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Adding Ideal or Super to the Flow Hive


My Flow Hive is located in Sydney. This is my first Spring and we are off to an incredible start. I have already harvested lots of Honey and 1 full frame of Honey and Comb from the Brood Box to give the girls some more room down there.
1 week ago there was lots of burr comb full of honey in the roof. I took it out and now the girls have rebuilt even more burr comb and filled it again with honey.
I was wondering whether I should add another Flow Super, Ideal or Hybrid box or just continue to harvest frames as they are fully capped and hope that there is enough room for them.
My bees are also bearding a lot which I know could be a sign of preparing to swarm but so far so good.


Comb in the roof is a sign that they are feeling short of space. They are probably overheating too - hence the bearding.

I like your idea of adding an ideal super or two. :blush: I would also harvest any capped Flow frames - you don’t need the whole Flow super to be capped, just harvest each frame as it gets fully capped.


Hi Emma, Your bees probably will swarm at some point. You need to look into that to see what you should do to try to prevent it, if possible. Are you in a bee club, or do you have a mentor? Don’t do this on your own. cheers


Hi Emma. I had the same happening late summer, lots of comb in the roof and bearding on my first hive. As a remedy I added an ideal box with foundationless frames. They had them built and filled in 2 weeks, no more big bearding or building under the roof. I also took out a couple of brood frames once in a while to boost my Nucs.
This spring I added another brood box to maybe do a split later. All 8 foundationless frames were built and filled in 10 days! At the moment this hive is a breeding and honey making machine.
I wonder if they still think of swarming with all the extra space.


Hi Jeff. Yes, that would be a real big swarm. I will take a few frames for a Nuc out tomorrow and see how that goes.
I really don’t want them to swarm. Planning to take the 2nd box with content off end November when I get a Kangaroo Island Ligurian queen. Heard Ligurian bees have a longer proboscis and can reach the nectar where others can’t. I’d like to see that.


Keep opening the brood nest and robbing the honey frames is a good way to “prevent” swarming. Most times it works but sometimes it dosen’t but it is our best management strayegy?



Thanks for the advice Dawn. I added another conventional Langstrof box yesterday and harvested another frame of capped honey from the Flow frames. Things are looking better in terms of the bearding already so fingers crossed they don’t swarm. Emma.


Thanks ! Added another super and harvested more honey. Fingers crossed.


Hi Jeff. Yes, I feel to follow your advice on this one. That double brood box is very strong and it’s been almost 4 weeks that I looked in. No bearding yet, but they bring in huge amounts of nectar and pollen, so they must be feeding plenty of babies. Will take a nuc out tomorrow. Last time I checked they hadn’t even built play cups.
It’s so amazing that they built all 8 foundationless frames out so perfectly straight, even though I had 2 and 3 empty frames next to each other in configuration. Amazing, because I hear advice constantly that they will build crazy. Not these Italians. Maybe by now I got this queen well trained.
My carnie hives did build their empty frames a bit crazy, just bulging honey into the space of the next frame. I didn’t do much shaving to not upset them too much in one go, but next time I looked they worked out to build both adjacent frames down straight. As a colony, they much seem to work out by themselves how to make most efficient use of space.
Can’t wait to see what I’ll find in that double brood box tomorrow. Got my nuc boxes ready.


One could say, adding an ideal or deep to our recommended one brood/one flow super configuration in our climate will be beneficial only under certain circumstances and only for a certain time.
There can’t be general advice. New or not, as beekeepers we just have to watch and learn and act, and take the outcome as a lesson.
This forum became such a great resource for all kinds of situations in all kinds of regions, where we share our experiences and others can learn, from failures and successes.
Just saying.


Saw another post using this term. What is an IDEAL?


It is an Australian Langstroth-sized box in width and length, but the depth is a little different from the US measurements. Somewhere between a shallow and medium depth box, or about half of a standard Langstroth deep, if I remember it right. :blush:

Ah, here is a web site with measurements:


Apparently the Ideal is (or was) also known as a Bolton.