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Bees will not use flow frames

Hi there. Is it possible that my bees don’t like the flow frames? I have 2 strong hives and the bees just will not use the flow frames. They wax them up - all ready but no go. This is year 2 and no honey.

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Your description that the frames are waxed up (cells completed?) and still no honey makes me wonder if the nectar is just not plentiful enough. What does the brood box look like?

There are a number of threads about encouraging the bees to work the frames but that doesn’t seem to be your issue.

How are the stores in the brood box? The super is overflow. They will store close to the brood first. What is the density of bees like in the super?

Like this? Or sparse?

Lots and lots of brood in both boxes - and lots of honey.
The bees go up there - lots of activity - but no honey.

Yes - like that. Bees everywhere.
Last year same thing too. I am genuinely surprised each time I do an inspection to find no honey given the activity.

I do wonder about the nectar flow. I have 2 brood boxes for each hive - they are absolutely packed with bees to the point of no more room - so much brood - drone cells etc. But also lots of honey.

I compare my hives to a neighbour down the road - and we don’t seem to be doing any thing different with our beekeeping practice but she has lots of honey and I seem to have a lot more bees!

Its so weird!

I might take the flow frame super off one hive and replace with standard frames and see what happens perhaps.

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Good idea. I run a single brood box. It’s worth considering that 2 brood boxes means more mouths to feed… with the other part of the equation being nectar availability… but generally the practice is to see what others are doing in the local area, if most are going 2 brood boxes, then that must be the practice in your area. Usually in the more cooler climates, it’s typical to see 2 brood boxes.

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As Fred said, Jo, double brood boxes means more honey consumed by bees. Consider running singles. I run single 8F broods year round. There’s plenty of room for the queen to lay and they’ll produce more honey. Swarm management? Easy! Replace the queen every one or two years and cycle brood frames in spring. But that’s another story. Yes single brood boxes work in cold climates.

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Even in cold places in North America people successfully overwinter singles and even nucs.

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