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Chilly bees and cleaning the flow frames


“Enough supers & frames to accommodate the bees”. This hive’s been in situ for 24 months… two summers and now two winters. It should have enough bees, and those bees should have been enough to fill the flow hive and keep it clean. I’ll have to keep a close eye on it.

It’s been raining on and off for the past few days so i haven’t had opportunity to put a matt in.


I use hive mats in mine. It helps, I think, in making the air flow more even throughout all of the frames and it also stops comb being built from the roof. Jeff’s question about the colony size is valid and something that I had not thought about. For good air movement you need a strong colony that will help the air flow by their body heat loss. Your problem could be a result of a low number of bees. What is your hive set up? Just a few pics might help us in helping you.


I think I worded that wrong. You only want enough supers & frames to cater for the colony. If you have too many, take some away. Take the roof off, then look down. Any frames that don’t have a good covering of bees will get mildew if left there long enough. Remove those frames if you want to avoid it. Replace them as the population builds.

You need to monitor the colonies population waxing or waning. Then take appropriate actions, depending on which way it goes. “24 months in situ” means nothing if a colony has swarmed or succumb to a disease, for example.


Hi Jeff, so much monitoring. so much…
I am working through the chilly bee thingo. The silly things seem to swarm at the drop of a hat, either that or spend weeks making a frame. There is more than enough nectar, pollen and sunshine here for them, and if not here then i don’t know where else. The micro climate appears to be the problem… cold at night, warm during the day, high humidity - from time to time. So much monitoring. I would like a thermometer and hydrometer.


Regular inspection and understanding the cause what you are seeing will build up you knowledge bank. It all gets gets easier with time, even the monitoring :grinning:
I set up a thermometer and hydrometer on my apiary, a waste of money in my opinion as nothing I can do will change either of them and I often have to remind myself no matter what I do, within reason, the bees will survive,


Peter, Thanks for the tips. Good ideas all. I wrote this post 36 days ago and didn’t post it… i thought i did. Hi Peter :slight_smile:


Hi Caterina, I do that sort of thing all the time, thinking of something I wan to do and then convince myself I have done it. I had a day recently with a temp in the shade of 30 at my apiary, but in the sunshine it was 42C, no wonder I suffered dehydration. :thinking:


Hi Pete. The humidity thing is bothering me. I live on a large rural property with a hundreds of acres of native veg, so enough flouring plants for two hives. I think i’ve really tested the hives this year. The cold, and then it appeared that there was a very early spring swarm. And then i split the hives, as i underestimated the recovery time of the hive. I am a bit worried and don’t want to loose a hive. I am not chasing the flowers, like the pros. What to do? i think I might feed my weak second hive. What do you think?


Pics of my discoloured frames…


Hey Caterina, the humidity is getting to me too, even with the ventilated bee suit.
You should have heaps of pollen and nectar available there so I doubt the bees would benefit from feeding them. If the weak hive is really low in numbers maybe it would benefit with some sealed brood frame switching from the strong hive, that will give it a boost in a couple of weeks. Give the strong hive the outer frames from the brood of the weak hive. Just be sure the queens are not in the frame switching.
I’m heading down your way next Saturday, if I can help. If in doubt yell out :thinking:


Hi Katarina. Did you do a good brood check recently? Sure, splitting a weak hive doesn’t help, but best you check if there are any other underlying reasons for the weakness.
It is amazing how quickly colonies build up in spring and then to observe huge differences between colonies. But before exchanging brood frames between your two, make sure they are both healthy.
But you probably did that.


Hi Pete where abouts are you? If it suits, sure call in on Saturday. We are about 15 minutes off the highway on a rural property. I work all week and may not get out to check on the bees until Wednesday or Thursday. I was home early from work today but there wa a bit of wind around and not the best time of the day to check on then.


Hi Kai’a’i. Yes I checked the brood a couple of weeks ago, I underestimated how long it woukd take for the hive to build up. The brood looked okay.