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Extra brood box now full of honey!

Hello everyone. My name is Travis. I live in Biloela in Central Queensland. I have Flowhive that I removed the top super come winter. A local beekeeper told me to put another brood box on before the Flowhive super to make up for all the hard times we have out here. I did this but instead of laying more brood in it they’ve filled it with honey and comb in about 3 weeks. That’s awesome but now I’m worried they won’t use the Flowhive that I’ve placed back on top.

How do I get them to use the Flowhive super and instead fill the middle box with brood? I sold my manual extractor as I wasn’t planning on doing it anymore! That was the whole point of the Flowhive. I know it’s a good problem to have just looking for advice.

Many thanks in advance.


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The queen can only lay a finite number of eggs per day and so will only use a corresponding number of cells.

She simply won’t lay twice as many eggs because there is twice as much space, in most double brood setups a large portion of the brood boxes is used to store honey for the bees to consume during dearth periods.

If they run out of space they should hopefully use the super but it can be hard to encourage bees to go through an excluder if the super has not been used before.

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Thanks Steve. I reckon I knew that but glad to have it confirmed. Could I remove it to get them started on the Flowhive? Ideas?

I’m not really qualified to advise on what to do in Central Qld.

If someone local and experienced recommended two it was for a reason, the other alternative may be one brood box but then having to feed to avoid starvation.

Hi Travis, just my thoughts and firstly forget about the conditions of the last 12 months with the drought and so on, it was a very unusual year and very hard on the bees.
I would switch the top brood box off to the side till you can confirm the queen is in the bottom box then fit the QX on it. Then fit the Flow Hive onto the QX and finally the convention box with the honey on top of the flow super, then finally of course fit the roof.
My reasoning is that the bees will move the honey down into the Flow Super so it is closer to the brood and after a week or two the traditional super should be empty of honey and removed from the hive and so freeze the frames for 48 hours, wrap in sealed plastic bags and store in a cool place. Those frames can be used in the future to switch our old frames.
I really doubt Biloela has a cold enough Winter to warrant a second brood box hive so for your location there is more against a double brood hive than there is for it.
In hard times use the now empty box fitted on top of the Flow Super so you can safely internally feed the bees if needed.

Wow! Ok. That sounds interesting. Just confirming, swap the middle box and my Flowhive super. Should I leave the queen separator just above the bottom brood box? I ask as I don’t want her laying brood in it. Thanks for your advice. Travis

The QX should be on top of the brood box, which is the bottom brood box at the moment. You need to eye ball the queen that she is in that box, ok?

Thanks just got it . QX= queen excluder.

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Yes that the thing. My queen is t marked. Hope I can spot her.

You have it, sorry for abbreviating, we all do it here :laughing: :laughing:

Thanks again Peter I appreciate it.

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My pleasure, it will work as I came from a cold climate to here on the Sunshine Coast and made the mistake of setting up double brood boxes as I had to do previously and met a local chap who re-educated me to think about local conditions, So much I had to forget and learn about, and so fast.

Hello Pete. Just an update and a question. You were right. The bees slowly started to work on the Flowhive to build it out and have started ( albeit very slowly) to get some honey into it. This morning I removed half the frames from the top super. My idea was if they don’t have them , they’d spend more time in the flow super. There are still four full frames of capped honey in the top. I know I should have asked first. I just thought it might make sense. I put the removed frames in the freezer for safe keeping in case this turns out to be a disaster. My concern is maybe they will try to fill the void in the top box now there is more space? I’d love to just remove the whole thing but then they might be without there bulk food source and just take off?

Any ideas.