located on top.

- Mike