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Advice needed: Bees seem to reject Floframes


‘Did I buy a lemon.’
I bought my pine flow hive in December 2016 as a Christmas present to myself.
Because of my wife’s unfounded bee phobia I finally managed in November 2017 to install it with the help of a local traditional beek who also supplied me with the bees.
I have tried every blessed suggestions on the forum but the bees just haven’t taken to the plastic FF. The bottom brood box has been chock a block all the time. I see them all over the FF going in and out of the cells but storing zilch.
About ten months ago I made contact with another flowhiver Jeff Messenger who lives in the same suburb about half a kilometer away who has honey galore. From time to time he comes over and we both inspect the hive. He is baffled too.
Before I use to crow from the rooftops about the Flowhive now I keep my mouth shut. I have to listen to my wife moan about the money I have spent on all the paraphernalia.
I have become the butt of my friends jokes. If I do get any honey how much would it have really cost. Don’t forget to eat it with a toothpick they say!!
I am going to try out one last thing. I have asked Jeff if he would put a couple of my FF in his super at the end of this winter.
If his bees reject that then I would conclude it is definitely the plastic.
I am a former Aircraft Engineer and I know that no matter how strict the quality control there’s always a lemon that rolls off the production line. I’m going to demand an exchange for a new set of flow frames.

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Hi Romeo, it’s possible that you may have a lemon colony. I have a few of those myself at the moment. They need requeening.

What is the status of your brood? Anyway you’re going into winter, so not a good time to try to rectify anything. @Semaphore is down your way, he would be a good bloke to talk to. I guess he would advise you to remove the flow super for the winter period.

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Thanks Jeff. Good to know I’m not alone. For now I’ll take off the super over winter and tackle the issue of re queening later.

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I’m in my third season and finally success is on the horizon and the bees are storing nectar in my flow frames. I too was about to throw my hands up in the air but I did something differently this year. I melted wax and scratched in on the frames and the bees took to it so much better. I hope that helps.


You are so lucky Martha. I tried that several times to no avail.
I’ll give JefH requeening a go as well as put a FF in another FSupwr and see what happens.

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Try smashing some burr comb with a touch of honey in it on the frames too. I did it on section of the bottom the frame. At least it gets them snooping around


Hi Romeo, requeening may be the answer. However couple that with making sure that all the brood frames contain mostly worker comb & the colony is free of disease. This is what I’ll be doing in the coming days.


It’s not unusual to not get a harvest in the first year of starting a colony whether it’s using Flow frames or traditional frames, it’s more about building the colony. It’s my understanding that SA has a dismal honey season this year so not getting a harvest this year also wouldn’t be uncommon. Here in the West we also had a poor year and there are plenty who got no harvest so I wouldn’t stress too much. I’m not saying the queen wasn’t a contributing factor but it is worth considering that the bees just didn’t have anything for their pantry.
There is a difference between a dud colony and a dud year. :wink:


Confucius — ‘The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute, the man who does not ask is a fool for life.’
So here goes… How do you post photos on my messages. I have pressed every symbol on the top to no avail. Please help so I can share some pictures.

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You can upload pictures via

or use copy paste for pictures. However I’ve tried multiple times to upload videos to no avail.


Thanks Martha. That symbol doesn’t show on my top row however I found it at the bottom right hand corner. I’m using an Android phone. It takes me to a camera and camcorder icons so I guess at now Ican take a picture and load it. I’ll try to work out how to get to my gallery. Much appreciated.


Just click the symbol I showed you and it will ask you to browse for photos on your phone. Choose what you want and there ya go


I’ve done it on another topic! Condensation in top cover.
Thank you Martha!


Plenty of fodder for the bees so no excuse for not making any honey. Cold rainy days over here. Will open up hive on a nice day and take some photos of the brood frames.

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It’s beautiful! I see the flow hive back there too! How cold is it with such lush tropical landscape?


Cold and wet winters here in South Australia. And in summer it’s bloody hot.

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Romeoc, I’m in my 3rd season of bees and finally my 3 fully developed hives are filling my flow hive supers. I had to make several adaptations in order to get the bees interested in it. The thing I did differently this year than last aside from a developed hive is I bought some wax and coated the frames with it and the bees have less work to do and hence are now filling it up. Don’t give up because once you discover what works it’s going to be amazing! :smiley:


Did you purchase three flowhives at the one time? Wow
I have tried the wax twice and nothing happened. Anyway, on the next nice day I will open up the hive and take some pictures of the frames and post them. Perhaps that might tell a story.


Hi Roeoc,
Do you have any other beekeepers in your area, not necessarily with Flow hives to get an idea if there is an all year round honey production without moving hive to another area. Where I am we get buckets of honey in a very short period, as little as 2 months then its just hive maintenance for 10 months.
If you don’t get a flow during Winter you would not expect to see anything in the Flow supers.
If its a good day say over 22 deg C and sunny photos of your brood box frames as they would be more informative to the group.
But personally I would not disturb the hive till Spring. My bees took 18 months to start filling my Flow frames but once started (filled them in about 3 weeks) all was good for the following years nectar flow.

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Thanks busso. There is another Flowhiver a km and a half away and he harvested three frames last weekend. My only problem is I am at work during the week and the weather invariably seem to be good to open up the hive during the week!
However, if you are saying to leave them alone then perhaps that’s what I’ll do.

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