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2nd brood box full of honey, nothing happening in the Flow Super

Can someone please give some advice?

New 5 frame Nuc added to 8 frame brood box in mid-April in an urban, Texas, USA location
Entrance feeder with supplement.
Filled all 8 frames 100% with Brood, pollen, nectar and capped honey
Added 2nd Brood Box in 3rd week of May.
Filled 6 frames 100% with capped honey, (2 outside frames left to draw naturally were 70% drawn and 50% capped honey). So many bees!
Added Flow Super in 2nd week June. Frames were scrapped in places with wax from the brood boxes.
Removed entrance feeder.
The bees entered the Flow Super and cleaned the wax.
Many, many bees in Super, in the cells, and walking about. Bees returning from foraging with pollen. No problems observed.
4 weeks later upon an inspection no honey in any of the Flow Super frames. The 2nd Brood box is 100% capped honey. Both boxes and the super are covered in bees.

Why are the bees not storing in the Flow Super?
Should we remove frames of capped honey in 2nd brood box?

Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.

You were feeding up to the time you added the super?

What does the bottom box look like as far as honey, bee bread, brood? The nectar flow in south Texas is probably just about over for the year so they may not have enough to want to complete all the cells and expand - when you pull the flow frames are all the cells completed and drawn out the rest of the way?

You can wait to see if they put anything in there if there are some flows later in the summer or fall. But at least they will have done some waxing so you’ll be good to go next spring when the nectar is coming in fast.

Yes I was feeding up to the time I added the super.

The bottom brood box looks much the same as before the 2nd box was added - lots of capped brood, nectar and pollen.

I thought that in this suburban environment with so many plants flowering throughout the year that there would still be enough nectar for them to make honey.

Were they taking in lots of the syrup you were providing? Mostly the bees will prefer natural nectar forage over sugar syrup, if it is available close by and plentiful.

I think the severity of dearths is lessened by many suburban ornamentals but a lot of those flowering plants have little to no nectar or pollen. Maybe not as dry down there in Spring as it was where I lived in Fort Worth but still a stressful time in the summer for plants.

There’s still a relatively large amount of grass and pavement/concrete compared to a fruit orchard, field of clover, alfalfa, etc.

Nevertheless, you will find out what your local microclimate and microenvironment provides for your bees as the seasons go and maybe you’re right that there is excess forage around even during the mid-late summer to get a summer honey crop. But for a first year colony (I am assuming) you may be better off just letting them stock up so you don’t have to feed them through the winter and then they will come out strong in the spring and make the honey fast and furious.

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Hi @NewbeeTx , I can give you advice if your bees were in a similar situation as me. That advice would be to harvest the honey, then replace the stickies. I’m 26deg40" S in a sub-tropical zone in a suburban area. My bees forage all through winter & the queens never stop laying. You might be in a similar situation in Spring Tx.

I think the best advice would come from a local beekeeper with a few years of experience.

In regards to the flow frames not getting filled, I think that just requires some patience, coupled with a honey flow. I think you’ll find that once the bees have worked them, they keep on working them.

cheers

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Could be similar except there are nights below 0°C almost every year in Spring, TX.

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We get a lot of nights with temps almost down to zero. This is where local knowledge of @NewbeeTx 's micro climate will be handy.

I would never talk about bees coming out of spring and make the honey fast & furious. For me it’s always about swarm prevention during spring, even though they still produce honey during that process.

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When you placed the Flow super on 2nd week in June, you placed the queen excluder on at the same time I assume. Unfortunately you had capped honey under the queen excluder and with that condition you are almost guaranteed to turn the queen excluder into a honey excluder.

Try to make sure your brood area is immediately beneath the queen excluder ( brood area against the top bar)… bees are reluctant to cross a dome of capped honey to go through the queen excluder and up into the Flow super.

It sounds like you did a great job getting that nuc established and perhaps in your prolific honeyflow conditions you should consider 10 frame Langstroths brood boxes…always making sure the queen is not getting honeybound.

Probably the simpliest way of addressing this situation is to reverse the brood chambers…then put the queen excluder on…then Flow super. But there are more effective and involved methods.

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Hi Doug,
Thanks for your advice. I have now moved my box full of honey to beneath he box with brood. The queen excluder is next with the FlowSuper on top. The bees really did no like us doing all that work (I’m not sure I did either as a new Beek. I took the opportunity to reset the flow cells to ensure correct alignment after the shuffling. The bees settled down quickly and moved into the super. There are many bees there, with quite a few head down in the cells. Other bees are leaving the hive and returning with pollen sacks full. I plan to leave they for a couple of weeks and then have a peek at one of the flow super frames to see if any nectar is being stored.

Thank you for you advice Chau06. As you might read below I have followed some advice from Doug1. I have the stock of honey for the bees to assist if things are stressed for them. Thank you for taking the time to reply.

Thanks Jeff. I’ll remain hopeful that the suburban area with provide year round forage and try to patient also.

Hi & you’re welcome. “Remaining hopeful” is not a real bad strategy, however if you can find a local beekeeper with that valuable local knowledge, that would be better.

cheers

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Nothing ventured nothing gained NewbeeTx

Be aware that your honeyflow season may be tapering off …are there other late season crops in your area such as alfalfa or goldenrod?

Standard practice with strong wintered hives in my area is to get the queen excluders on before the first spring nectar flow…it’s an established component of the hive early in the season…and the bees don’t seem to mind it. If the queen excluder is placed on a bit too late, they inevitably store most of the honey below it… honey-locking the queen.