Hello, I’m just curious if/how many local Flow bee keepers there may be in my area. I’m a new beginner keeper, just looking to connect. Thanks
I’m from Nashville and it’s nice to meet someone from Tennessee
A bit further away from others but I’m just north of Henderson, TN in Chester Country. Welcome, and enjoy beekeeping, and your Flow Hive!
Hi! I am in Nashville. I am new to beekeeping and Flow Hives. Do you all keep the flow hive supers on during the winter as your second brood box, or do you have two brood boxes before you put the flow hive on, or do you harvest honey with the flow hive and then take it off and add a second brood box after the honey flow.
I think this is @Martha’s first year with the Flow super, so she may not have decided. However, I would first suggest that you consider local beekeeping practices. If your locals use double deep brood for overwintering (quite likely in your area), then I would do that too. One thing I would not do is leave the Flow super on over winter, especially if your bees cluster. I have several reasons for that opinion:
- Bees tend to apply propolis as winter approaches (especially Italians). Propolis can easily gum up the Flow mechanism, making it much harder to drain any honey next year.
- If you leave the Flow super on, you will need to leave the queen excluder on. Otherwise the queen can start laying drones in the Flow super = very messy and spoils your harvest.
- If you leave the queen excluder on, and you get some cold days, if your bees cluster they may move up into the super and leave the queen behind to die of cold. Doesn’t always happen, but it is a risk.
Just a few thoughts.
They recommend two deeps or three mediums to winter bees in this area. I purchased the flow last year, and decided to do two brood boxes before I put on the flow frame super. I got my bees in April and had two deeps full of honey and brood by fall, but not enough to put on the flow frame super. So I did not harvest honey and figured the bees could have it in the winter and I’d wait until next year. In October I lost the hive. We aren’t sure why, but varroa mite was very bad in the area and we think when the hive population decreased they took over and the bees left. I left town for a week, came back, and they were gone. SO this year, I purchased another hive and would like some honey. Bees were late-I didn’t get mine until May 2 because of the weather-and so I’m worried if I try to take some honey, there won’t be enough brood. It’s difficult to ask the local beekeepers because most of them do not like the flow frame (or anything new for that matter:)). But I still go to meetings etc.
Hello fellow Tennessean! I wintered over successfully just south of Nashville by treating for veroa mites, using a solid bottom board, 2 brood chambers, a Vivaldi inner cover with fondant and telescopic top. I also left 5 frames of honey in the upper broodbox. Smallest entrance hole. They wintered over great!
PS I treated in August, November (warm weather) and a warm spell in February
Thankyou!!! I will treat for mite this year. And thanks for the specifics on what you did: what type of feeder, how many frames of honey. You know the mind of a beginner!!
What did you treat with?
I bought a vaporizer and oxcilic acid from Brushy Mountain bee farm online. It’s easy and they supply great directions. I used my riding lawnmower as a power source. All other item I listed are from this supplier
Sounds like a good plan and this forum has incredible people sharing knowledge and they have taught me bunches.