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Flow hive concern bees not using super

So I have a two brood box hive with a flow super on top. My concern is that the super has been on for about two weeks, the bees are just starting to make their way up and seem to be trying to put pollen in the comb but the pollen just falls through and into the trough on the bottom. Not sure if they have started to close up the cells yet or not. The second brood is not fully built out either so they could just be focused on that first.

Thanks for any information!

I would remove the super if both brood boxes are not completely drawn out with comb and bursting with bees.


I agree with @Wizard you should remove the super and let the bees build the second brood box.

You should also discuss with your local beekeepers but my guess is that in central CA, your major nectar flows are over for the year. Because you probably don’t have any significant nectar, you will likely have to feed the bees to get the second box to be drawn out before fall.

Have the super ready in the spring to catch all the trees blooming in the Central Valley.

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Agreed. Initially this year I was going to just let the hive grow. But when I saw how fast they drew out the first box I threw the second to prevent a swarm from not having any room.

Good to know the season the bees were sold to me April 10th which seems a bit late. I let them build out their first box without foundation and the second box was added with foundation.

Looks like I am picking up a lot of syrup for the crew.

I don’t fault you for having the second box on there - it may not be completely necessary in central CA but certainly not wrong.

The logic you used - that they were out of space in the first box so you added a second - applies to adding the super too. But it’s no problem to remove an under/un-utilized box. The bees will thank you for it.

The queen, nuc, and package sellers have to have strong enough colonies to split so they probably have greatest availability in mid to late season. They can’t get queens mated too early if there aren’t enough flying drones too. So, April 10 really doesn’t seem late to me. In Ohio you’re lucky to get a good strong nuc in late May.

The reality is that a first year colony probably just has to be nurtured and you shouldn’t expect a honey crop from them anyway.

But you’ll be ready for next spring if you feed them well (white sugar and water are cheap), treat them appropriately for pests and disease, and protect them from robbers and predators!