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Bees on then not on Flow Frames

I am in Perth WA, I put a new waxed Flow super on just over a week ago and a heap of bees took to it straight away and started working it, plenty of bees all over them. on the days i checked the side and back windows always had bees. I checked the side window this morning and no bees, however, there were still some visible in the centre frames when looking in the back window. just seems to be a lot less overall though.
Has anyone come across this?

Thats not necessarily anything to worry about. Bees do different chores depending on their needs and factors such as the weather and available honey flows.
For example, when you added the super they may have decided that it was a good idea to move some stores up from the brood box to give the queen more room to lay, and now the priority might be tending to larvae etc
The brood nest and numbers in general should be building up nicely now and that is a better guide that all is well.

Hi BC, could be as Jim said, and the bees are working harder on nectar storage there in the center frames where they usually begin in any hive, and will eventually build outward.

Another consideration is whether your colony might have swarmed.

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Have you checked in the brood box recently for queen cells? It is possible that they swarmed. :blush:

Hi Guys, thanks for replies, they were back last night, so maybe moving around as Jim suggested. Removed some Queen cells last inspection and plan to do a full inspection this weekend. will have been 9 days Sat so don’t want to leave it any longer.

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That won’t prevent a swarm… Old-timers do that, but current advice is to split when you see queen cells:



Exactly the same thing happenend to me. I had a quick look under the super to see if they were there, on a day that was too cold for anything more and it was bustling. I thought, OK they’re happy with all the extra space. I also quickly looked on the middle flow frame and it was nearly full but uncapped.

About a week or ten days later they swarmed and I found them at 6:15 pm in a tree (13 degrees) on Wednesday - not a happy bunch at that time and temp, but I got them in a box and transferred them to a nuc yesterday.

The weather has been appalling and will have to wait until it’s Wednesday until it’s warm enough to have another look.

Just a question. I’ve got a little hive mat in the nuc. Which way is up? Fuzzy side or vinyl side points to the ceiling? Thanks

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I don’t use them, but I would recommend vinyl side down. The reasons are:

  1. Bees propolize. Smooth surfaces don’t stick as much, so the mats will be easier to remove with the smooth side down
  2. Fuzzy surfaces can trap bee feet, I would prefer it if they were on the side that should have fewer bees
  3. If you ever get condensation, fuzzy will hold the moisture and may drip longer or grow mould

OK, FWIW, that is my humble opinion…


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Thanks Dawn. Much appreciated. I was also thinking of feeding them as the weather has been winter like, with more rain forecast this week. I thought I’d but some zip-lock bags in above the hive mat with pic pricks and 50:50 sugar syrup. Does this sound like a good move or should I just leave them alone.
They are in the 4 frame nuc with frames and foundation (not drawn out).

Many thanks again!

Feeding syrup as you describe would be fine, as long as the overnight temps are predicted to be about 13°C or above. If not, bees won’t take syrup, and you will need fondant/candy or solid sugar.

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Ok, I’ll scrap that idea then for now. Forecast top temp of 11 tomorrow :cold_face:
Thanks very much again!