First Hive Inspection - IN NEED OF SECOND OPINION

Hi there,

I was a founding member of the flow hives in 2015 but I’ve only just got around to setting up my hive now. I purchased a nuc three weeks ago with 4 frames in it and transferred it to my brood box. I did my first complete inspection and found what I think is healthy capped brood, drone brood, not a lot of honey or pollen but they did draw out 3 frames of new comb.

Two problems… I can’t find the queen anywhere!!! Can you see her?? She’s supposed to be marked.
And second, I feel like there’s a LOT of empty comb and don’t think I saw any larvae. Can anyone offer a second opinion? Is this a healthy hive???

I’ve labelled frame numbers and sides on the video, along with what I thought I saw. Forgive the music… it was rights free :frowning:

Many thanks,


Three weeks ago?

All I can say is, “Wow”! You have 8 frames of comb of which 4 are new. You have 8 frames of bees, with varying stages brood (while you didn’t see eggs, there was LOTS of capped brood, NO queen cells and SOME drones).

The queen tends to lay in a ‘football’ pattern – imagine a real football suspended in the middle of your frames, crossing all 8 frames… THAT is the area she tends to lay her eggs. Nectar/Honey/Pollen tend to be on the ‘outside’ of the football and on the outer frames of the hive as well.

I’d say that even though you didn’t SEE the queen, there is ample evidence that she is there doing her job.

I wish MY hive were that active!



Wow what a relief to hear you say that. I did think it was pretty good to get 3 full frames in such a short time but without seeing the queen or larvae, it’s so discouraging. Really appreciate your time and thanks again. I’ll go back in another 2 weeks to see what I can. Hats off to bee keepers… this is such hard work!

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She’s on frame 5 side one. She is not marked and has a black tipped tail. 4:18 - 4:22 is the best shot played in slow motion (.5) spd
At 4:08 she’s at the very bottom just to the right of center and begins moving towards the top where my arrow is pointing at her.

P.S. The music sounds like a horror movie in slow mo lol


Ooh, Ottawa Canada: Store away the Flow super and excluder until next year, add a second brood box and a feeder asap and build them up to at least two deep brood boxes if not three.

Next year, add the excluder and Flow super :slight_smile:


Ed!!! Thank you for all the advice and for finding the queen! I so appreciate it- I’ve been so worried that I lost her. I’ve started trying to find 8 frame brood boxes… not so easy around here! I’ll get one asap and follow your advice. Thanks for everything once again!


NP: Get a feeder that feeds hundreds of bees at once. This way it simulates a nectar flow and take care of the Varroa mites real soon.

The summer solstice is upon us and the clock is ticking :open_mouth:

Don’t worry about finding the queen, you only need to see evidence of her. Digging to find her just upsets the hive. If you are having problems seeing eggs try holding the frame up with the sun shining across your shoulder so you can see into the bottom of the cells. Important point, don’t put your frames on the ground! Its OK to put an outside frame down as its unlikely the queen will be on it but check first. Once the first frame is out you have room to pull frames and just shuffle them across. You don’t want your queen dropping off a frame in the grass so keep her in the hive or have an empty box and base to transfer the frames to.

With that build up I would be adding a second brood box to allow the brood nest to expand or you may stimulate swarming. One problem with Flow hives is the honey centric view of beekeeping. Its possible to keep a single brood box but it takes more skill to prevent swarming. Also, you really need to look at leaving them enough to get through their first winter before even thinking about taking any honey off with the super.



wait a minute: what?? How on Earth can you see her? I have a 27 inch mac and at full screen I just see a frame of fuzzly bees. You must have 20:20 queen vision!

Set the playback on slow motion and you’ll see her.

I honestly don’t know how he did it but I took the full resolution video and had it at 10% slow motion and STILL had a hard time finding her but… SHE’S THERE!!! Though in my preview window this picture looks very distorted… hope it comes out…

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Thanks for the advice. I was putting the frames in an old 10 frame brood box with a top cover on the bottom as the floor. I love your idea about using the sun and holding them up to the light. Will try next time I go in.

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Amazing work Ed…I thought you were joking…

I can’t explain it but the bees move differently around the queen. I really don’t look at individual bees when looking but group’s of bees.

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I’m just outside Ottawa, 2 deep is the norm out here. Closer to Toronto and the great lakes some get away with a single brood box.

Feeding is a good idea if it keeps raining, but there is a heavy flow on. A friend with a broodminder is seeing 8 pounds a day coming into his hive right now.


I have an elusive queen I need to remove. Would you care to pop over and look for me :wink:


See, even European bees prefer American Football :rofl:

Not really, they actually go for rugby. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: However, when in the US, they make do with American football instead. :smile:


Ditch the Mac and get a Dell…or even a Samsung Galaxy :rofl:

… no way. :wink: