Bees don't seem to want to use the flow frames


I equipped my flow hive with bees in November.

I opened up my hive today for an inspection. When I look at the flow frames, only a couple of them are being used, and they are only about 1/4 capped. I can see where the bees have sealed the gaps in the cells on preparation of accepting the honey, but they are not being used. The bees are healthy and very active, and we have just gone through summer and into Autumn so I thought that there would be better results than this.

When i look at the frames in the brood box, they are bursting with honey! It is almost as if the bees don’t want to use the flow frames.

Anyone else experiencing this?



I take it that you are going into winter now, can’t see your location. It may be that your bees have not built up enough to use a honey super, they may not like going through the QE or the season has not been good enough for them to need the room in the super.


Hi Rob,

I am in Lismore, NSW. It is sub-tropical. All the other bee keepers in the local group have been getting good honey. And when I look at the super versus the flow hives, it doesn’t make sense. As I said, the supers are bursting with honey while the flow hive has hardly any. That doesn’t make sense to me. You would expect the bees to use whatever is available to store honey in, and what I am seeing is almost a reluctance to use the flow hive frames.

Having used a lot of fully drawn plastic in the past (PermaComb and Honey Super Cell), I was used to a lot of reluctance. I was pleasantly surprised how quickly they worked the Flow frames. In my experience with any plastic once they use it they treat it like any other comb. Bees are always reluctant to use comb on the other side of an excluder…

From Cedar - If the brood box is packed and there isn’t any action on the Flow comb at all, try pressing some burr comb or wax foundation into some of the Flow combs. The bees will reuse the wax on the Flow comb. I imagine that once they take to it for a first time you shouldn’t have any trouble after that.

I hope you get some results before the season is out.

This Flow user had no problems… WOW, WOW and WOW! :)

The other info that was mentioned - but it looks like you have covered is -

Have you pulled out any of the Flow frames to see if they are starting to put honey in the centre? Or have they waxed any cell joins? Did you set the Flow combs into the cell closed position with the key before installing? Are all of the frames in the brood box drawn and full of brood, pollen or honey yet?

I used a stick of wax I melted and shaped into a 1oz ingot and rubbed it over the frames like an erasor

Most suppliers do the Wax/Soap moulds and it is a good way to store the scrap wax

It could just be that the bees are slowing down a bit and backfilling the brood nest for winter.


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