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Bees before or after Flow Hive arrives?


Hi all

I’m a beekeeping novice. I’m reading about beekeeping but finding it hard to translate that knowledge into what is best for Flow Hive. I’m going to get mine in September and am wondering if I should establish a hive beforehand or after?

Should I be purchasing a nuc and building up a brood box in anticipation of receiving the Flow Hive? Or would the transition to a Flow Hive from that be difficult?

Any thoughts or advice would be so appreciated.


Hi Racheous, before or after is up to you, if you have access to some bees in a hive & you have the confidence, before is fine, it is easy to transfer the bees to a new box…You’ll need a little bit of time to assemble the hive, paint it & let the fresh paint smell dissipate a bit. If you acquire a nuc, it will build up nicely for you during that process. good luck.


Hi Racheous. I’m an absolute novice too. I’m planning on setting up my hive before the honey flow unit arrives in December. I will be building a super for the honey flow and it will be going on top of my hive.


You might consider the season in your area. I would not want to establish a hive in the fall and have to feed it thru the winter. If September is fall in your area that might be the determining factor.

I am in California and getting my Flow in December.I am not starting before hand. Since I am getting the full kit I would be winding up with extra frames once the Flow frames arrived and my yard is tiny so I don’t want extra equipment to start to stack up (OK, OK, I can already hear you all cracking up and thinkin "good luck with THAT dream ; -)

My own plan is t get the hive for Christmas (I have NEVER bought myself such a cool OR expensive self present!!) and build it over the winter and then catch the first swarm that comes along!


@racheous G’day Rachel.
I’m a NewBee my first Flow should be coming in September as well.

I’m in the UK and fell in quickly - I have read and studied loads since February, non stop.

I got 2 NUC’s of bees Wednesday last week, one is last years Queen and laying profusely - Have already settled the NUC into a Brood Box. Probably wont get any honey this year unless today’s Summer that has finally kicked of lasts well into September.

My second NUC is this years Queen and she is chugging along - may get her in a brood box by the end of July and stores for next winter but not much more.

So far I have learnt you need patience, ask loads of questions than then some, after a bit you can start interpreting the answers you get and work out who best to rely on.

Join a local bee keepers association - a Must - 10 bee keepers will give you 11 answers, you need to learn enough to work out what will work best in your circumstances. Keep an open mind, you may want to revise some of you thoughts at an early point because when people tell you to do something and you can’t see why, they probably have not told you the full story. getting the facts behind the answer will help you to see why a particular way is better.

Think on your feet, go with gut reactions,

Best of all you will just love having bees! :bee: :bee: :bee: :bee: :bee: :bee: :bee:


Hi Sara, I am in Southern California. Do you have a suggestion for a good local or regional supplier for acquiring bees? Thanks.


Sorry, no, I don’t know about local suppliers. My Dad and I gave up on buying bees and Queens years ago. We find the local swarms in general to be much hardier and resilient, so we only use swarms. Currently we have 3 hives down from 7 over the course of a few years. The three hives were all started with swarms and have stayed healthy and productive with little or no interference. We had one weak hive that was small and seemed queenless at the end of winter and we combined it with the smallest of the three to bring it up to speed.

The only thought I have personally is that it is better, in my small experience, to acquire bees very locally, not shipped from across the country.


Another option is to try and lure some bees in. There was a bit of a discussion on lures, here:
As spring comes on I will endeavor to give this a go if I don’t catch a swarm first.


Hi Jake, if the bees are doing similar down there as what they’re doing here. You’ll have no trouble picking up a swarm. I picked one up last week plus a lot of mine would have swarmed if I didn’t intervene. What have we got, one more week of winter. 10 days.


Hey BeePaulin
hes a great guy and supplies any level of bees you need from nuc to full raging colonies…


Thank you, Sara, for the helpful reply. I appreciate you sharing your experiences.


If you are serious about keeping bees you might as well get started now. You will need to learn as much as you can about taking care of bees anyway and from a personal POV I don’t think you will learn as much from reading as actually doing it. However it is a little late in the year to make honey unless you can buy an established colony from somebody. It’s very fun and exciting as well. I started with 4 hives this year and it doesn’t matter to me whether the flow frame will work or not. I hope it does because I spent the money on it, but for me anyway it’s not the main reason I’m doing this. I think if you are interested in bees then by all means get into it, but if you just want to make a little honey for yourself by using the flowframes then wait. In most places September is the beginning of Fall if you are in the US, opposite in Australia, and you’ll need to be thinking of wintering your bees which means keeping them fed through the cold months especially if they don’t have enough honey stored for themselves in their broodboxes. If you aren’t prepared for that then don’t get any because you might just loose your bees. At any rate since the Flowframes won’t come till fall or winter you might as well wait and get your bees as early in spring as you can. For us it’s around April. My bees came from spliting hives and were already established hives and already had brood and strong queens in them. I’ve already got supers on all my hives and the bees are getting started on them as well, but I don’t expect much honey until end of July or early August at any rate. Come September I will be wintering my bees in some harsh Wyoming climate and have learned a technique from a friend that will help them survive, but it requires some contruction on my part. However I just learned about a product called a Bee Cozy. I watched a video and will probably buy them first instead of building and outside box which is what my friend does with his.


Hello Sara. These are my plans exactly. I too will be getting my Full Flow Hive in December. It was a early holiday gift to myself. I’ll be locating my hive on forty untouched acres away out into the country here in Tennessee where I plan to retire and tend my bees. Best wishes to you and to everyone on their new journeys!


It depends on your location. Let’s say you’re getting the “Full Flow Hive”. That consists of 1 deep hive body for the brood nest and 1 flow super for the honey. If you have any kind of winter, <50f, you’ll want 2 deep boxes for the brood nest and at least 2 boxes for your honey. If that’s the case, start the hive now and then you can add your Flow stuff to the top of it to have a complete hive. I’m in New Jersey and here I need at least 2 deep boxes for brood but I use 3. Good luck to you :slight_smile: