I currently have two 8-frame deep brood boxes with the full Flow super on top. The super is pretty much full and capped. I’m concerned with a lack available space and possibility of swarming, so what would be the best way to add another super? On top of the Flow super or right underneath it?
Take the flow frames off. Add another deep and move a frame up into it so the bees can start filling it. If you leave the flow frames on, the bees will eventually take all the honey out of your flow frames and move them down. Take them off and add another deep brood box.What part of the country are you in?
Thanks for the prompt reply! I’m in SE Michigan, so the winters are pretty cold. To clarify, remove the Flow super, add a deep. Should I put the Flow back on later in the year to give them some extra honey for winter? This is a first-year hive so I hadn’t planned on harvesting anything this year.
You would be unwise to put the flow box back on if it is above a queen excluder. If the workers move up into it they will leave your queen behind.
Why don’t you just harvest your flow frames to make room for more honey?
I’m with Card on this. Most of us up north run deep deep 8’s or 10 frame hives. A few run double or triple mediums. Since I have both 8’s n 10’s I didn’t add my Flow-Super until the second super was @ 85 plus % full.
Yip, I’d get the Flow off n really work on getting a full deep built out n filled. Your running a bit behind. Dawn n others like adding the new box/super at the bottom of the stack. That might be a great idea due to your limited time left for the colony to build out n fill here at the end of summer. I’d harvest the Flow-Super n store ready for next season 2017 now.
Good luck n get to it ! .
Southeast Michigan is basically where I live. I’m in Toledo, Ohio right on the border with you. Take off the flow frames, harvest them if you want. Add another deep 8 frame super on top, Honey Run Apiaries has a great deep box that ships from the northwest Ohio area and will get to you quickly. http://shop.honeyrunapiaries.com/deep-super-commercial-grade-9-58-8-frame They also sell foundationless frames to go with it. You can buy the whole thing assembled and it’s very cheap. Get paint stirrer stick from Lowes to put in the groove in the top bar of the frames for the bees to start building on.
Take a few frame of comb from your second box and move it up to the new box, the bees will move up and start working. This will also give your queen more room to lay eggs. If you don’t add more space, the bees will fill all the comb with honey and the queen will have no place to lay eggs, and that will stunt the population growth.
Hit me up if you need help. I’m pretty local to you!
Thanks everyone for the input, you don’t know how much you’ve helped! I harvested one Flow frame today and will get the entire super off tomorrow. I already had an extra deep and frames on hand so the hardest part will be getting the girls out of the super.
After harvesting the rest, should I just leave the frames out in front of the hive so they can clean them up and find the entrance, or will that attract robbers? As a newbeek, I’ve dealt with frames full of bees during inspection, just never had to remove them. I’ve never had to use my brush and I don’t have a fume board, as so many books recommend. So, any tips to doing this without getting them all screaming mad? I would imagine that the Flow frames can’t be banged around like normal frames can so bumping them off onto the ground might not be an option.
I know I’m running out of time, but these Italians got off to a late start anyways (installed the nuc in late May) and, considering I only fed them for the first week and a half, they have been building faster than I can keep up! Will keep up the routine checks and hopefully they can get the third deep filled up!
Brushy mountain makes a one way escape screen so the bees get out of your flow frames and can’t go in. Takes 24 hours to get them all out. http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/8-Frame-Escape-Screen/productinfo/254ES/
Your bees are actually doing phenomenal if you started in late May. Sounds like a very strong colony.
I would add the third deep box now. Put the flow frames on top of third box. The bees will go down. When you get the escape screen, you can add that too if they didn’t go down.
Move two frames of comb up to third box and move two empty ones down to the second box. Put them on the outside of the second box.
Your bees will know what to do.
If you are ‘bumping’ bees off frames, you don’t need to hit the frame on anything, it is done with a sharp downwards jerk into the hive. and they really don’t like being brushed
Harvested another two frames, (the last three need another day or two), took three full frames of honey from the 2nd brood box and staggered them in the 3rd, and put the Flow super on top with the excluder. Will check daily until they move down. They really put comb everywhere in that 2nd brood box, so I’m glad I gave them some more room! Again, thank you all, I greatly appreciate it!
Overall, your colony is very strong, especially since they are pretty much doing all of this without even being fed, that’s incredible.
Once they fill out that third box, I’d leave them alone. They should be fine.
Where in southeast Michigan are you? I’m in Toledo.
I know, I’m pretty impressed with them. The beekeeper I bought the nuc from said not to feed them at all but I decided to give them one batch, anyways, when I first installed them. I’m about 20 miles north of Detroit, in the country but as close to the burbs as you can get.
I am jumping in to see if you could give me a beginner class in stacking. I am new at bees. Having a bit of a time reading all and putting my pieces together. I purchased bees that came in medium frames so they wont fit my deep flow brood box. I am waiting for med cedar box. The box they are now in is crowded with 7 frames. I want to put this with my new flow system. Could you tell me does the brood box(my new bees), med frame go above the bottom board, then my deep empty 8 frame above that. THEN my Queen excluder ? Then the top with the hole then the pitched top? Here are some photos of what I have. with new box to replace the white one on order.
I just saw you post bees go down so then I would put the empty one on the bottom board? Then the one with the bees. Anything go in between the 2 boxes?
Love your bee hive variety
Ideally, you want all your boxes to the same size so you can do all sorts of creative things with them. This is an interesting problem to have. Maybe one of the more experienced beeks can chime in. My thoughts are…
Put the new deep empty brood box on the bottom. Place your medium on top. Move a frame of comb down to the empty box basically just to let them know that there is more space (put it in the middle). Once they start building comb on adjacent frames, you can move it back up. If they built comb under that shorter medium frame, just cut it out and see if you can use the rubber band technique to place it in another empty frame.
One more question for you, if I were to leave the three remaining frames full and didn’t harvest them (already harvested three), would the girls move it down to the newly-installed brood box? Or, should I just go ahead and harvest it and maybe feed them in the fall? I’ll remove the super either way, but I feel bad taking all of their hard work and want to be as certain as I can that they over-winter.
Just harvest them for yourself. You can feed them sugar water, it’s cheaper. Honey like that is valuable!
Let them move it down. Why would you feed them sugar water, when they can have the benefits of honey, especially in their first year.
Sorry ! I’m sure I misspelled your name ! Thankz for the note ! I do have a few different hives. Two are standard 10 frame pine. One is 10 frame red cedar, one is the new 8 frame Flow … Then I also use a couple of deep 5 frame Langstroth too for starting new colonies n capturing small n medium swarms… I use the observation hive for demoing n teaching as I get a chance. I even have a couple swarm trap hives (one on my roof n smaller 5 frame attached to the peak of our home.
Ta ta ,