We stacked supers on hives for three days. I would lift a lid, then announce "Four" or "Five," even "Six" if I thought the hive was really strong. Stronger hives - colonies with more bees - make more honey. Five shallow supers could hold one hundred twenty pounds of honey. The hives were bearded, that is, there were so many bees in the two storey hives the excess population sat at the hives' porches, covered the fronts of the hives, brown beards on square white faces. Hives like these could easily fill five boxes. Joe ran back and forth from the truck, putting the right number of empty supers on the inverted lids I had set beside each hive.