I finally got around to putting on the deep supers today.
I bought a bee suit from Dadant – much cheaper than anywhere else I tried. I fired up the smoker using pine straw from my white pines and there was no trouble at all. I was worried about swarms back in May and so I bought medium supers and put one on each of the hives. They don’t tell you when you buy a beginner’s “complete” hive that it you really need two deep supers. I put a queen excluder in and put the other two medium supers on the top as honey supers. When I looked in early June there was not much in the supers.
I started feeding the hives after the kids damaged them and it looked like the sun would never come out. Martha has recovered and Connie, the hive that was less damaged is doing well. All three hives have some honey in the top super. It is mostly from my sugar, though, so I am not harvesting it.
Connie and Ethel each have a medium super below the queen excluder which is so full of honey that it was hard to lift. The top supers had some honey in Connie and was nearly full in Ethel.
Martha had lots of honey in the super over the hive. I had not added a honey super to Martha.
I added a deep over the base hive in all three. These have ten new frames, so they bees will need lots of sugar for the next few weeks. They need sugar to draw the comb in the new frames. They will not draw comb this time of year without sugar.
I left the super below the queen excluder in each hive. They will have two deeps and a medium to make it through the winter. I put a honey super on each hive and two in Ethel. Ethel was packed with honey and is my strongest hive.
I will feed them about 10 pounds of sugar for each hive and that should take me into August. I will stop feeding after that and let them make honey out of the late summer flowers. In late September or Early October I will take off the honey supers and any honey in them is mine, even if it is mostly from my sugar.