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Beginner Questions about introducing Bees

Hello All! Super excited to join this amazing community!

My husband and I just purchased 2 Flow Hive 2’s and are just beginning our journey into beekeeping.

Would anyone like to share their wisdom on how to introduce a new nuc to the Flow Hive 2? Or what your first step should be? Also, being that we purchased 2 hives - how far apart from each other do they have to be?

Thank you in advance!!

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You can have your hives touching each other, however the roof overhang would prevent that from happening. Therefore you could have them close enough for the roofs to almost touch other.

@VinoFarm is not far from you. He would be a good bloke to follow with his Youtube channel. Also @Eva has had a great deal of experience with flow hives & is not far from you either.

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Hi Caitlin,

A local mentor, as Jeff’s suggested, would be a great idea, as they will understand your local conditions and how this impacts on your colony, better than we could ever hope to from here.

Your bees can remain in the nuc for a few days (at least one is good). Sit it atop the brood box in the meantime (which in turn will be positioned on the base).

To install your nuc, pop on your protective gear, puff some smoke, gently lift the brood frames from the nuc box, and place them in your new brood box. You’ll need to ensure that the frames are placed in the brood box in the same order and direction as they were in the nuc. I’d put all of the nuc frames to the centre, with your added empty frames on either side, but as an alternative, if you’re in a warm enough climate you can checkerboard the frames in the brood box to support straight comb building i.e. a blank frame in between each drawn frame.

Take your nuc and hold it above the brood box, tap gently to encourage the remaining bees into the brood box.

You will notice the frames leave a little wriggle room and may think you need one more frame - you don’t. Just push them all towards the centre of the box. You’ll need this extra room at either side for easy access come inspection time.

Pop your inner cover and roof on, and if you wish, place a small branch in front of the entrance (this will let the bees know something has changed in their environment, and trigger them to reorient themselves).

Let them settle in for up to a week or so before inspecting the brood box, and be sure to wait until the brood box is well established and completely pumping with bees before adding your super.

If you are using foundationless frames, you will need to inspect the hive a couple of times as the brood frames are established, to avoid cross-combing, and correct them if needed.

You’re on your way… happy beekeeping!

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Hi Caitlin and welcome to the forum! How exciting to be starting out this spring. Are you connected to a local club or taking a class? I strongly recommend this, and will just add that having the Flow system doesn’t change what you do to take care of your bees, just the way you harvest honey - so, no worries if beekeepers nearby aren’t familiar with it. It will really benefit you to be able to see inspections conducted in person as you get started. And as Jeff mentioned, I’m your ‘neighbor’ here in PA - though we’re a good two hours apart our climate and seasonal changes are about the same so I’ll be happy to advise as needed.

Please keep us posted on your progress and keep asking questions! :cherry_blossom::honeybee:

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Wow! Thank you so much for taking the time to write out such a detailed response and the wealth of information and advise! It is so beyond appreciated and I’m sorry for just now responding!

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Hi Jeff! So sorry for just now responding. Thank you so much for that information and for pointing me to some people close to me! It’s truly appreciated!!

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Hi Eva!

Thank you so much! Yes we are starting our research before everything arrives and want to make sure we do the best possible to properly care for our bees. That’s so exciting that you are close… 2 hours isn’t bad. Would love to stay connected :slight_smile: I will be sure to keep everyone posted. Thank you for extending your wisdom to us!

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You’re most welcome Caitlin, I thought of Vino farm because he started out with foundationless frames, which gave him all sorts of grief. Then I thought of Eva who is successful with foundationless frames. You got some good advice from Eva & @Freebee2. Good luck with your beekeeping journey.

cheers

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