I’ve got a new hive and this spring installed the bees and let them pretty much fill the brood box before putting on the queen excluder and flow hive on top. Its been almost a month, and while the bees are in the flow hive, they arent filling any of the cells - what am I doing wrong?
There’s plenty on here re bees filling the Flow frames, just type in this to search button at top right (magnifying glass).
It will depend on where you are & the season/stage of season you are in, nectar flow etc.
Check out this one. Video: Added Wax to My Flow Super!
I did this and it worked out great for me.
How full is your hive John? And have the bees completely utilised all the space in the brood box? Are they bringing in nectar and needing to store it? Kirsten and John are offering the right advice, there are so many factors that contribute to why the bees won’t behave they way you want them to, you just need to look at the signs.
Where are you located? If you are in let’s say, Pennsylvania, for instance, it is too late to add a super and expect the bees to draw wax. It’s winter planning time in these parts.
I am in the Philadelphia area. I started this spring with a starter pack of bees in the brood box and let them build it out on their own, i.e. No wax guide forms. Last time I checked when I added the super at the beginning of August it seemed that the brood box was full to overflowing so I put the super on. Since then there have been some bees in it but nobody is doing any building.
Should I take the super off and wait till next year and start a second hive next spring if it takes 2 years to be ready for the super?
Thanks from a novice
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Yes. It is too late. Your bees will be preparing for winter, not giving away surplus. The last thing they need right now is extra space, sorry about that. Next year, you may be able to put your Flow super on in April or May and take 2 or 3 harvests, but for now from the bee point of view, the summer is over.
It wouldn’t hurt to treat for mites and secure some fondant or some winter bee patties from Mann Lake http://www.mannlakeltd.com/beekeeping-supplies/category/page48.html (Wilksbarre, PA). In early December go ahead and place a patty right on the top of the frames over the cluster. A shim will help from Brushy Mountain although you can make these with some scrap wood http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/8-Frame-Imirie-Shims/productinfo/254IS/ . They’re up near Knoebles if you wanted to take a road trip.
I’m in South Jersey (I can see the Commodore Barry Bridge) and use three brood boxes for winter; you only have one brood box (not really enough) so that’s why I’m recommending feed patties for winter. Bees can’t take liquid feed once it gets in the 50’s.
Be prepared to insulate that hive body with either some 15 or 30 lb felt paper or some bee supply places sell hive wraps.
The hive that the flow super was on has two deep brood boxes that are close to 90% full of honey, pollen, and brood. I sat out and watched both hives this past weekend. Quite a few bee’s bringing in orange pollen right now. Oddly enough all of my sunflowers that I planted are finally blooming. Because the hive was booming with bee’s I put a medium super on the hive to give them space to place stores if need be. This will be my first winter. This hive doesn’t appear to have any issues at this point that will not allow them to make it thru the winter successfully.
Thanks for the guidance - John
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