Brood frames as received

Received flow hive with 8 brood frames. If I get a nuc do I just replace the unused frames with the nuc frames? And… The frames dont have foundations. Is it common to just expect bees to build out the frames without the foundations?

I am going to attempt to answer this just to see that I am corrected or not. For I will be in your exact scenario in about 45 days. I have my hive box and get a 5 frame and nuc March 12.

  1. Set everything up where you want your hive to sit.
  2. If your new beekeeper like myself, it may be best to remove all frames out of your new hive body
  3. Then place your nuc frames in your new hive body in the exact same order in the center of the hive body, that they were sitting in the nuc
  4. Then place your foundation less frames in on either side, of the nuc frames you just put in. - And to answer your question above, yes they will start building immediately. Make sure your starter strip is in place to help guide them.
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I agree with Marty (nice answer, Marty, well done! :smile: ). The only thing I would add is do not rotate the frames when you put them into your Flow hive. In other words, keep the same sides of the frames facing each other when you transfer them over. The easiest way to do this is put your nucleus next to your empty hive. If it has a front entrance, make sure the nucleus front entrance is facing in the same direction as the empty hive entrance. Then follow Marty’s instructions, just lifting each frame up and gently placing it into the lowest empty box. Finally put your empty foundationless frames in the empty spaces on either side of the nucleus, so that you have 8 frames in the box. You will have some frames left over, just keep them for later.

One final thought is that you will probably need to feed your bees until all frames have mostly drawn comb on them. Making wax takes a lot of food, and if the nectar flow isn’t very strong, 2-8 weeks of feeding is often needed.


Thank YOU Dawn, I like learning by being correct or as you so nicely did expanded my thoughts!!! it truly helped me understand a bit more.

Dawn, Could you please explain why you have to “keep the same sides of the frames facing each other when you transfer them over. ?”

Can I?
The bees have a brood nest and the drawn frames compliment each other. They need to be in the same order. It’s like having a kitchen flowing into a dining room one side and utility room on the other, not having a utility room going into a bedroom going into a kitchen.
The bees have made their nest and you should keep it intact.


Exactly! :wink: Great minds think alike… :smile:

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Dawn I wonder could you tell me why the f;ow hive is supplied with 8 frames as it seems 9 would fit perfectly? Is it recommended to leave a space either side of the frames?

The folks at my BKA seem to be thinking it should have 9?

Many thanks

Not Dawn, but I can tell you.
9 new frames might fit just right but by the time the bees have added wax and propolis to the top bars they will be a really tight fit and taking the first one out will squash bees.
So…you put 8 in and a thin dummy board against the last one, so the space is at one end not at each end. You can take this out by sliding it away, lifting it out and putting it aside. Then taking brood frames out is easier as you have more space.

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Thank you for that explanation Dee

it may be good to number your frames to keep them in order. You should also pay attention to not letting go of the frames when you take them out so you put them in facing the same way. I plan to write small numbers on my frames on one side (from 1 to 8 in an 8 frame hive say on the entrance side) so that i always put them back in the same order and orientation.


Hi @Dee were do you get the dummy board and do you have a pic?

I agree with @Dee. :smile:

Most bee suppliers have them. Mann Lake has this one: