Central Florida Bee Keepers

Hey everyone,
Looking to connect with other local bee keepers and flow keepers. We are in Winter Garden, FL, just west of Orlando. Reply and let us know if you already have bees and if you have a flow hive coming. Thanks!

Hi Josh,

My neighbor and I are getting our first hives (full flow hives) in December. We are in East Palatka, about 40 minutes west of St. Augustine on the St. Johns river. While we wait for our our hives to arrive, we are reading up on beekeeping, and trying to meet other people with bees so that we can take a look at other people’s hives and get comfortable with the maintenance routines. We can’t wait to harvest our backyard honey!

Hi Everyone,

I live in Palm Harbor (Pinellas County) and am new to beekeeping; I have my Flow Hive coming in December. I joined the Pinellas Beekeepers Forum (pinellasbeekeepers.org) and have been researching/planning my layout for pollination and water etc. I love this forum…I know I will succeed with the help of everyone here! :smiley:

I use to live in Palatka so I am really happy to see your response. Graduated in '97. I’m in the Army up in Alaska and will be leaving here in the coming yr so I will keep in touch and see what you have going with your flow hive. #PantherPride

My husband Frans and I live in Sanford, FL. Our flow hive is expected in Dec. 2015. This will be our first hive. It would be great for CFL people to get together (on line or in person) and compare notes. Anybody belong to Orange Blossom Beekeepers Assoc? We will be joining next month.

Hi Central FL beeks. I am s newbee in Palm Coast - mid way between Daytona and St Augustine on the north east coast. Nice to see representation in FL.

I got my wood work in December and am waiting for frames. So far a month behind the original target ship date.

I will be attending the UCF bee college in March which is held in Marineland. Let me know if you will bee there and we can make a face to face introduction.

Bee well.

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Hi Jim,

I think my husband and I will be attending the Bee College as well. I’m looking forward to meeting some local beekeepers in our area. Hope to see you there!

Chuck Cook here in Jacksonville, FL. Sixth year as a beekeeper, I have completed and passed the amateur beekeeper course at bee college. Still hoping to do the advanced, and further eventually. Life is busy.

My Flow hive arrived this week. Will be assembling my Flow Full 7 frame today. Two boxes arrived on separate days. One was the wood for the Flow Super, and one was the 7 Flow Frames.

It came with a nice beekeeping hat and veil since I was one of the original supporters.

Cedar box looks and smells nice. Need to go get some Tung Oil, I have boiled linseed, but seems most are recommending Tung.

Just in time for this year’s flow.

Be careful what you get, if you are buying locally. Minwax Tung Oil is not pure - it has solvents and potentially toxic ingredients. I used Hope’s 100% Tung Oil, which you can buy from Amazon:
The wood part of the hives is made by www.beethinking.com, and they also sell pure Tung Oil:

Hope that helps! :slightly_smiling:

Thanks for the tip. Probably saved me a trip to Home Depot. Ordered off of Amazon… Be here weds.

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Looking forward to hopefully meeting all of you guys when I get back in the area. I live in Alaska right now. I use to live in Palatka til 97

Hi! I live in Sanford, FL as well. I received my flow hive but I haven’t assembled it yet. This too will be my first hive. I did not join the Orange Blossom Beekeepers Assoc, but there is a monthly meeting at the Seminole County Extension building on Home Road every month. Not sure when the next one is.

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I am in Tampa and originally from the Bee Capital of the World, Medina, Ohio.
I’m retired again and would like to see the Honey Flow. Get back to me and I would love to see your hives in Florida.

Hello, all! I am not a beekeeper yet because I live in an HOA community so we do not have enough property for that. We are hoping to do this in the future though, when we hopefully get enough property to have at least one flow hive on the ground.

I would be very grateful if someone in the Central Florida area (I live in Mount Dora) would be willing to allow my husband and I to come and see your hives in action.

I did attend a beekeeping talk, for lack of a better term, at Mount Dora library several months back. I have to say that the speaker was not fond of the flow hives when I asked if she had an opinion on them, though I am rather certain she has not used them or even possibly not seen them in action.

I did get a catalog with a lot of beekeeping supplies and equipment, and I will honestly say that the cost for all of that would be extremely prohibitive to me, but I could definitely see myself purchasing an entire flow hive, then getting any additional equipment as needed, and I think it would be much more cost-effective.

So here locally, what have you seen from other beekeepers as to their opinion on the flow hive? To me it looks like a no-brainer especially when you consider cost and complexity of use of the traditional beekeeping equipment and paraphernalia.

I look forward to some responses. Have a great day!

intrepid Beekeeper wannabe

Well I suppose my post wasn’t seen since I’ve had no replies. Is anyone running flow gives in central Florida? I know the hives are beginning dormancy now but I’d really like to see one in operation. Coworker whose husband keeps bees says flow hive won’t empty completely, isn’t commercially viable, and doesn’t seem a good option for professional beekeepers. I need someone’s input who actually has flow hives in the area. Pls reply if you’d be willing to let me observe your hives in action.

Thank you.

Hello everyone! I am starting my flow Hive again this year. Last year I had a hive but unfortunately they ended up swarming. I live in Inverness Florida. Kind of close to Ocala. Did you guys had only one brood box, or more? Did anyone else experience any swarming last year? I had at least 2 flow frames with honey, but soon after the bees left with all their honey and the whole colony. It will be nice to meet other people with successful flow hives in central Florida. I go to the meeting in Orlando and Ocala. I don’t mind traveling as long as I learn more about beeking, this year I am starting 2 hives at the same time and hoping to have better results.

Many people in subtropical climates use just one brood box. What do your local beekeepers do? You should do the same.

Most beekeepers who didn’t actively pursue swarm prevention and had strong hives. Did you inspect your brood box? Did you see any queen cells? What kind of swarm prevention did you do? We can help you if you didn’t do anything, just trying to get some baseline information.

Welcome to the forum! It would be great if you could complete your location in your profile information. That way, if you ask questions in future and we have forgotten where you are based, it only takes one click to find out and make sure our advice is relevant to you and your bees. Look forward to hearing more from you and trying to help. :blush:

I have asked around the local beekeeper in the orlando area, and they tell me that they only have one brood box, but I have a friend in Homosassa, and he has 2 brood boxes. Nobody else that I know have a flow Hive, so I don’t know if is different with a flow Hive.

Last year I was a totally new at keeping bees. So I probably made many mistakes. I did open my hive and check the brood box, I did notice queen cells, but I didn’t know what to do with them. Do you need to kill them queen cells? Plus I notice my bees were staying outside of the hive most of the time and they were not touching the flow frames, eventually they did for 2 weeks, and they fill them up quick, but right after that they all swarm and left.

Keeping bees is no different with a Flow hive. The only difference is in harvesting the honey. Everything else about the brood box should be done the same way as with a traditional hive. If the majority of people use 2 brood boxes, you probably should too, especially as they are using 10 frame boxes, and the Flow brood box is only 8 frames.

During a nectar flow (early spring to late summer in most regions), you should be inspecting the hive every week for signs of swarm preparation, pests and disease. Your local bee club may tell you to kill the queen cells, and that is very old advice. It doesn’t cure the problem at all and there are much better ways. The following two articles explain in great detail how to detect and react to signs of swarm preparation:

If you monitor closely during the nectar flow season, you should be able to prevent the majority (but not all) of swarming, using the methods in these two booklets.

In your region, you will have varroa and small hive beetles (SHB) too. For varroa, I would consider doing a sugar shake/roll test or an alcohol wash at least once every 2 months between about February and November. Varroa can take your hive down very fast once it gets a grip.

That can be a sign of swarm preparation, but in very hot weather, it can also be a behavior known as bearding. The bees hang out on the front of the hive so that they don’t overheat the inside. The only way to know which behavior (swarming or bearding) is by inspecting inside the brood box.

Please keep asking questions, both here and from your local beekeepers. We want you to succeed and will do whatever we can to help.

Not sure how well this forum works - I just now saw your post! We have a flow hive in Sanford but no bees yet. Just about ready. At this point, all the nucs are gone and we have to hope for a swarm.