What Is The 7/10 Rule In Beekeeping?

Dawson Steele

Beekeeping is a fascinating hobby or perhaps something more serious that offers so many rewards. From the pure, edible honey and beeswax to the critical role of pollination under their tiny belts, bees are remarkable creatures that need strategic care. Whether you are taking your first steps into the realm of beekeeping or simply broadening your horizons about this meaningful pursuit, understanding key guidelines will pave the way for success. 

One such rule that reigns in every beekeeper’s manual is the 7/10 Rule about the timely addition of a super into a beehive. The golden number “70%” essentially serves as an indicator to add a super when about 70% of existing frames are filled with honey. As you delve into this article, we’ll uncover the crux of this 7/10 rule in beekeeping, and determine when exactly to add a super to a beehive, before finally guiding you on how to embark on your very own beekeeping journey.

The 7/10 Rule In Beekeeping

The 7/10 rule essentially states that when about 70% or seven out of ten existing frames in a hive body or super are drawn- out by bees or filled with brood, honey, or pollen, it’s time to add a new box or super. This could either be on top in the case of Langstroth hives or at the back for horizontal top bar hives or long Langs.

Why do we use this machinery? It’s about maintaining balance. In beekeeping, one challenge is to add space for honey production while avoiding overly large colonies that may swarm or become less defensible against pests and diseases.

Using this rule timely supports an optimal bee population on one hand while preventing over-stretching resources on the other. Don’t wait until every frame is occupied- by then the overcrowded bees would have decided to swarm! However,, adding too early could expose them to risk factors including difficulty in maintaining Brood-critical temperatures.

Observing your bees’ behavior regularly aids in using this approach effectively – do they appear crowded? Are they quickly filling up available comb spaces? These signs along with others can tell you whether it’s time to bring out that extra box or start considering one!

When To Add A Super To A Beehive?

As an experienced beekeeper, one of the most critical decisions you will make is determining when to add a super to your beehive. Striking the right balance is essential — add it too early, and you risk spreading the bees too thin; too late, and the hive could become congested and potentially swarm.

The 7/10 rule stipulates that when about seven out of ten frames in your existing box are full — both with brood and stores — then it’s time to add another super or box. It’s a simple guide that can significantly influence the well-being of your bees while optimizing honey production.

Placing a super should not be a hasty move grounded purely in excitement or anticipation. Rather, it’s about keenly observing your bees’ activity levels and space requirements. If fewer than seven frames are being utilized by the colony, adding another layer might do more harm than good- essentially because bees prefer compactness for heat preservation during cold nights or seasons.

Conversely, if eight or more frames are filled up by the bees (especially during peak season), they may run out of space soon. In this scenario, getting another super in time would avoid overcrowding or potential swarming- an occurrence where part or all of the hive departs to establish a new one elsewhere.

Also noteworthy is that these guidelines do not necessarily apply equally to all types of honeybees or climatic conditions around the globe. Every bee species has unique behavior and population dynamics that directly correlate to how they fill spaces inside a hive.

Knowing when to add a super involves understanding both your beehive’s current condition as well as local environmental factors – but adopting the 7/10 rule can make all the difference! Ultimately, the most successful beekeeping results from an intimate understanding of your bees, combined with wisdom garnered from time-tested guidelines.

Understanding The 7/10 Rule In Beekeeping

The reason behind this rule is twofold. Firstly, by giving your bees extra room as they need it, you discourage them from swarming or abandoning the hive due to lack of space. Secondly, by allowing the bees to cap about seventy percent of their current spaces before adding another one, you ensure that they have enough resources and population density to maintain the new space’s warmth during cool nights.

Execution of the 7/10 rule requires careful observation on your part. Regular checking of your beehives is necessary so you don’t miss when it’s time to add an extra super. After ensuring every beekeeper suit, glows and smoker are all set, slowly remove the cover and roof of your hive and visually inspect each frame starting from one side.

You should also periodically weigh your hives so you understand how much honey weight signifies when it’s time to add a new super.

Make sure though not rush into adding another super too soon while still managing overcrowding. Premature addition can lead to inadequate temperature control by the bees or under-utilization of space which consequently invites pests or triggers mold growth due to lack of air circulation.

Starting beekeeping can be overwhelming at first with so many rules and regulations. But remember that patience is key in this endeavor. Learning each guideline such as this 7/10 rule at a time will bring about an enjoyable journey as well as sweet-tasting success!

Final Thoughts

Beekeeping can be an immensely fulfilling hobby or even a rewarding livelihood. Understanding the vital rules that govern this practice, such as the 7/10 rule, is essential for success and sustainability in beekeeping.

This fundamental principle indicates the necessity of adding a super when about 70% of your existing frames are filled with honey. As you continue to increase your knowledge about beekeeping, remember the importance of balance and timing while adding supers to your beehive.

Lastly, always ensure that you have adequately prepared by venturing into this field well-versed in its fundamentals and equipped with essential supplies and equipment. Keep learning, stay eager about improving your craft, and enjoy the fruits of hard-earned success! Beekeeping is much more than just about gathering honey; it’s about understanding and respecting nature’s one of the most incredible creatures. Happy Beekeeping!

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