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Flow hives and swarms


Hi, I’m wondering if you have heard about flow hives swarming more than traditional ones. Mine has swarmed twice in 2 weeks, but there’s still plenty left in there with capped queen cells. Another local woman with a flow hive has had hers swarm twice recently also, but there doesn’t seem to be other swarms going on in the tradional hives. We are southwest Victoria, Australia, and people are saying it’s very early for swarms. I’m hoping it means that I have a very strong colony.


I would consider that how much your hive swarms depends on how often you look in it to prevent such an event. We all loose swarms and some races of bee build up very quickly so have more swarming tendency but it does come down to keeping an eye on them. During the season you should be looking in once weekly so that you can spot swarm preparations and do something about it. If your hive had swarmed once then thrown an afterswarm they ate in danger of swarming themselves to next to nothing

The other thing that strikes me is that with traditional supers beekeepers tend to put more on than might be needed so the bees always have lots of room. With a flow super there might be the temptation to restrict the bees to just that over the brood box so that they are constrained more. My flow is still in the packaging so this is just a guess?


You need enough room for the queen to lay. How many boxes do you have for brood? Most places you would need at least two boxes for brood.


Why do queens in some climates only need one brood box to lay, and in other climates they need two?


Bees in cold climates seem to sense that they need to build up faster and higher so the queen lays more for longer. In warm climates they are not in a race.


Would like to know what you think…I have 2 hives. I am in central Alabama. Upon a quick inspection 3 weeks ago I saw virtually no larvae or capped brood (very small amount like less that 30 throughout. BUT in my second brood box every frame was still loaded with honey.Because of this rotating the boxes did not make sense. I removed 2 center frames of honey and stored them ‘just in case’ and inserted 2 frames of drawn comb. The bottom brood box was empty, no honey, no pollen…nothing.

Hive 2 has other issues so just leave it there for the moment

Hive 1 Fast forward 3 weeks, there are 2 frames of brood in the 1st brood box surrounded by pollen.

It is unseasonably warm here and cold can return…but if it doesn’t what steps do I need to take at this point to prevent swarming?

One mentor said because things are already blooming I should add the honey super…? But that won’t affect swarming except that they have another option other than the brood boxes to store hone…might prevent being honey bound but not swarming?


Most people in Alabama run one ten frame deep for brood. I’m no expert on keeping bees in Alamaba. Yesterday morning it was 6 F here…