This is my first year with the flow hive. I am in Indiana and I have been told to harvest before the goldenrod blooms ( which is soon). My bees are very active on the flow frames but so far there is no substantial honey in them. What do I do? Do I remove the super see what is in the brood box? What do I do with the flow frames until next year? I was so looking forward to seeing them work. Any advice is appreciated.
Very sensible as goldenrod honey has a strong smell and it crystallizes fast = not good for Flow frames. If you are worried about space for the goldenrod flow, you could put a medium or shallow traditional super on top of the hive for the remainder of the season, then take it off in September.
Yes, you should have been looking in the brood box every one to two weeks all season, and you should probably have 2 deep brood boxes with your climate.
Personally I wrap them with cling wrap, put them in the freezer for 48 hours and then put them back into the Flow super inside a large black contractors’ trash bag tightly tied off. That protects them from insects and rodents over winter. Then next spring (about March or April), when your hive is strong and the nectar is flowing, put them back on (after filling a second brood box first).
Wishing you all the best!
Looking in brood box would be good start. If you have not monitored brood box and used swarm prevention techniques they probably swarmed on you. Make sure hive is queen right. The amount of brood and stores. I would pull flow hive and queen excluder, get hive ready for fall flow and winter. You will need a healthy mite free strong colony before winter. Forget about harvesting any honey except what is in flow hive. Saying that you could feed 2 to 1 sugar syrup if they need it. Hopefully you have some drawn comb frames to add when they need it. If uncomfortable get a club member or knowledge friend to help. I think time to do this is now. Don’t delay.
When I put the super on the brood box was very full so I assumed they would really start filling it. I got this hive the third week of May so I’m not sure if that is part of it. I tried not to bother the bees too much other than putting in the mite traps. I’m disappointed but I’m not giving up. Thank you for your help.
That is a big help thank you so much!
From may till now is not very long in bee terms so it’s not really surprising that they havn’t put much honey upstairs yet. there are multiple reasons why they could be slow- the colony may not yet be strong enough to send out enough foragers to collect substantial surplus nectar, there may have been a local dearth of nectar, or there could be some other thing that is setting back the colony. Bees will only fill any super when they have surplus nectar- and enough bees to collect it. Often a colony will only be productive in the second year. Some years you may not get any honey at all. Some years you can have two colonies side by side and one will produce a lot of honey and the other none- though they appear to be of similar strength.
I used a paint brush to paint the flow frames with melted bee wax before I put my super onto the hive, the bees started filling it with honey inside of a week. I also added a flow super to another hive about the same number of bees without waxing the combs and after 6 weeks of total inaction I also waxed those frames and after 5 days the bees were up in the super with the first of the honey.
Bees work by their time and what they have as available nectar, just sit back and relax, it will happen when everything is right for the bees.
That’s a great idea! I did press some wax into the frame and it seemed to help. When I look through the viewing window of my flowhive 2 there are a lot of bees working but just a small amount of honey. I wish I had 1 more month . I will try this next year for sure. Thank you!
I have 2 hives, the one I got in May was a recent split and my other one had a second box added about a month before I added the super. I guess it makes sense that they wouldn’t have them filled yet. We live on 6 acres with tons of clover. I’m planning on planting an acre of buckwheat next year. Thank you for the info.
In her climate (similar to mine) May through now is an eternity in the bee world: We can go from 0 to swarming in a month and still get 60 to over 100 lbs of honey, I know I did. The honey flow may be short but it is fierce.