FAQ: Honey Supers

Q1: Do you move full honey supers to the top of the stack so the bees can fill the lower ones?

A1: Some beekeepers shuffle the supers around and do what’s called bottom-supering. We place supers back on in the original order and only add new supers on top (top-supering). That way it’s easier to see when the bees need more space. The bees also ripen the honey before moving up to the next box. We sometimes harvest full lower supers and put the top ones that aren’t full back on in the original order.

Q2: When taking off full honey supers for harvesting, do you need to put another super on to the hive?

A2: In the mid-summer harvest, we do put a super under the bee escape so the colony has enough room, and can store more honey coming in. However, in the fall we are reducing the hive size down to 1 brood chamber in preparation for the winter, followed by feeding before overwintering, so we do not add an empty super in this case.