I have 5 flow hives and started in late august with 5 nucs all 5 frames .
Put the top honey supers on about 2 months ago on 2 hives and the rest only 4 weeks ago when they were 80% full in the brood boxes but now 100% full
After today’s inspection of the brood boxes .
The bees have built up all the 5 empty frames with capped honey and eggs / larvae so all going well down stairs in brood box.
2 hives 40% uncapped honey in flow frames box from
Centre of frames out
2 hives 20% uncapped honey in flow frames
1 hives 10% uncapped honey in flow frames
I started off with 1 hives and the other 4 every 3 weeks apart from Late August to early December.
DO I need to do anything to the brood boxes below all the honey flow frame supers if there all going strong n healthy last inspection before I added the flow hive super box on top ?
It’ will be bloody heavy having to lift this off all the time if all the 7 flow frames are full of honey .
Also why is it taking so long to full the flow frames when I started seeing honey in the glass window 2 months ago and it would come and go !!
We have had a lot of rain this spring and had rain for weeks over Xmas and New Years but clear skies ahead now predicted
Would be greatly appreciated as only new to beekeeping (6 months )
We live in Berowra heights right on the national park so bush bush and more bush as far as you can see.
Not to many flowering plants at the moment that I can see either as summer here and 38 degrees today
Hiya Pauly, I know nothing about your area’s seasonal changes but am wondering if there is a bit of a nectar dearth now, after a good run in December. The bees may be using the stores you saw in the Flow supers to feed brood now. The incremental differences in storage amounts could reflect slight differences in colony strength, so I would keep an eye on the slower ones for pests and for signs of queenlessness. These ones could have possibly swarmed already as well.
Lifting a whole super off is not necessary, by the way - you can bring an empty deep box with you and rest a few Flow frames in it to lighten the Flow super box before you take it off. The frames won’t set all the way in a regular deep, but will hold them upright well enough.
It’s great that you have multiple colonies going as a beginner as it directly allows you to experience how different colony’s perform differently, some progressing slower/faster, show different dispositions e.g. calm to aggressive.
Some key tips I recommend include:
- Only add the Flow Super when the brood box is at least 80-90% capacity with drawn comb and resources and you know there is adequate forage available for them
- Your brood box should be packed with bees before placing the super on top
- The bees will generally only start working on the Flow Frames once the bottom box(es) are at capacity and they are able to progress with their expansion due to population and forage availability
- The bees will start working on the centre Flow Frames first and work their way out. So if you opened up the Flow Super you might notice honey in the centre frames. The first sign that the bees are working on the Flow Frames are little wax deposits between the cells.
- Lots of rain will set a colony back as bees don’t forage much in high times of rain. Also, lots of rain can wash away nectar from flowers.
You’re doing a great job at observing your colonies and asking for advice. I believe one of the most important elements for this stage of your learning is simply spending the time with your bees, absorbing their behaviours and the local environment to make connections and begin to understand what they need.