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Existing 2 super langstroth converting to flow super - what to do with the wax and uncapped honey?

Hi, when adding our new flow super how do we encourage the bees to utilise the existing uncapped honey and comb from the ‘old’ supers? Can we feed them wax from the previous harvest?
We have 2 existing 10 frame langstroth hives, full and active with currently one brood box, queen excluder, and 2 supers, The bees are currently very active, the brood box and one super are full. We have put the flow super on top of this as we like to leave the bees one full super for winter supplies. Should we put the other partially full super on top of the flow frame, and will they pull the uncapped honey and honeycomb down into the flow super? We also have wax mixed with some honey from our last harvest, and would like to feed this back to them, is this okay and how is best to do this?

We are in south west Western Australia, with currently quite a bit flowering around us, have had good harvests already this season, with potentially a lot more flowering to come.
All advice welcome, thank you.

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@janettemargriver Welcome. If you go to

  1. FAQ’s (top left) and then
  2. The search box (top right) and search things like “my bees won’t go into the Flow” “Bees not using”
    as there are many many posts on this subject and you would be wise to read them all.

Hello busso, thanks for your reply. I have read further as you suggested. Cheers

Make sure you ask any lingering questions you may have.

I personally would not feed it back to them, there is no need if you know there’s more nectar on the way. Do you know what will be flowering in the coming months? and whether those trees will yield nectar? If you do decide to feed honey back to the bees, then make sure you do it inside the hive, put another box on top and feed using a tray or bowl inside the box. External feeding is a No No and may cause a whole lot of trouble.
Its a long time before winter, and you may need to harvest a couple more time times.

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Thanks Adam. Yes I am still wondering, we still have what was the second super with 10 frames on which the bees were building comb and have started depositing honey but it is uncapped. Knowing how much work it is for the bees to have collected and stored the honey to this stage, I am wondering if we can put that super back on, on top of the flow super, for them to harvest from, and pull it down into the flow?
Cheers

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Thanks Rodderick. Our major tree around here is the marri/ redgum which is just starting to flower and usually has a good nectar flow, however we are rural residential so there is a wide variety of trees/ shrubs/flowers. Thanks for the advice re internal not external feeding, I am aware of this.
My main reason for wanting to feed back the wax is just knowing how much work it is for the bees to collect and make it, I would like them to be able to utilise it :slight_smile:
Cheers

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Janet to be honest I’d probably put the supper on above the flow frame super and let the bees finish capping off the frames. Then take it off and process the frames. Depending on whether you used foundation or not you have the normal options (cut comb, crush & strain or spin).

I’m picking up on what you said “have had good harvests already this season, with potentially a lot more flowering to come”. It seems a shame to break the bees rhythm. If you’re extracting, then replacing stickies, the bees refill them fairly fast during a honey flow. I’m just thinking…

I’d consider putting the flow in between the supers. Then inspect the top one in three weeks or so and see if it’s empty- if so remove it. If not maybe leave it on and see if the bees can fill all three! Here in Adelaide if things continue as they are this season they might manage it. Then harvest the top and the flow whenever they are capped out. Remove them both for winter. If honey is unripe freeze it and feed back over winter and early spring.

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Thanks so much Adam! I appreciate your input. Cheers

Thanks Jeff, appreciate it!

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Ah thanks Semaphore, great to recieve so many suggestions!! Cheers everyone.

Hi Janet, you’re welcome. Good luck with whatever you do.
cheers

The bees won’t reuse wax to ‘recycle’ it. I often put a box of stickies onto the top of a Flow hive and the bees will take any remnant honey and store it in the Flow Frames as they are closer to the brood. Then the stickies are dry enough to be stored till they are needed.
Cheers and a big welcome to the forum.