Honeyflow.com | FAQ's | Community |

2 month old new hive, no honey in super, need to paint with beeswax?


#1

I’m brand new at this so please bear with me.

Installed a nuc in my new FlowHive2 about two months ago. Queen seems to be doing great as the number of bees seems to be increasing. Lots of busy bees flying around! I’ve not gotten up the nerve yet to remove my Super and inspect the Brood, but so far everything looks like there is lots of activity. The three windows in the Super always show 5-10 bees walking around each of the flow combs, but they are not using the Super to store honey.

I did not paint beeswax on my flow combs, so I’m wondering if that’s what I should do next to encourage the little fellas to use the Super. If so, is there any particular type of beeswax that I should use? Organic? USA sourced only (I’m skeptical of Chinese products)? The expert bee keeper I bought the nuc from is well known in South Louisiana and he offered to give me some beeswax when I purchased the nuc, but we both forgot. Should I go to him for it? He is over an hour away, so I’d prefer to just have product shipped to me if you think that would be ok.

Thanks for your thoughts!


#2

You should really do an inspection to see where the resource level in the brood box is. Supers should not go on hives until the colony has enough resources to make it thru the winter. Seeing you are from Louisiana I imagine that a lot of beekeepers only have one brood box and then add supers after that. Managing the space is something you will learn over time as a beekeeper. If the brood box frames are not 80% full of brood, pollen, nectar then you shouldn’t add the super onto the hive.

To answer your question regarding putting wax on your flow frames you can take a look at them if you decide to pull the flow super off the hive or during your next inspection. If the bees have not begun closing up the gaps in the flow frames then I would put wax on those frames prior to putting them back on the hive. I have never had an issue collecting enough burr comb to melt and put on the frames from my hives but it has helped the bees take to them quicker in my experience. Definitely use wax from your hives. Getting it from anywhere else you don’t know what treatments have been applied to the hive the wax came from and you would end up introducing it into your hive and on the honey frames.

Good luck and post back to let us know how things went!

John


#3

Great, thanks John. I’ll unpack my new bee suit tonight and will take it for a spin tomorrow. I’m not quite ready to trust the bees yet with just a hat. Newbie fear, I guess. Will inspect Brood tomorrow and will reply back.


#4

Hi Brian,

I read your note at least twice ! Sounds like your bees are alive n well. Don’t take me wrong but am I reading this correct ? You’ve been OBSERVING your bees thru the window only ?

Young man ! In Beekeeping that’s going to get you over hip deep in bee poop n trouble. Yah ! Time to unpack n test run your new beesuut. Question or statement here ! “Curiosity killed the cat but satisfaction (get down n sticky) brought it back ! “. I’m sure upon all hope your girls didn’t get too creative in the windowless brood box (where all the action is ) …,

Let’s get that suit on n zipped, recheck the zippers (don’t want any ladies looking :eyes: at you from inside The Vail ! Slide into those gloves :gloves:… if you have a smoker (great time to practice that interesting fire :fire: skill). I seldom use mine unless they appear frisky.

I use to go thru the routine few times in my brain :brain:… at 72 yrs it’s more auto but still nice to double check you have everything you need.

What ever you find note n enjoy. This is a FIRST ! Awesome ! Start by carefully remove one wall/outside frame (slow n carefully) . If you don’t have a metal frame hanger (always handy but not a have to) lean it again the brood box after gazing it over. (Reslly don’t want to have Queenie out side the box) ., with that one empty space you can gently move each side ways n lift out to explore the amazing wonders of your Bee Colony n ask yourself why have I blessed myself getting in here earlier. Don’t pain, take you time, n study each frame for maybe capped honey, liquid nectar, pollen n their rainbow :rainbow: of colors, eggs, larva, beautiful capped pupae ! If you eggse n/or tiny larva your queen is doing her job well. If you have a camera … clicked a few n share !! Replacing frames carefully, in same order n direction (the first in each new hive I add an “X” to the entrance end of each frame. That way I don’t forget which end was which. (Maybe less stress) (simplifies remembering) .,

You may or may not have to straighten things up (I pray not). If your frames were/are at 80% usuage pop the Super back on with the QE under it. If the colony hasn’t gotten to that approximate 80 level ., leave it off.

Others have given a note or two here also. These are good n wise thots. Now button the hive up. Congrats :tada:., your on your real Beekeeping voyage! Write down notes before you forget where you saw what … read your notes before next time n note what’s different or changed !


Good luck :four_leaf_clover: n always enjoy.
Gerald


#5

Will get some Brood pics tomorrow.

This image was just a few days after installing the new nuc.


#6

This image was taken about a month after nuc installation. Not a great pic, but Queenie seems to be doing her thing. I’ve got so much more to learn. Will inspect Brood tomorrow.


#7

You have plenty of good advice already.

A few points: you mentioned seeing 5 or 6 bees on the flow combs. You’ll eventually be seeing hundreds and hundreds when the colony is strong enough to start filling them.

You should be able to get all the wax you need from your brood box. Often there is wax on the top of the frames. You can scrape it off with your hive tool. You don’t need much at all to put on the flow frames and the easiest way is to rub it on like the frame was a cheese grater. Hardly any will come off and only at the surface. That’s fine- that’s all you need. Far more important than applying wax is having a booming full box of bees below. In my experience if you have that you don’t even need to add wax.

If you have that- and still don’t see honey upstairs- then is the time to start problem solving. It could be there isn’t much flowers and nectar around to make honey- it could be the colony is not fully healthy.

And use your full bee suit - making sure it’s put on well- right down to your feet. If you are bee proof you can relax and take your time with an inspection. And learn to pack and light the smoker well. You don’t want it going out halfway through - or burning too hot and blasting the bees with hot smoke and sparks. The smoker is your best friend


#8

The others have really said it all. Get your suit on, give them a couple of puffs of smoke at the entrance. Crack the lid and give them a couple more. Leave them a couple of minutes then take the lid off. Move SMOOTHLY and you should have no problems. With only half a dozen bees visible in your super you can use that to get used to the bees. Once you have looked at the super frames, put it aside on your lid and get down into the brood box. Work SMOOTHLY, you don’t have to be in slow motion but the bees hate jerky movements. Follow the advice above and you will be OK. Just work smoothly.

Cheers
Rob.


#9

I first put my Flow Supers onto hives about 4 weeks ago. I melted some bees wax and painted it onto the Flow frames and after 10 days I found bees working on the cells.
Don’t consider the Chinese ‘bees wax’, it is not all bees wax, it contains paraffin wax and has been found to contain insecticides. Buy some bees wax from a local bee keeper or have the nuc supplier post you some.
That is a small price to pay to get the flow frames to be accepted by the bees.
You are a novice and will do things that will stir up the bees, till you are confident wear your bee suit every time, that will help you to be more relaxed when you are working on a hive.
Finally a lot can go wrong in a bee hive in a month, at that timing you will always be playing catch up, I don’t just look through the window, get into handling frames, looking and smelling the frames for odor or the sweet smell of honey.
Seek out a local bee club and get involved., ask for advise,
Regards


#10

Thanks everyone. Really appreciate it.

Just ordered a smoker and frame hanger. Will look into some local beeswax.

If the smoker and hanger come in by this weekend I’ll go check the Super & Brood this coming Saturday.


#11

Everybody should do a course before getting bees. They areally are invaluable and give education and confidence in handling bees. Joining an association will help make useful contacts too.
If I was selling bees, I wouldnt sell to somebody who hadnt the basics.


#12

Please consider just scraping some off the inside of your own hive. That way you are not introducing an outside infection, and you don’t have to go to the trouble of melting it. Just smear it over the faces of the plastic frames with your hive tool (gently).

I get plenty from every inspection, even if I am not looking to smear it on Flow frames. You only need a few tablespoons of it. :wink:


#13

Hello I am a beekeeper just down the road from you in Lacombe. I am in Abita often. There is a bee club that meets in Abita monthly. Do you go? Anyway if you need help for first inspection I will help and can introduce you to some local beekeepers to learn with.


#14

I have some wax if you still need it.


#15

Good to see someone offering help, you will be paid back ten fold. That is what the forum is all about, advise and where possible practical help.
Welcome to the forum, it is world wide and there is lots of discussions about all the facets of bee keeping.
Cheers


#16

Dawn, thanks for that tip. I had no idea the wax would be so readily available. Will use your advice and I thank you greatly!

Bubba, really awesome of you to assist. Did not know of the local bee club and am interested in attending a meeting. Where can I get more info on the club?


#17

When you do your inspection, you will often find that bees build comb along the top and bottom bars of the frames, and sometimes on the hive wall too. All you have to do is scrape it off with your hive tool. It doesn’t hurt the bees. I often put it in a ziplock bag if I don’t need it right away, and store it in the freezer. You could just smear it onto the Flow frames right away though, if you wanted. :wink:


#18

Opened the super for first time. A few scouts came up to check me out but apparently im boring cause they mellowed out pretty quickly. Had a little propolis on top cover. Nice to see. Took out one completely empty super frame, placed it on ground, scooted other super frames over and peeked around. Tons of activity in brood, but I don’t have a smoker yet so I didn’t remove QE and inspect. Initial inspection through QE seems to show a nearly full brood. Had maybe a hundred bees on middle flow frame in super, but no building in super yet. Need to get some wax from brood and spread in super I guess. Will inspect again when smoker arrives soon.


#19

The problem is our spring flow is over. We are in a dearth until fall. Hard to get bees to make comb now. You could feed sugar syrup and see if that helps. Not familiar with the flow hive but you probably don’t want it filled with sugar syrup. Maybe you could feed same syrup a few times. They are cutting back on brood production since no nectar is coming in. The syrup will help brood numbers. Bee meeting are at Abita town hall. Cut and paste. 2018 Meeting Dates: August 2, Sept. 6, Oct. 4, Nov. 8 (2nd Thursday), no meeting in December. State Beekeeping convention is in Sulphur, LA, first weekend of December. Like us on Facebook: Beekeepers of Tangi-Tamington


#20

Based on that single pic I’d guess your brood box isn’t 80% full. I’m not sure of your local conditions but if the main nectar flow is over you should really consider removing the super. Keep an eye on what is flowering, chat to other local beeks, and only consider adding the super back on in a few weeks time IF you’re expecting another nectar flow OR you have rather mild winters (like I get where I live in Oz).

EDIT: For clarity, I know that photo is taken looking down through the super. Based on experience with my hive I’d expect to see alot more activity if you brood box was pushing 80% full.