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1st Gen Flow Hive Frame - 1st Season of Use

I purchased the first generation of Flow Hive available in the US x years ago via the crowd source effort.
New keeper.
That first season was a bust for the 2 colonies. They never filled 2 deeps.
Now, second season/attempt.
!One! of my colonies has filled 2 deeps. I think it’s time to put one of my 8 frame Flow deeps on!

I seem to remember that even when they were new, some sort of wire manipulation was needed to tighten the support of each frame.
Mine have now been sitting for three years in the shipping box.
What do I need to do for these 1st generation Flow frames before I put them on the colony?

Thank you.

There is quite a bit you can do. Use the search box (top right) particularly on why bees not using flow frames.
This can be a start. How to encourage bees to fill the Flow Frames

Edit: PS You don’t necessarily have to have two deep broods. Probably it would be 50-50 with those using one brood and those using 2 broods.
Two broods are important if you have long cold Winters and the test is: What do the professional bee keepers use in your area. Do they use 1 brood to a stack of supers or 2 broods to a stack of supers?

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Hi there, and welcome to the Flow forum!

I have a few suggestions, some will answer what you asked, the others will address things that you can prevent. :blush:

  1. Try flexing your plastic Flow frames gently. If they don’t give much, the wires are tight enough. If they flex a lot, or even fall apart (heaven forbid!), you need to tighten the wires. Cedar has made a video of how to do that:
    Sagging Flow frames
  2. Consider waxing the Flow frames by painting on melted wax or just rubbing some burr comb from a hive inspection onto the plastic frame faces. That makes them smell like the hive, and the bees will go up and investigate much sooner than if you don’t.
  3. Make sure you use a queen excluder below the Flow super. If not, you will get brood in your honey - yuck. :wink:
  4. Read @busso’s post above.

:blush:

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In Connecticut, 2 deeps are very likely standard. You Aussies are so spoiled with your climates… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Yaaah !

I used doubles even back in 1957 thru 1967 here in Puget Sound near Seattle to insure my bees over-winter survival. I wish I had a pix of those days. Got to do some searching.

Cheers,

Gerald

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@neokeeper I’ve got the Indiegogo founding set like you and never had to adjust the wires. Some folks found the wires needed an extra twist or 3 because they were a bit loose but not everyone had that issue. I actually had that issue with my 2nd gen frames.

My suggestion…try “pinching” the wires up. If they are fairly tight they won’t move much. Also you could put all the frames in the super (before installing it on the hive) and open-close them making sure to look at how they move (if you don’t have all frames in the flow frames will twist alot and you’ll need to hold the frame). They will naturally start to twist but the sections shouldn’t open up.

Hopefully you don’t have any issues. But if you, it’s easy for you to resolve. There’s some good youtube videos that show you what to do, linked from the Flow website.

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Ask anyone in Perth now and we’ll mostly be whinging about the 4-5 days of mostly rain and the cold nights of about 9degC…absolutely awful winter conditions :stuck_out_tongue:

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I did a little experimenting with my 4 Flow Hive Super frames and the best way(quickest) I got the bees working in them was to use a daggy old paint brush and paint molten wax over the cells. I figure the smell of fresh wax is an attractant to draw the bees into the super to find the cells. My worst result was to just ‘plonk’ the super on and I doubt that after 6 weeks a single bee went up to the flow frames.
That is all you need to do other than to check there is enough tension on wires as @Dawn_SD has said.
Welcome to the forum, you will find a lot of useful information in reading you way thru it and folks here ready to pass on tips and tricks to make your bee keeping more fun with less stress.
Cheers, Peter

I have struggled to grow my colony and after many years . I am in Kauai and so tropical. I have a deep that I have to inspect tomorrow that had good amount of honey and I added a med which is almost full of capped honey. Tomorrow I am going to see if I need to remove a frame in my deep brood to give more room to lay. I am more interested in a strong colony but I feel I should add my flow super. I am not sure what to do add a med add the flow? You advise is always appreciated. I also have to set my frames but I am so glad I adjusted my flow super. I think :slight_smile: I have to review that again but it has been years of work cross my fingers.

Hi
If you have production of honey all year round. That is, you have sufficient nectar and pollen producing flowers all year, just wack the flow super on over a queen excluder,(noting all the tricks above to encourage bees to use it).
If you put on the Flow the bees will move honey to it if they are running out of room in the Brood box for bee production.
Most tropical and sub tropical areas in Australia only use one brood box. Two brood boxes are required when there is a dearth of nectar producing plants… like long cold Winters.

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Ok thanks I am soo excited to put this on.

Yes it is exciting and rewarding.

I do however emphasize the details above on 1st use. Took me a long time for the bees to take to it without any wax coating preparation, so it will save you time.

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I am just digging up wax and also noticed they had some bug stuff in the frames. Can I clean with warm water do you know?

If you can provide photos it will give the forum a better understanding of what your “bug stuff” is.

Don’t use warm, hot, boiling or iced water for any reason in a bee hive. ok.
For your climate you should only use a single full depth brood box, fit a QX on top of the brood box, wax the Flow Frames as I have advised above and put your Flow Super on top of the QX.
As for the ‘big stuff’ in the frames I guess you are talking about bridging comb that is built between the frames, to remove it I use a ‘putty knife’ from a hardware store or a stiff sharp kitchen knife to cut through the comb and hook it out with your hive tool, be harsh in cutting it out but do it smoothly with smoke to keep the bees calm.
How old is the queen and how many hives do you have? Have you done a split to weaken out the hive and made a new hive?
Cheers, Peter

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Bug Stuff :wink::wink:

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Thank you for the response. This nuc I got in mid April and the Queen is a marked green Queen so she is new 2019. They filled my deep and I added the med a month later in May and 8 frames are full of honey. I am going to add the flow super. But it has been sitting and the cockroaches have been in the box and have pooped in super. Not clean I can take pics but it is specks on the flow comb. I was using a toothbrush to try scrape it off. Did not want the bug stuff in the honey? I have that complete colony and I have another nuc that I will check to see if the Queen came out over the weekend and I am waiting to see if my friends are going to give me some of their bees that are overcrowding one of their hives and will get a Queen for that if it happens. I have had 3 swarms caught and they left may not have gotten Queen I really have hard time identifying. I had a cut out that didnt make it and my first group of bees wax moth got them.

You can rinse out the roach poop with warm water, no problem. If you already have a deep and a medium for brood, I would put a queen excluder on next, then put the Flow super on top of that. :blush:

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thank you that is what I will do and I have to put tape over one of the holes because I have lost a flow super plug :frowning:

You can buy replacements. I got a number of them - one fell out of a Flow frame on to our driveway without me noticing it until it had been driven over… :astonished:

https://www.honeyflow.com/shop/flow-spare-parts/p/267

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