Brood in my super

Did a hive inspection yesterday and found capped brood in one super frame. Is this common? What’s going on?

Is your Queen excluder on?

We found the queen in the brood box during the inspection

Some small Queens can get through an excluder, although if she has moved back down to the brood box she should stay there. If there is only a small amount of brood in the super, it was probably a temporary foray into the super. If the supers are filled with honey she will not go there to lay. If you are not on a nectar flow at the moment, I would take the super off, and then place it on again once a flow starts. The other possibility is that you have a drone laying worker. The capping in the pic looks domed, so could be drone brood. Sometimes if the Queens pheromones are not penetrating enough through the hive, some bees believe they are Queenless and start laying drone brood. How old is your Queen?


Sometimes queens can find gaps through QEs, then start laying above it. I found a queen above a metal QE a couple of weeks ago. After close examination of the QE, I found a few gaps that I thought she might fit through, so I blocked them with Plastibond.

As @GaryB pointed out, sometime a worker will lay above a QE. I get that on the odd occasion.

For that reason I always suggest that each flow frame should be physically checked before harvest. That also tells you how much the the frame is capped. On top of that I also suggest that the frames should be harvested away from the hive, seeing as the frame is already out. That will eliminate any honey spilling onto the bees & brood. It also gives a chance to remove any propolis or bur comb before replacing the frame/s.

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Come on Jeff. Encouraging this is wrong wrong wrong.

People on this forum look to you for the wealth of knowledge you have in beekeeping and you may sway Flowhivers to something which is silly.

Your one and only experience with the Flow was not good and I would suggest that your massive leaks could well have been because you did harvest out of the hive.

The overwhelming experience of the Flow hivers does not reflect yours. Most, certainly have had some leakage, particularly on the first harvest, but more bees would probably die putting Flow frames in and out of the hive than they would from minor leaks. I certainly have had more honey leaks taking out traditional frames than I have harvesting Flow frames in the hive.

By all means convey your experience and express that you were not happy but also add that this was done outside the hive and is unlike 99.9% of Flow hivers, nor does it reflect the experience of thousands of Flow hive users. Checking Flow frames for queen activity, moth and other nasties can be done just like any bee hive…Flow, Lang, National…that is not an issue.


If your QX is a crap plastic one which will fail in time then it might have a split or missing segment in it
Jane. But even metal QX’s can have a warp in the wire and a really good look will find the gap. A small queen could be the issue as well. @JeffH has given good thought.

A lady who owns a flow hive picked up a colony from me yesterday afternoon. I gave her the same advice based on my observations. I outlined my reasons, which she appeared to understand. What she does after that is up to her. She’ll get lots of other advice, no doubt before she is ready to harvest honey from her flow frames. I give advice that my conscience allows me to. I can’t give advice contrary to my better judgment.

My mentor reckons that if hive beetles weren’t around, it wouldn’t be so bad.

It would be lovely if the problems only occurred in .01% of cases, however around here, with hive beetles in the equation, that’s impossible. Prey they don’t come to your area.

I’m not limited to my one & only experience of flooding. Other people in my area have had flooding on subsequent harvests. The two brothers I previously spoke about finished up with brood in their flow supers. One of them ended up with slymed flow frames, however I managed to save his colony from absconding. The other brother, I caught it in time before he harvested the honey, which would have certainly finished up with slymed flow frames.

You really need to experience & see & smell for yourself a hive beetle slyme out. You need to see & smell a slymed flow frame. Only then will your attitude towards me & my advice change.

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You get me wrong Jeff. I don’t have an attitude toward you, you are just giving advice on Flow Hives which is contrary to the experience to many thousands of users. There is absolutely no reason you should harvest Flow Frames out of the hive. Just because you seem to have a bias against Flow Hives does not change my belief you have a wealth of knowledge in traditional keeping bees and you share that knowledge.

Are you trying to turn people off Flow Hives? Taking away the convenience of a Flow Hive would deter many of the elderly, incapacitated,and singles form taking up the wonderful pursuit of beekeeping.

Your Flow hive experience is limited. There are thousands of flow hives around the world with more and nastier problems than you have in QLD and they don’t seem to have any more problems with a Flow than they would have with a Lang hive.
I would also venture to say that those who would have a problem with hive beetle in a Flow super would also have problems with hive beetles in a Lang super.

As I said before report all your experiences, but don’t give advice which is wrong…particularly for new comers with one or two Flow hives.

Maybe instead of asking me to adjust my attitude you should have a fresh look at the Flow hive with positive thoughts When these COVID-19 restrictions are over take some time to visit Ceder and the Flow team down on the Gold Coast and some of the big Flow hive users (there are a few on the East Coast with 25 and more Flow Hives) and maybe you will not see Flow in such a negative light.


This discussion could go on & on & on, then after all our efforts, especially me typing one fingered, gets deleted, like what happened recently. What a waste of time that was.

The people I give advice to are my customers. I get repeat orders via customers. Other flow owners who are familiar with the advice I give refer new flow owners to me. I treat my customers with respect. I’m not going to give them advice that I don’t think is sound.

Edit: Your statement: “There is absolutely no reason you should harvest flow frames out of the hive”. What does the topic of this thread tell you?

Here’s one big reason in 2 photos.


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OK truce.
However should you post advice on harvesting Flow Supers off the hive I will respond that it is wrong.

I greatly respect your knowledge in tradition bee keeping and have certainly learned heaps from you.
Thank you.

You’re welcome Busso,

Another one of your comments, which by the way you could retract: “but don’t give advice which is wrong”. Try telling that to my mentor, she took the photos.

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I cannot retract that. If you give advice that Flow Hive frames should not be opened on the hive, then that advice is wrong and contradicts what thousands of Flow users do.
If you think it right for you to harvest off the hive that is fine, that’s your judgement but to say others should do likewise is wrong.
End of story for me Jeff

It might be the end of the story for you, but at least take a close look at those photos which you choose to ignore. My advice to local flow owners is all about avoiding that from happening to their flow hives, not to mention their colony. Like I’ve said before, “people who harvest flow frames on the hive, especially without first physically inspecting the frames in areas where hive beetles are active are playing Russian Roulette with their bees”.

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Not trying to keep this exchange going any further than it should I feel I should state how I harvest flow frames.
I pull the flow frames up to inspect them on a regular basis the same as I inspect traditional frames.
This is the only true way to see if nectar is building up or being consumed. From the inspection you can tell if the frame is ready to harvest.
All harvesting is done with the frames in situ.
I haven’t ever uncounted any leaks or problems as some others have experienced.
To remove them and harvest away from the hive kind of defeats the purpose of the flow frame principles.


Hi Felmo, when you say “to remove & harvest away from the hive kind of defeats the purpose of the flow frame principles”. In one one way it does. In another way it doesn’t. By harvesting away from the hive, on a bench with 2 flow keys which we all agree you’d need, it negates the need for a decapping knife & a spinner. You wont need a bin to decap into. Therefore you wont have those items to clean up & have to find room to store them. By harvesting on a bench, the only extra item you’d need would be a baking tray to catch the drips, if any. Why not catch the drips, if any on a baking tray instead of it dripping onto the brood & bees?

I Have seen evidence of hive beetle larvae activity in flow frames that the bees were able to overwhelm & clean up. The hive beetle larvae leaves a dark stain which is a bee repellent.

Therefore after the bees clean it up, they leave it alone for a period of time. That’s evident in this photo, the dark stain on the left side of the photo that the bees didn’t fill with honey, which is evident by the absence of caps.

Another good reason not to harvest in situ where hive beetles are involved.


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Relax Jeff, I understand what your saying and while I still extract my frames on the hive I often regret that choice as I still sometimes have flooding after 4 years with my Flow Hives.
You can’t change the mind of a person who doesn’t want to listen.
On on this forum a member said very recently “you can’t extract a few traditional frames like you can with a Flow Frame” so I had to ask why not. Still waiting why I can’t do what I have been doing for 47 years explained.

Thanks for this info Gary.
Our queen is very young. The hive swarmed in spring and we marked the new queen. She was very slow and we discovered this new unmarked queen about a month ago. The hive seems to have picked up quite a lot and there is an epic Nectar flow happening here on the Sunshine Coast atm. But I’m guessing the hive is still in recovery mode as there is very little honey in the super.

Thanks Jeff. We won’t be harvesting any time soon as the super framed are quite empty

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Thanks Peter. You marked the queen for us late last year😁 We are looking forward to getting you back here after this lockdown is over