in furtherance to my thread “Bees take out honey from flow frames”, I would like to describe a new problem:
My bees (Southern Germany, Black Forest, normally a region famed for its honey) do not accept the flowframes, now they even seem to reject them.
A short list of the actions taken during the last few weeks:
- Doused flowframes with honey water
- Hung one, later two honeyfilled classical frames into honey super
- Rubbed flowframes with bees wax
- Sandwiched honey super (we changed that back, bees were furious)
- Reduced hive from two boxes plus honey super to one box plus honey super
- Rolled flowframes with melted wax we took from the box we removed
All of this was to no avail. A week ago we rolled the flowframes with the melted wax from the brood box we took out. When I looked into the hive today, I discovered that the bees were building, but not into the flowframes. They are building superstructures ON the flowframes.
See these two pictures (taken after I took out one of the classical frames)
The other side of the same flowframes - as all other flowframes) remain completely untouched.
To me, it looks like the bees simply do not like the flowframes and refuse to build in them, instead they are building ON them, rendering the flowframe system useless. Both my mentor and I are at our wits ends because of this AND of the fact, that the other, classical hives standing in the same spot are brimfull with honey, whereas the bees in the flowhive are reluctant to put honey even into the classical frames in my honey super.
The hive still remains strong, with lots of eggs, larvae and pupae in several states. All honey there is is stored in the brood box, which is rather heavy by now.
Either we are making fundamental mistakes (which I doubt, my mentor runs about classical 200 hives) successfully) or I will have to conclude that the flowhive system only works in warmer areas as Australia and comparable countries with regular strong flow. If so, I will have to regretfully write off the investment in the Flow Hive system and change to classical wax combs. I am loathe to do that, so I am again very much in need of advice.