They certainly look like drone cells. I have a couple of questions to try to help you:
- What kind of queen excluder do you have? Plastic or metal?
- How many brood boxes do you have?
- Is there a good arc of honey in the center of the brood box just below the queen excluder?
I am trying to work out whether you have laying workers or a queen above the QE. The answers to my questions may help make one possibility more likely than the other.
I have the excluder that came with the flow hive 2. I have two brood boxes below the excluder and the flow above. Most of the center frames in the brood box below the queen excluder have capped honey with the outer frames having just a bit of honey with brood.
It is only a few drone brood in the drone sized cells. Sometimes a worker will do that. I find it on the odd occasion. Sometimes it will happen with one particular colony, & it just continues while the queen is happily working beneath the QX. This is one reason (in my view) for physically inspecting the flow frames before harvest.
OK, then I can’t give you a satisfying definitive answer, but I will try to help you think about it.
- The queen excluder that came with the Flow hive belongs in the Recycle Trash can. Sorry Flow, but it is just pure crap/junk. They warp and fracture very quickly and break while being handled. You probably won’t even notice. Do yourself a big favor and buy a really nice one like this:
- Two box hives with a large arc of honey above the brood nest can have laying workers without them being a problem.
- The drone cells will disrupt your harvest a little. Watch carefully as you sequentially open the frames, and consider stopping if the hive is flooding with honey. The frames should be cleaned out after harvesting to remove cocoons to prevent further problems with harvesting.
Hope that helps.
Thank you for all your information. I’ll definately get a new excluder ASAP. We won’t be harvesting for a while still so for now, I’ll monitor.
With years of experience in bee keeping and as @Dawn_SD says you should replace the crappy QX with a metal one. It is sad that Flow have such a good product then added a junk QX in the kit. The plastic can split and fracture, allowing the queen to pass thru it but just as likely is a laying worker in the Super.
Thank you for replying. I appreciate your information.
I am not sure- but didn’t flow change to a metal one with the Flow 2?
I swapped out all the plastic ones. they are only good to use in a pinch as a backup/spare.
Flow Hive may have upgraded to a metal QX somewhere in the Flow Hive 2 run, but on YouTube there is a clip of a guy spruking about having assembled his hive and the new features in the FH2 and his definitely had a plastic QX, which are just a rung of the ladder above the Chinese bamboo QX copies. The plastic QX’s that came with my hives went in my recycle bin.
I can only guess Flow put them in the kits as cost effective.
Cheers Jack, Peter
Loving the paint job! Your so creative.
i just got a flow hive 2 and the QE i got is black plastic. ordering the one @Dawn_SD recommended above.
just wish they didnt charge $15 shipping for a $15 part
Thank you! I hope my girls like it!
Yeah, the shipping is ridiculous!
It is a shame that Brushy Mountain went under. They had nice QEs too. Kelley has very nice wax foundation if you were wanting any to make the order more worthwhile. I also got my Varroa counting Gizmo device from them. Other than that, I usually buy from Mann Lake, but I don’t like their metal queen excluders.
Thank you for the tip.
My excluders are all stainless steel. Sometimes they don’t make a perfect seal with the boxes. These look much better.
Wood-framed/rimmed metal looks pretty nice, but I agree, the pure metal round bar excluders can look horrible and not seal well. That is why I don’t like the usual Mann Lake version.
Actually, thank you for making me look. It seems that they now have some wood-framed ones too, just perhaps not 8-frame size:
C’mon Jeff, what’s a little extra protein in the honey lol.
Although the whole “gentle on the bees” deal goes out the window when baby drones are being smashed