Bees not taking to frames

I’m about to start my journey into beekeeping and one concern that has come up while reading through books and forums is that bees sometimes don’t take to the plastic frames in the flow hive unless there’s a strong nectar flow.
My question is, if my bees have a slow start my first season, will they be okay come winter time? I’m okay if I don’t personally have a harvest, but I’m worried about them having enough.

Hello and welcome to the Flow forum! :blush:

In your climate, you should have 2 deeps for brood. I think that you will find that most beekeepers in Washington state run 2 brood boxes, so that the bees will have enough food for the winter and even with a Flow hive, you should do the same. Also, you should take the Flow super off by about September (after the last nectar flow). In subtropical climates, it can be left on the hive, but there are many reasons why this is not a good idea in colder climates. :wink:


Awesome! Thank you. Another question, are you saying to have two brood boxes because they will likely fill them both up? And does that mean I don’t need to worry about them not taking to the plastic frames?

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Not exactly. I am saying 2 brood boxes because they will need that much space for winter food stores. The way to do it is start with one, and when it is around 80% full of food and brood, plus every frame is covered with bees, you add the second box. When that one is also 80% full, you can add a super. They will probably fill the 2 brood boxes, if you get a nucleus and get them started early enough in the season. They may not get as far as being able to work on the super though. It varies quite a bit from year to year, depending on rainfall and nectar flow.

The general advice in your type of climate is not to expect a harvest in the first year. However, if you keep them healthy and treat for varroa, they will get a very strong start in 2024 and you should have a very good harvest.

You do need a strong hive, with good nectar flow and some burr comb smeared onto the plastic Flow frames to encourage the bees to use them though. :wink:


Thank you so much! This is great advice and highly appreciated :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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We always defer to local knowledge when it comes to beekeeping matters (particularly when it comes from very experienced beekeepers like the lovely Dawn!) In general - the most appropriate methods can vary enormously depending on local conditions. We have seen many beekeepers get a good harvest in the first year by working the bees a little, starting out with one brood box and adding the Flow Super to this once it’s well established. Then once the bees are bringing in nectar to the Flow Super, adding the second brood box, taking into account the bee population. This should see the bees using the nectar in the Flow Frames to build out the second brood box, and also fast track them to working on both boxes at the same time. But again - Dawn has extensive experience in beekeeing in colder climates while we don’t - while most of our staff have some beekeeping experience, our knowledge of keeping bees in your particular climate is mainly second hand. We’d love to hear how you go if you feel inclined to post an update.

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