So up here in the Perth Hills we finally have a flow on! We checked the bees today and the good news is that they have all been working hard in the last 2 weeks. The bad news is that all is not even!
We are running single brood boxes then a queen excluder and single super. 2 hives with flow supers and one a traditional super - all from different sources (so my experiment is a bit floored :)).
The hive with the traditional super has 8 frames of fabulously solid brood. In the last 2 weeks they have drawn out the entire Super and are filling it with nectar. We removed a couple of brood frames from checkerboarded and added a flow super with the hope they will take to it! A few of the frames have some drone cells and interestingly the frame which was foundationless to begin with is probably about 50% drone. We have left that alone, as there are no queen cells & plenty of larvae but will be checking in a week in case they are contemplating swarming.
The other two are very similar. The brood box is fully drawn with quite a lot of capped brood, a few larvae but the girls are really backfilling all cells with nectar. There are a few bees in the flow frames (which have had burr comb rubbed on them) and they are sealing gaps, but clearly there is no nectar storage and they desperately need more space. There are no queen cells but I am sure if we leave them like this they will surely swarm soon. We have therefore added a standard super to one, and are going to add a super to the other in the coming days when we have made the frames. Hopefully we have cought them in time to stop swarming - we will find out when we do our inspection next week!
I am at a bit of a loss with our bees. They have all drawn out many frames in the last couple of weeks, and surely it can’t require more wax to fill the gaps on the flow frames than draw new wax in it’s entirety. Hopefully our fabulous hive will take well to the flow frames and one waxed will no longer be a problem!
I am now confident we will have 3 traditional supers of honey for the girls come winter, Just not sure we’ll get to taste any from the flow frames - pretty dissapointing!