Recently, purchased an Acura Flow Hive. Received it on Monday, assembled it and coated with clear sealant to preserve the wood. Tuesday, purchased a queen excluder, (metal type) and today instaled the Flow Hive on the brood box, in which the swarm resided that I captured last spring. Boy, was I in for a surprise.
Other that the Flow hive, I purchase all my needs from local suppliers. They supply me with a lid for the hive boxes which has about a 13/4’ gap between the top of the lid, and the top of the frames. On the front and back of the lid are two holes fitted with mesh to provide ventilation.
A couple of days ago, I observed bees trying to gain access to this lid via the mesh covered holes, and I was wondering why they were doing this. Never observed this behaviour before.
Well today I found out. After removing the lid, I discovered the bees had built honeycomb in the gap between the inside top of the lid and the top of the wax frames. The honey comb was in a star shape and chocker block with honey. This after only a few weeks, amazed me. Bees were everywhere, comb had to be removed and frame tops cleaned up. Had 1/3 bucket of honey and comb with bees mixed in.
Fortunately, had at hand board lid to go on top of the Flow hive. But said lid has hole cut in center for ventilation, so I’m still expecting bees to go back inside under the lid. Hope I’m wrong.
My earlier Chinese knock off Flow hive, also had a flat board with hole in center, and the instructions said to place this on top, but seeings as I had a local lid,(as just explained) I used that instead.
Then I discovered, accessing the Flow hive slots to crank the inserts, allowed bees to escape as there was a gap between the top of the flow hive elements and the locally produced lid. This gap would not have been there, if I had installed the board with the hole in the center. So now, I need to also, lift the lid on that hive as well, and install said board to prevent access to the lid void and escape routes via the flow hive elements.
I’m a bit upset to see the amount of honey going to waste from this darn execercise and the bees I’ve lost as well. Hopefully, they’ll clean themselves up a little a re-instal the honey I’ve left in the bucket in front of their brood box.