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Bees partially filling flow frames (50% only)

Hi all,

This is my second flow hive. I’ve had no problems with the first one.

However, I’ve found on the second new hive the bees are only filling the outside of the (super) frames. Frames 1 & 7 are 100% both sides, but all the other frames they purposely leave 50% empty in the middle. I’ve left them for a couple of weeks to see if they fill them further but nothing.

I can see that they’ve filled the gaps with wax, but just refuse to put any honey in. The colony is very strong and there’s plenty of food around.

I was thinking of cracking them, taking them out and washing them down and putting back in?

Anyone else found this?

Thanks!

Hi again,

After reading a few posts i see that they’re leaving it for brood.

Can anyone recommend a way to avoid this?

What about swapping the frames around? Ie full outside frames to the middle then extracting?

Thanks!

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Welcome and well done on coming up with a good solution. There’s a few west aussies here, so you’re in good company :wink:

Perhaps the hive isn’t as strong as hoped for or the nectar flow is slowing down or the bees are using the nectar for the nucleus of the hive? I find my weaker hives tend to do that.

Very astute observation Zen1…and not a nectar placement pattern exclusive to Flowhives…traditional hives show this absence of filled cells immediately above the queen excluder also.

In my experience, this pattern existed in most of my Flowhives even if there was a honeyflow on and with very strong hives…so I really scratched my head. What was going on here? Thanks to this forum I may of found a solution when Michael_Bush suggested excessive empty cells above the queen excluder may be related to an inadequate drone population. He had a point as in my case I had traditionally, vigorously culled brood comb so brood chambers contained next to no drone cells…just worker cells. I wanted worker bees…I was after honey production. There were other reasons for this vigorous culling also.

So the next season I inserted these drone bait combs on the outside frames of my single brood chambers.

Perfect drone comb was built out in every case…and it appeared that the bees stored honey much more readily above the queen excluder. It will take a few more seasons to confirm this absolutely.

As a side note, these drone bait combs are also varroa mite bait combs…a biological way of controlling the mite. Those mostly foundationless brood combs can be simply treated as a comb honey frame…cutting it out of the frame…and in this case discarding the varroa infected comb. Also I now could restrict drone development to individual frames instead of dealing with drone comb on all the bottoms of the other brood frames…actually making beekeeping much more enjoyable.

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…straight into the chicken yard :bento::rooster:

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I’ve had boxes above the QX that the bees have left room for the queen to lay eggs, which of course she can’t do, but the bees don’t follow what a QX does. I have also had the bees fill the middle frames before filling the outer frames.
I certainly wouldn’t take the frames out, crack and wash them. But you might try switching the Flow Frames around but if there is a strong nectar flow happening you shouldn’t need to do anything except waiting for it to happen.
Cheers

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