Hellow! Three-plus-year Flow Hive 2 owner, but just fired it up with a nuk on Mother’s Day 2020. So far, everything has gone very well for the bees, but I have no idea what I am doing! I did my third hive inspection last Sunday. I have two brood boxes. The first floor is drawn out probably 95+%. The second story is coming along very well. The innermost five or six frames are full. The outer two frames are lite of drawn comb, but they are working them.
I was fortunate enough to have a very experienced beekeeper mentor me on this last inspection. He was pleased with their progress and fascinated by the look and beauty of the Flow Hive. He has some apprehension about them, owing mainly to the somewhat negative early publicity. You know, “Oh, instant honey and we don’t have to do anything but enjoy the benefits” stigma. But once he had a chance to actually inspect one, he was changed.
While he was here I added my honey super. Had been using it to house a sugar feeder, which the bees loved, but he thought I’d better go ahead and add it now. Probably too late to get any appreciable honey from it this late (?) but I’m in this mainly for the bees, not the honey. If I get a pint this year I’d be happy. The bees can have the rest.
One question he had was about the Flow supers. Once they are cracked open to drain for honey, how do the bees “reset” them? He was curious that, since the caps on the super frames are not disturbed, do the bees instinctively know to go and uncap them and clean everything up once the honey has been harvested? Since only the back end of the honey store is broken? If one harvests every Flow frame, what then?
Since adding the Flow supers Sunday, the bees have not been very interested. I did not paint them with melted wax as had been suggested here and there. They are getting through the Queen excluder, and I (for better or worse) left the attic space open to them and placed a protein patty up there hoping to draw them up. I know this may lead to burr comb, but I’ve fought that battle in the lower brood box, so I know how to clean it and/or eat it! There was not enough room between the top of the Flow supers and the top lid like there is on regular brood frames (where I was placing the patties). I am going to let them bee for at least a week before I take the roof off and see what they are up to with the patty. I deep froze it at -17F to hopefully kill off any SHB larvae. None were seen, nor varroa, during the inspection.
Sorry for the ramble. Just curious about how to reuse the Flow honey frames once they are drained. And also how long does it usually take for the bees to move up into them? It’s mid-June here in Western Kentucky so I am still learning about pollen and nectar flows. I know I can’t or should not feed them sugar syrup while I’m trying to get them to fill out the Flow frames.
Thanks all! Chris And Kim, Eddy Bay, KY
PS: Bought a second FH2+ last night!