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Are four flow frames potentially as good as 6? Any hybrid flow user experience?


#1

My new hive design incorporates 4 flow frames. I chose to go with less to keep the cost of the hive down: but also because I figured- if you harvest more often- you could potentially harvest the same amount of honey from 4 frames as you could from 6? Does this make sense? It seems to me part of the reason commercial beekeepers use multiple supers is practicality: they cannot go and remove and replace full supers as often so install more and harvest more all in one swoop. Is this accurate? My beehive is designed for non-commercial urban/backyard use- so there should be no issue in general with harvesting more often.

Perhaps there is more to having multiple supers: when a colony is absolutely booming with a very large population- in a nectar flow- maybe they need multiple supers just to give them all room enough to work frames at the same time? So in this case 4 flow frames would limit the bees ability through sheer overcrowding at the frame? (if this is an issue: that’s ok for my design - as I can add shallow supers for comb production during peak season, heh heh)

I am wondering if their are any Flow Hybrid users who have already made multiple harvests from their frames. I imagine some hybrid users would leave the standard frames as food for the bees- and only harvest the flow frames- in which case they would essentially be working with a 3 or 4 frame super as far as harvest are concerned. So if my theory is correct- they would be able to harvest a little more often than people using 6 or 7 flow frames- and over time harvest the same amount? The only limit being the availability of forage?

a penny for your thoughts.


#2

I think all Flow hive users should be hybrids when you think about it “What are you going to do for brood management?” I guess if you have multiple brood chambers then you could leave all your honey frames in but for some of us who manage our brood, the honey frames are moved up above the queen excluder and into the super. You can either over or under-super, I tend move some capped brood frames above the excluder as well after shaking the bees off. Spring will be here shortly and once the temp is consistently above 20C, the external wall honey frames come out of the brood and up above the Flow super (over super but if any capped brood is moved up then this should be under-supered) and new frames are then replaced into the brood chamber for more brood as part of the spring build up. So what do you do with those extra few honey frames? Leave them or wait till you have a full super of honey frames and then harvest. If you plan to use mediums or ideals as supers then this will inhibit any brood management that you may have planned and you will need to re-think your whole approach. Hope this makes sense, so many ways to keep bees! :slight_smile:


#3

A ha- Rodderick- my hive should be ideally suited to brood management- it’s a horizontal hive exactly the length of two 10 frame deeps. I can fit four flow frames and around 14 regular frames. Using dividing boards I can increase or decrease the size- and I can move frames of honey or brood either side if my vertical queen excluder- and I can even split the hive into two hives or 3 hives if i wanted to make queens, make a split- prevent or recombine swarms.

At the height of the season the hive can expand to fill the box- then it can be shrunk down for winter. Old combs can be rotated out and replaced easily. I hope to utilize the flow frames as winter stores and never remove them.

The shallow supers can be added just for comb honey at the height of the season.


#4

Hi all,

Washington State giving my 2 cents … Running double deep during out cool wet winter here in Puget Sound. Next Spring I should as usual find my colony has moved up n stayed in the deep honey box. Usually the queen starts laying up here n the lower brood box is empty. I’ll flip the two hive boxes so the upper with laying queen n brood becomes once again the lower brood box. The Early Spring flow should get the colony to start n fill the upper second deep box … As I find this near 75 to 85% (roughly) I’ll once again add the QE n my Flow-Super. Then as I see the Flow-frames more than half filled I’ll start adding normal 8 frame shallow honey supers. If an issue presents itself along the way yours truly will adjust this simple game plan where needed. Bees will be :honeybee::honeybee::honeybee::honeybee:’s … As I said that’s what works up here Flow-Hive in the Cascade foothills 20 some miles SE of Seattle.

Pix of my Flow-Hive Pagoda ! :wink::+1:

Ta ta n moving on my friends,
Gerald


#5

Ohhhh ! Addendum; my pollen trap is under all this when I add somewhere in July when the colony had more than enough Pollen resources stored up in the lower two deeps.

hone<img src="/uploads/honeyflow/original/2X/6/60a116c563c000683009f45a27c16087a8733678.jpg" width=“281” height="50 Cheers n pass the honey n pollen !

Gerald :smile::bulb:


#6

I love BeeKeeping because so many things seem to work short of something really DUMB ! " Different stokes for different folks ". Is what my mama use to always say ! Have a great day … Keep on keeping on !!

Gerald

s thirsty bee


#7

Thanks for the input chaps- I am still wondering though- are 4 flow frames potentially as good as 6?