How big is big enough for a hive?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by Runners, May 20, 2005.

  1. Runners

    Runners A real Quack!

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    Location:
    Near Callands, Virginia
    I'm asking this for my bee-keepers in the family.

    We have 4 hives, all four have 2 deeps and 1 super installed. One of the hives swarmed, but we got 'em back and their going great guns in a formerly queenless hive.

    This is May.... The nectar is flowing, and we have 10 acres of clover - alfalfa - buckwheat just starting to sprout. When this stuff comes into bloom, I'm guessing they're gonna be filling up supers like crazy, right?

    What would be a good number of extra supers per hive to have on-hand? I was thinking/planning 2 more per hive, and at least one extra hive for swarms, or as a bare minimum a nuc?


    Another question...
    Summer is just around the corner, and it's already kinda dry. We've noticed bees in places where water is, but it's several hundred yards from the hives - this is on hot days (+85f). Can someone recommend some kind of water fountian or watering station that's minimal maintenance for bee keeping? By coincidence, I'm running an underground water line about 100' past the hives, so I could easily tap into it for a little do-dad-watering-thing.
     
  2. WayneH

    WayneH Active Member

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    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    KY
    I'm not sure about your extra super question. You could set yourself up with two supers each and then extract honey from the full ones if you need a third.

    For a watering system, you don't need anything spectacular. A lot of people like to have tubs with wood or something floating in it. I don't like that partly because you still end up drowning a few bees, but mostly because standing water around here draws mosquitoes.

    What's worked best for me is a drip system. All you need to do is place a cement block under a slowly dripping faucet.

    Wayne

     

  3. Runners

    Runners A real Quack!

    Messages:
    327
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    Location:
    Near Callands, Virginia
    A cement block as in a cinder block? I suppose all those little crevices would be just about right to a bee to land, dip into a little divit, get a load and fly off?

    (yeah, I probably would have wound up engineering something spetacular that would have attracted every possum, coon, bear and butterfly - and the bees would have hated it.)

    Just had a thought...
    How about a little bit of that drip irrigation tube, a foot or so long, just leave it hanging on the faucet?
     
  4. beeman97

    beeman97 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2003
    Location:
    Southern Tier NY.
    If your supers are drawn & your hives are at good strength, then 3 to 4 supers is not to many to have on hand for filling, if the supers have to be drawn 1st, then 2 to 3 is more in hand for the task. it all depends on each hives strength of course. as far as a water source i have never watered my bee's in the 15 yrs ive kept them & never even thought about it. bee's will travel up to 3 miles for what they need & there is usually no problem with them finding water with in that distance.
    Here in n.c. there is always a good dew on the ground in the morning during the summer even in the dryer times of the summer. Personally i wouldnt worry about the water thing.
    Good Luck
    Rick