Can I Put Out Extracted Supers Without Encouraging Robbing?
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David D from Sudbury, MA asks:
I’ve read that putting extracted supers out for any and all bees promotes robbing. Is there a distance away that this would be okay or is the mere fact of getting easy honey that is the triggering mechanism?
Rusty Burlew replies:
Finding a source of ready-made honey excites the bees, almost to the point of frenzy. So providing wet supers gets the bees agitated and more willing, it seems, to attempt robbing.
So to clean your frames you can put them away from your apiary — further is better — or you can put the wet supers on a strong hive. After adding them, close up the hive as normal and allow the bees to clean the frames inside and not cause a ruckus.
This is my preference. I stack as many as I can on my strongest hives and give them a few days to clean up. The stronger hives are better able to resist robbing and also they are most likely to clean up the frames quickly and efficiently. If this makes you uncomfortable, you can add a robbing screen before you add the wet supers.