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Advice needed: Bees take honey OUT from honey super


#1

All ye in the know: please help me.

My hive grew nicely, two brood supers are brimmingly full. Two weeks ago my beekeeping mentor and I put up the honey super and - since last year the bees were not willing to go up into the flow frames - we took out one frame and replaced it with a wax frame. A few days of bad weather came after that, but the bees were still flying well and keep doing so. They walk around happily on the flow frames, but they only filled the wax frame. Two days ago, we noticed, that the bees emptied the wax frame and took the honey down to the brood frames, which are very fullof brood, pollen and honey. They still move about the flow frames, but they seem not to accept it. My mentor is an avid beekeeper, but has no experience with the Flow syste, so we are both at a bit of a loss.
Any ideas? Your help is highly welcome.


German Flow keepers
#2

Have you used any burr comb wax and coated the flow frames. I have done that on the two flow supers I have and there hasn’t been an issue. Although if they are moving honey from the super down into the brood box I would say that the conditions are not right for them to store the excess honey in the flow frames.

Have they worked on closing the gaps with wax on the flow frames? I don’t see any pictures of the flow frames.


#3

Please help us too. Complete your profile so that we know where in the world you are. It makes a huge difference to the advice you need.

Next, take a look at this link:

Search the Forum with the search tool if that doesn’t give you the exact answer.

Otherwise, welcome to the Flow forum! :wink:


#4

Your bees probably consumed the honey out of that frame.

We find here on the Sunshine Coast that bees build a strong colony in just one brood box, as long as all of the frames in that brood box resemble the beautiful looking frames in your photos.

After they finish building out one brood box, they get stuck into filling flow frames.

You see, instead of the bees filling out a second brood box, they could be filling flow frames.


#5

Sounds perfectly normal: Honey is constantly being consumed by the hive, just like groceries in our homes. When more honey is coming in than is being eaten, the hive fills with honey. When less honey comes in than is being consumed…well you get the picture.


#6

Hi Bertram, I think you will find that if the bees have pulled honey from the frame in the super then they are clearly have room to store it in the brood box. Bees preference is always to store their honey as close to the brood and foragers entering & leaving as possible. Once that area is full, they will begin storing it upstairs. Think of it like your own home… if your kitchen is on the lower floor and the pantry is partly empty, why would you then go and put your food in the 2nd or 3rd floor? Bees are very efficient and will only travel the distance if they have to.


#7

Update:
I doubt that they have “room downstairs”, the two brood boxes are so heavy that you can hardly lift them.
My mentor tried to brush the flowframes with honeywater, the bees took the stuff up eagerly, but so far refuse to build up wax on the flow frames. We’ll try to coat them lightly with wax over the weekend, but if that doesn not help, I will have to conclude that Flowframe obviously doesn’t work for me. This is the second year I try to get bees on the flowframes to store honey. So far without any success. :neutral_face::confused::frowning::anguished::weary:


#8

Hello John,
no, didn’t coat them, will do.
So far same picture as last year: brimmingly full brood boxes, nothing going on in honey super with flow frames. Lost the bigger part of the hive in swarming subsequently.
Last year also no coating, they just filled all the gaps in the flowframes with propolis.


#9

Hi Bertram,

Sorry to hear it’s taking a while for your bees to take to your Flow Frames. I would not give up just yet :slight_smile:
I had a look from your post last year, and it looked like your hive swarmed soon after you got them into 2 brood boxes. I wouldn’t say this was a failed Flow Frame attempt, the bees didn’t even get a chance to try them last year.

I have not seen any beekeeper in real life or on the forum start with 2 boxes straight away… but maybe it’s done and I missed it. I thought the bees are better off in a small space, as they need to build up their frames, brood, and honey, and then add a second box, whether that’s a second brood box for your climate or a Super for honey storage.

I am not an experienced beekeeper, but if bees are moving honey around, or eating it - then they need to eat it.
If they need more space to put the honey - then they will move to the empty space and start to fill the empty space with honey.
Because you might have a shorter season in Germany, I would definitely recommend painting your Flow Frames with wax. There are some videos in the topic that Dawn posted earlier.
The more wax on them, the less wax the bees need to produce initially, and the more they smell like home :wink:

This picture shows you what they have to do first: image

I understand it’s hard to wait, but I am patiently waiting for my bees to move up as well :slight_smile: I moved them last week, so I know they are also getting used to the move, etc, and building up stores.

You are welcome to email customer support @Forum_Support if you would like further assistance, or post some more photos of your hive and Flow Frames on here, and the experienced Flow users will be able to help you.

:honeybee:


#10

Hello Faroe,

thanks for your help, it is sorely needed!
I have the Flowhive now since 2015. In the first year (2016), it did not work, because the hobby beekeeper I had it with probaby did not care. So: change of beekeeper.
2017 we caught a big swarm. My now beekeeper (a professional) told me to put up two brood boxes with wax foundation frames since the swarm was too big for one box. However, the swarm left after two days.
SInce then we built up the hive nicely over the winter and early spring, again the hive filles two broods, they are brimful of bees, brood, capped cells, pollen and honey. They are so heavy that they barely can be lifted.
The Honey super now is on since April 29th, so for 20 days - no wax, no honey. Even the single fully built wax frame with nectar in it that we hung into the honey super has been emptied.

I will watch the video and certainly will try to wax the flow frames and hope intensely that htis helps. Sugarwater or honey water we have tried to no avail.


#11

Bobbys video on waxing the frames is good. I just heated my wax and used a paint brush, but a roller brush might coat them more easily.

I have a few bees up there poking their heads around and sealing some gaps, after moving the wax around and eating the honey I smeared on the frames. I’ll see over the next few weeks.

I’m still too traumatized after the sicilian bees to take my gloves off to take any photos :wink: I will hopefully get some progress shots up soon :slight_smile: :honeybee:


#12

Will go to the hive tomorrow and take detailed pictures, I really want to get to the bottom of this, because lots of friends in Germany, Austria and Czech Republic are asking whether the flohive actually works, they are all very interested in it. So far I cannot even answer them


#13

We look forward to seeing more info and pics :slight_smile:

We have had success in Europe. In Germany one of our crowdfunding supporters had success here:


#14

I also am one of your crowdfunding supporters, as my hive proudly states. I believed in the system from the start! I just want to be also one of your successfull early supporters :wink:


#15

The fact that the two brood boxes are so heavy that you can hardly lift them reinforces what I said about using one brood box.

A single brood box containing mostly brood can be quite comfortable to lift. Most of that weight that you can hardly lift could have been stored in your flow frames.

That’s the way I see it, cheers


#16

Rubbing some was over the comb or heating some wax to melted and brushing it on is the way to go to get them interested in the flow frames. Those photos of the brood frames look great.
Don’t give up on the flow frames. The amount of honey the bees have in storage will fluctuate during a season as the bees sometimes gather a surplus and sometimes not.
I have flow frame supers in my lounge room but in a month or 2 they will be used on the hives. Remember they are used by the bees for storing nectar and making honey when there is a ‘flow’ on, good flowering and the bees are had working.
Sugar water will not get the bees to use the flow frames, that won;t work at all but there are folks who have had their flow frames ignored till they paint on some wax so that the bees accept them as bees wax combs.
Regards


#17

Update on the situation:
been at the hive and made some pics. Bees are busy getting honey, but my gals are not doing as I expect them: they are storing everything in the brood boxes.


But in the honey super: emptiness. They cleaned out the flowframes nicely, even yesteryears propolis is gone. But that’s about the size of it. Even the waxframe we hung in there is emptied.


We’ll waxcoat the flowframes tomorrow, and once they start building, I’ll personally decap the honey cells in the broodfames. Yes, I am devious. But I want honey!


#18

If you really want honey, you need to reduce them to one broodbox. Your broodboxes simply aren’t full enough yet.


#19

I agree with webclan, reduce to one brood box and place the Flow frame on top of it with a queen excluder.

We also are founding supporters living in a northern climate, and we too have had more problems with enticing the bees into using the Flow frames than those who enjoy year round beekeeping.

This year we are using one brood box and placing the Flow on top of it. After we harvest the Flow frames (fingers crossed) we will add our medium honey supers for the bees to put up their winter stores.

Good luck!
:purple_heart::honeybee:


Advice needed: Bees seem to reject Floframes
#20

If i reduced to one brood box:
A) how to proceed?
B) what to do with the honey in brood box?
C) what to do with the brood in brood box?