We have been putting off for a few months getting our Flow Hive started because our neighbor has HUGE wall in his home infested with Africanized honey bees. He is trying to do the “nature lover” thing and let them live by trying to get them out of his house alive. I don’t get it. Anyway, we have put off getting our hive thinking the Africanized would come to ours (we live about 5 acres away) and our bee seller here in N. Texas is telling us we can go ahead and do it and just watch for the mean bees to rob us. Expect me to be on here asking lots of new bee friend questions, but I am excited!
Welcome Wanetta! Are you getting a package or a nuc? I hope it goes smoothly and that you’ll keep us posted - there are a few others around here who have to be vigilant about Africanized bees too & I know you’ll get great tips and support
Eva! Thank you so much for the welcome! We pick up the package Wednesday and we are all as excited as when we picked up our labrador puppy a few years back! LOL! It is an entire hive in the box already. The last day to receive the bees was Wednesday or we would need to wait until next Spring and our flow hive won’t arrive til mid to late June according to the website. We contacted the supplier and he said that the africanized should not be an issue because what we are receiving from him is already an established hive. I was hoping that the langstroth 10 box hive/brood box we receive can be stacked with the flow. I have seen where it is an issue sometimes in postings on other sites and our bee supplier flat out won’t discuss the flow hive with us in a positive light at all. They sold them and stopped after a few years they said because they found bees tended to swarm because they were robbed of work with the flow hive? The supplier said the flow hive won’t fit well at all and we will need to use the flow hive next year with a nuc. bummer.
We are just looking forward to getting our bees going! Can’t wait!
Hi Wanetta & welcome, I agree with @Eva , you will get good support here on the forum.
There could be something in what that bloke said about bees swarming from flow hives. It is probably more to do with the user than the hive itself. There could be a little bit of: people thinking that all they have to do is install bees & harvest honey. It doesn’t work like that. Bees need to be managed & can be managed in order to prevent swarming. Flow hives DO work. You’ll see some beautiful photos of honey that Eva recently harvested in the topic “Keeping up with the flow”.
It’s always nice to see new beeks coming around, and I hope your bees are as friendly as your puppy
It’s too bad the supplier won’t see past the occasional user-errors that happen sometimes with Flow hives (and anything else!) but most issues are easily prevented or solved, and people like Jeff have you covered around here with all things beekeeping. As he pointed out, there’s a lot to do in just managing a colony as a beekeeper, including learning about how to prevent/deal with swarming, whether you have a Flow or traditional supers on.
Your ten frame box will definitely be a little larger than the Flow box, and could well be strong enough to need swarm prevention or even supering soon. If your colony ends up being ready for the Flow super this season, you’d need to fashion a covering for the exposed part to protect the brood box from the elements. This could make inspections a little more tricky for you as a newbee. It might actually be easier buy an 8-frame Langstroth kit and plan to split into it when it’s time, or even transfer 8 of the 10 frames into it right off the bat. You’d freeze & keep for later the outermost 2, assuming they would be all honey & pollen stores. Having two hives is an excellent way to learn and isn’t really any more difficult to deal with than one.
I don’t know what the supplier meant when he said you’d have to use the Flow hive with a nuc next year
Just shout if you need more help!
What part of TX are you in. There have been reports of africanised bees a little south of us.
Hi, Sambees! We are about 20 mins N. Of Denton/30 mins S. Of Winstar/OK border. Where are you at?
My bee breeder person said he thinks it is more likely a hive of aggressive than Africanized? He said the queen would have to either die or mate with an Africanized drone to make an entire hive of them unless the hive got weak for some.reason. He was pretty confident the established hive I buy from him would not allow Africanized bees to enter. He said honey robbing would be my major issue. That means they enter the hive though, no?
That makes sense. I knew from reading and watching Frederick Dunne YouTube that all Flow did for us as newbies was get rid of the honey harvest extra supplies from what I understood. So it makes sense if people just set it and forget it. I hadn’t thought of that! He was a dealer or he had flow hives himself. Not sure which but he kept saying the flow hive simplified the bees job so they got bored and left. I don’t know enough yet to argue. So I just listened. I already had my mind set on a Flow so I had already purchased before I called him.
The bee guy said that we will need to add another brood box because these are already 3 mos or more into the 10 frame we bought so I was picking up another 10 frame from him when I leave tomorrow since my Flow hasn’t arrived.
The comment to wait til next spring was probably if I wanted to start bees in the flow. His are “established” in the hive I am.getting from him. I was assuming the flow would set nicely on top but now I see I will need to look in the forum for how to shore it up for weather protection for my new bees!
We are a little north of Texarkana. So, you are about 3 hrs west of us.
The reports I saw were mainly between Texarkana and Shreveport.
I’m not quite sure what @Eva means when she said that your flow hive won’t seal off with the 10 frame hive you bought. I haven’t read anywhere what size flow hive you have ordered. Just to clarify… if you bought a 7frame flow hive it will be the size of a traditional 10 frame langstroth (within reason and no extra sealing should be required). But if you have bought a 6 frame flow hive it will be the size of an 8 frame langstroth and that won’t match up to your 10 frame langstroth.
If you have ordered the smaller hive you can still transfer the bees from the langstroth into your flow brood box (which is still a langstroth). You will just have to decide which 2 frames to discard. I would suggest most likely the outer frames would be the ones to leave out as they are probably full of honey or a greater %of drone brood.
@Wanetta I do hope I didn’t cause you any confusion - I took what you wrote about the supplier telling you it wouldn’t fit to mean you had ordered the 6-frame Flow kit, and in years past when these were the only size available there was discussion online about how to cover the gap so 10-frame beeks could still use it. So yes, hopefully you did order the larger 7-frame Flow kit that is compatible with any Langstroth ten frame equipment, and none of the adjustments I mentioned will be needed
Good luck today!
If you did confuse me, it is perfectly fine! LOL! I stay in a confused state most days so it is real life to me. I ordered the Flow 2+ 7 frames with hive stand. It said it wouldn’t be delivered til mid-June and Fed Ex contacted me that it arrives TOMORROW! Yea! So I am now wondering if I need to pick up the extra 10 frame empty brood box from the bee guy since the beekeeper said the bees would be ready to move to the new brood box by the time we get there to pick them up this week (which is today!!!) I think where you got the idea that it wouldn’t fit was from my bee guy that I am getting the bees from saying that Flow Hives do NOT fit Langstroth boxes. He also hasn’t had any Flow Hives in years so I am thinking his experience was what you were mentioning about previous Flow Kits. Absolutely do not worry that you were confusing. I am not really the one so into bees as our son is and I am kind of learning this past week about them since he won’t be able to pick up the bees. He JUST graduated college a week ago today and moved back home to start his new job that is a full one hour drive from us. Mom has to find him an apartment now because he doesn’t have time to look. The bees will be left here along with his cat, pet snake, and Labrador retriever and he will check on them on weekends,etc. So I am kind of having to learn as I go now that all of this dumped on us last minute. You are super helpful and don’t think twice about me being confused.
Ahh…I love that side of Texas. Y’all get all of the “fun” weather like we do. Our son actually was in college there at TAMU-T for his first year before transferring to C-Stat. He loved being able to go to Shreveport and Arkansas for a day drive around.
Our bee supplier guy is from Texas Bee Supply out in Blue Ridge. Do you know them?
Thanks for the head’s up on the 2 fitting together! I think @Eva got that from my initial comments that our bee supplier said his experiece with Flow hives meant that they don’t fit together and modifications would be required on my part. I do appreciate your clarifying though. I don’t know about the transfer business. Do I tell my son to do that day one (today when I get the bees?) or do I wait a few days for them to calm down? We pick them up at 2 pm today so they won’t be back here at our house until about 5:30 or 6 pm then we have rain scheduled day after next for several days. He also will need to paint the roof. I think the 2+ only came in cedar my son said? So he didn’t think the sides would need painting but he did want to seal them for the rough Texas weather we get. So this weekend may be when they are able to get switched once the Flow paint dries? I don’t know how long that cedar sealer stuff takes to dry, etc. for off gassing or if that is even an issue for the bees.
Glad to help!
Perfect!! This matches Langstroth 10-frame gear
Nope. Since your boxes will all stack properly there won’t be any need to transfer frames from what your getting today into another kind of box at all. Along the way you’ll see that having extra gear will be useful, but for your first season you should be fine with the gear that comes with the bees and the Flow kit. You do have a suit, right ? There’s a good chance you could get stung in this process so please suit up and be careful.
The Flow kit will need to be assembled & finished with a good quality exterior grade coating of your choice. Some use tung oil to enhance the look of the cedar, but even this light wood tone can end up making the internal hive temp too Hotta compared to white or light paint. Personally, I tried tung oil first then found that my humid summers caused mildew growth. I painted the brood (bottom) box and roof, and recoated the Flow super (top box with Flow frames) with exterior grade clear polyurethane. This was a good compromise between reducing heat and showing off the wood grain.
You’ll be moving your bees to their new home today, so I’d just concentrate on positioning your stand on a level spot, placing the hive carefully on it, then wait a little to open up and inspect. How long will depend on whether this colony has its queen already among them, or if there will be a new, caged queen that the workers need to gradually accept and integrate first. If the former, I would inspect in 3-5 days to check for brood progress and possible swarming prep signs. If the latter, I’d look in 3 days just to make sure the queen was released and to remove the cage, then wait another week to ten days to check on brood progress. Save all burr comb (wax on top of frames that you’ll scrape off gently so it’s not in the way) and use it to prepare your Flow frames.
Meanwhile, you can put a nice finish on your Flow kit, rub your saved beeswax on the plastic Flow frames, and enjoy watching your new colony get oriented to their new location!
Congrats on your son’s graduation😀!
That was what I was worrying about. He has to work on it at night when he gets home from work to set it up and paint it and he only has about 2 hours from when he gets home to eat, shower and ready for work the next day. ha! Ahhh…to be young again! And thanks for the congrats. I will pass them along.
The queen is apparently already working because the bee seller is telling us they will be ready for a new brood box in a few days.
Thanks for the tip on the saved burr comb! Genius! We are leaving in a few minutes for bee pick up so will try to attach pics of the little newcomers once we get them back to their new home. We live in a rural area so we are trying to figure out how to keep out possums and coyotes and fire ants, too so the set up is a bit primitive til we work that mess out!
We don’t know the people in Blue Ridge.
I think Eva has answered all the questions you asked me well.
Hope all went well with your bee arrivals today. All the best with your new hobby.
Don’t be scared to ask questions.
TimG, It did go well! It was a circus, at best, but we made it back with a hive full of bees! My husband told our son (they are the son’s bees) that he was going to have to pay for counseling for me. The entire 1 hour and 45 minute drive back from the bee farm with the bees in the bed of our truck, I was upset that we were losing bees. They had put a screen guard over the exit, but the worker bees who had come back to the hive right when we arrived to pick them up had stayed with the hive and were flying around in the bed of our truck. I had brought a cotton sheet to throw over the top and tie down with them and the bee farm advised against it. We got about 10 miles away from the bee farm and I made my husband get out and throw the sheet over the top and tuck loosely the sides underneath the tie down ratchet straps. When we got home, we were able to set the bees free who were loose. I was really saddened at them chasing our truck at 70 mph on our long drive home trying to stay with their hive. LOL! We got them set up on their hive stand by 6 pm and attached the jar feeder that came with (son has a celacel or something on order that sits on top?) to discourage the possible aggressive/Africanized bees next door (about 3 acres over) from robbing our hive. Our bees were SOOOO angry last night (understandable) and chasing our son in his bee suit for a good 1/4 acre or more away from the hive so we decided today we will not disturb them and will go back out later after dark to situate them for the storms coming. We have them on an iron stand that he built to keep it up high for coyotes and wild hogs, etc. but we are going to set it on a pallet on the ground for the storms so it doesn’t get blown away with our straight line winds here. I will get pics once the hive settles. I don’t want to get stung. My husband got stung when we were throwing the sheet over the top and I chastised him that now we were definitely one bee down. LOL!
Thank you everyone for going along with us on this journey! 1 day in with 1st Hive ever in Texas