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Added a queen excluder but nothing changed!?


About a week ago I added a queen excluder and a flow hive. Today I checked and there were only 3 bees in the new frames. What did I do wrong and how do I fix it?

A little background: I added this because both of my 10 frame boxes are full of bees, honey, and brood. We are soon moving to a different state and driving for several days. I wanted to make sure that they still had food but weren’t overcrowded. I hope I did the right thing. Please help. Thank you !!!


You put it on in August. March is the best time. :blush: You can leave it on for now, but if they don’t use it by mid-September, I would take it off until next year, unless you are moving to subtropical Florida or Hawaii. :wink:

You can also smear some burr comb onto the plastic frames to make them smell more like the hive. they will use them much faster if you do that.

Make sure the hive is well-ventilated while you drive. Transport can be lethal for bees if they overheat.


Are you saying the hive will be closed up and on the road for several days? This will be very hard on the bees- I killed an entire hive last year accidentally just driving them to a new location over an hour and a half- on a hot summer day- but very early in the morning. Having the flow box on top may be good as it will give the bees more room during the move- but as Dawn said ventilation will be critical. You might want to consider making a new screened lid for the hive: basically a screen mesh inner cover that you can put on the top of the hove so that it can breathe really well. This will be vital if the weather is going to be hot over that period. If the hive is inside the vehicle and there is aircon that may help. Apparently if there is a lot of unripe nectar in the hive that can make things worse when you move them also. If you have access to nay local bee expertise please tell them what you are planning to do and ask for advice.

this is the type of cover I am thinking of- if you use one of these you would have the flow roof off.



When I have to drive a hive around I wedge the frames so they don’t move and crush bees and take the lid off leaving the screened part of the Warre quilt. Block the entrance and tie the bits together and off you go.

Bit like what Semaphore said above.



That’s a good point about wedging the frames. I get very small squares of cardboard folded in half- and jam them between all the frame lugs. I also try not to inspect a hive immediately before moving so the frames hopefully are propolised and bridge combed into a solid mass. Best of all would be to wedge them a few weeks before the move.

I also wedge frames in nucs- when the frames haven’t been built yet- so they don’t get knocked and move leaving big gaps. That way they get drawn out better

It’s the one time bridge comb is really good to have!

Rob: do you use hive quilts on all your hives? And do you leave them on all year round? I’m interested to use them - curious to hear your thoughts


Yep, quilts on all my hives. The tops have metal gauze in them with one side deeper than the other. The larger side has a vent hole with gauze over it. They are always over an inner cover so the gap does not matter as the bees don’t build in it. In summer I have the vented side down and have several layers of hessian in the top as insulation. This lets a baffled airflow and avoids the dread chimney effect. In winter I flip it so the vent is on top. The hessian goes in the top and allows a very slow air exchange which helps any condensation and heat retention.

Make sense?



Thank you for your great advice. I appreciate you sharing your knowledge.I will be trying these on Tuesday and hoping for the best. I will let you know how it goes. I will be driving for 2 days, the first being through the desert .


Hello! It worked! We drove for 2 days and the hive survived. The bees are now busy doing their thing. I was hoping to get advice on another move, if you are willing. We are now renting a house for 5 days until our new house is ready, which is 1.5 miles down the road. We kept the bees in the back of the truck so we didn’t cause them (or us) too much drama. How do you think it is best to move them to their permanent home down the road?


Congratulations on your successful move, and thank you for the follow-up message. It is always nice to hear how things went.

Let the bees out for the next 5 days. Obviously, don’t drive the truck around if you are leaving them in it. :wink: If you can, take out any wedges that may have upset frame spacing. If the wedging didn’t change the frame separation in the middle of the hive, you can leave them in for now.

When you come to move again, repeat the preparations that you did last time with tie downs, ventilation etc, preferably late in the evening before the move or very early the next day (30 mins before sunrise, at least). On arrival, take them off the truck and put them in the new permanent hive site. Put some large tree branches (with leaves) or a big potted shrub in front of the hive entrance and let them settle for a couple of hours still closed up.

Then let them out. The shrubbery will encourage them to re-orient to the new location, and discourage them from going back 1.5 miles to the other place. You will probably lose some anyway, but most of them should get the message.


I recently moved my 8 hives about 40 metres that had been in place for 4 months in a single move.
When the last of the bees are in the hive for the night close the hive up and take it to it’s new location and put some foliage, small branches with leaves really cluttering the entrance. In day light let the bees out and they will re-orientate to the new location without a problem.
I found about 1000 bees had returned to the old location and these were offered a single box with frames and they all marched straight in, then I relocated that box to the new apiary site, added frames of brood and today the colony has made 3 new queen cells.
So about your move just do it and it will work for you.