Isolating the Honey Super

When you first split a hive you may wish to isolate the Honey Super (top section)


  • It reduces the volume of the hive so is less area for the bees to secure and maintain
  • You can easily remove the Honey Super to view the live hive inside the box below without disturbing the colony


  • Putting tape across connecting surfaces of a box can create gaps between the surfaces so it might be best to use very thin tape or not have it across the connecting surface at all

Below – The OATH with Honey Super consists of three boxes. When isolating the Honey Super you’re basicly stopping access to the top box.

Below – You can see the clear plastic separator plate. This plate stops the brood cone rising up any further. The bees will use the top box as a storage area for honey. Sometimes the bees build walls and block off sections of areas if they think the area is too big.

Below –  Blocking off the top box with tape allows the bees to concentrate their efforts on securing and maintaining the main section of the hive.

Below – When you split a box or put bees in to a new box you should use tape to seal the outside. This holds the boxes in place and helps prevent unwanted pests. The bees will seal the inside seems within a day or two.

While you have the Honey Super blocked off with tape you can easily remove the top box and view the colony through the clear plate. Hopefully after a few months your view will be blocked by the construction going on inside the hive. If the bees haven’t already chewed through the tape you might remove the tape to allow the bees access to the top box so they can then fill it out with honey stores.

Below: My latest boxes use this method. The clear acrylic sheet divide off the honey super. There’s a 50mm hole drilled in the sheet and is cover by a small square of acrylic. This isolates the area until the small square is removed.

Update below 2019 – I’m trying hardwood ply instead of clear acrylic, but still using the same design of a 50mm hole at the rear of the separator plate