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Add upper flow hive combs?


#1

Hi,

When is the best time to add the upper? First timer in Wisconsin.

Thank you,


#2

Hi Kevin, I assume you mean the Flow super. I would wait til the brood box is nearly full. What you could do is move the outside frames, minus any drone comb above the queen excluder & put a flow frame on each side of them. In the brood move the next 2 brood frames out on each side & fill the gaps with frames with fresh foundation. You could repeat that process in a few weeks time. Make sure you cut any drone comb off the brood frames before moving them above the queen excluder. After those brood frames are empty of brood & full of honey, remove them & replace them with flow frames.

That’s a strategy I think I would use.


#3

Hi Kevin,

In Wisconsin, you will probably need 2 brood boxes. Do your local beekeepers use 2 deeps for brood? If they do, you should too. I bet they do - some people south of your latitude even use 3 deeps for brood when they are 8-frame deeps. This is to make it more likely that the bees will survive the cold days of winter. The Flow hive is just a different way of harvesting honey. All other aspects of beekeeping should be done exactly as your locals recommend. Flow supplies one deep for brood, because in their part of sunny Australia, they don’t have to worry much about winter.

Let’s say you start with one deep for brood. You would add a second deep when all of the frames have drawn comb, and each frame is 80% full of brood or food stores, plus the frames are covered with bees. After you add the second box, the same rules apply for adding the Flow super (or a traditional honey super). You wait until all frames in the second box are drawn and 80% full before you add another box. The reason is that you need enough bee population to warm, defend and expand the new space, and you won’t have that until you get to around the 80% full level.


#4

Thano you for this. I appreciate it!