Existing 20 Frame Langstroth into new Flow Hive


I have just purchased a brood box and super , 10 frame deep hive ( 20 frames) very active and producing honey. Can someone please tell me the best way to move them to my new Flow Hive.
I don’t have a lot of experience with Flow Hives. We will shortly come into a good nectar flow.
Thank you

Hello there,

is the second box- the super- full of honey? Is there a queen excluder installed? Do you have your new flow hive painted and ready? Do you have the donor hive already situated where you want your final flow hive to be? Do you want to set up a hive with one brood box or two? What is normal in your area?

Let me know these things and we can take it from there. Transferring a hive is relatively easy and only takes 20 minutes. But it’s good to get everything set up right and ready with a clear plan before you begin.

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Thanks so much for the reply:)

a) super has 5 frames out of 10 around 50% full on each
b) yes queen excluder is installed
c) yes flow hive painted and in situ
d) I only want to set up one brood box

Also if I have two of the remainder brood frames can I use these in a new developing nuc if I knowing they are both disease free and in good health.

Appreciate your time.

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Hello there Erin,

C) first: you really want the donor hive to be in the position the flow hive will be. Then when you make the transfer you will shift the mother hive to the side- put the flow hive into that position with the entrance at the same place it was- then transfer over the brood frames. That way the bees that are out and about will simply fly right into the flow hive when they return.

A) you will have to decide what to do with that super full of honey. You could harvest it thought it sounds like the honey may not be ripe. Or- you could place it on top of the flow super.

D) you could possibly make a split from the extra brood frames (or do you mean add them to a Nuc you already have?) - though two isn’t many to work with and it’s late in the season. What would be better possibly: look at the brood- if the two outermost frames are completely capped honey you can remove and harvest them. If they contain brood- or uncapped unripe honey you could shift them into the honey super (removing two empty frames)- and leave the super on top of your new flow hive for the time being (possibly not installing your flow frame super this year).

I’m going to have to leave it there for now as I’m busy- hopefully someone else will chime in with more advice.

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Fantastic. Got it and thanks so much for your help.
So very much appreciated.

I agree with Jack @Semaphore’s comments above.

To address your remaining question:

You can, but… You don’t give a continent, but I am guess that you are southern hemisphere (I am northern, and the Forum is international). If that is the case, making a 2 frame nucleus going in to Autumn is tricky. I would not try it myself, but if I had to do it, I would make sure it already had a mated queen, plus:

  1. Two really full frames of brood
  2. Two frames of honey and pollen (half frame of pollen at least, and 1.5 frames almost full of honey)
  3. Fifth frame of fully drawn comb (also known as a “sticky”)

You would then have a 5 frame nucleus to overwinter. I would not try to overwinter a 2 frame colony.

Let us know a bit more info, and maybe @JeffH or some Western Australia forumites (if I guessed right) could contribute more to help. :blush:

Rattling the cages of @skeggley and @busso, as I think they may not be too far from you. But then again, if you are in Australia, my geography could be all upside-down… :rofl:

Or you could just get a 7 frame flow super instead of a complete Flow hive.:wink:

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sounds like it’s too late for that… unless Erin wants to end up with two hives- in which case it’s a good idea.

@Erin2 a few points about transferring the frames over:

Make sure you hive is level. Select the two frames you will be removing or moving to the super- the outermost frames are the most likely ones for this. Either choose fully capped honey combs or empty frames if possible. Take these two out and get them into you super which you will have to one side by now. Then move the remaining frames bees and all and replace them in the same order as they were in the donor hive.Try to keep the spacing between the frames as it was and/or even. Have the two hives immediately adjacent each other. Work from one side to the other. After you are done there will be bees left in the original box: shake the box over the flow hive and most will fall out- don’t bang it just shake it- - and then place that box on its side beside the flow hive. Replace the super if that’s your plan (if it isn’t say so and I will say what I think you should do with it) The remaining bees should make there was over and in by the evening.

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Thanks so much for the guidance.
Really appreciated. I called a local beekeeper enthusiast who has offered to come with me to give me a hand.