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Flow Kit arrived today in North Carolina, USA


#1

Hello to all you Flow Hive enthusiasts.
I have been keeping for about 5 years and at the moment have 7 hives - working to build up to about a dozen.
My 7 frame kit arrived today! July 2.
Now I am working on modifying a brood box to hold the frames and trying to decide which colony will be the official FLOW HIVE.
We are just getting ready to extract honey from the spring flow, so I plan to replace my traditional supers on one hive with the flow super when I remove the spring honey.

Betsy in Clayton, NC


#2

exciting, keep us posted :wink:


#3

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#4

Congratulations Betsy please keep us posted :blush:


#5

Hello,
When did you order your flow hive?


#6

I got my frames a couple of weeks ago and have just finished building a box to fit them (3 frames). That done, I was assembling it and playing around with opening and closing the cells using the key. I have some observations and questions I wondered if you have experienced:

  1. I can’t turn my key a full 90 degrees. Can you? This doesn’t seem to be an issue in opening the cells, but they don’t completely align into a closed 6-sided cells.
  2. The rows of plastic that make up the cells alternate in height. …one tall, one shorter, one tall, on shorter. Is this the way they are supposed to be?

I’m trying to figure out what the bees will do with these cells…whether this is the way the frames are designed or whether I have a problem. Getting ready to populate this hive next week, so I want to make sure all is ok.

Louise
California


#7
  1. It is not necessary that the key turns a full 90 degrees (but it does need to turn very close to 90 degrees to properly open and close the cells) just as long as they form a honey comb shape. They deliberately have gaps in them so bees don’t get their leg caught and the bees will fill in the gaps with wax and make full hexagons.
  2. The alternating height is deliberate, It will help to make sure the capping stays in place while you extract the honey.

I look forward to hearing how you go.


#8

Thanks for putting my mind at ease. I have a split that will populate the hive mid-week. I will be taking it to my local beekeeper meeting for “show and tell” on Tuesday. I think now I am prepared to answer any questions. I do understand (after searching out some online videos) a bit more than when I first wrote my message. And I understand how the key functions. Thanks again!


#9

Excellent. I look forward to hearing more about your experiences using the flow hive.


#10

Sounds excellent Betsy…good luck and keep us posted, you all!


#11

In the first hour that the Indigogo campaign started.
It has been a long wait, but I believe worth it.
BK


#12

I’m brand new to bee keeping and have a flow hive on order shipping to TN, but I am at NC State for a year, would you be interested in having an occasional intern to help out and learn along the way?


#13

Just an update since I put my hive together on Jul 12. As of this last week, my girls have NOT started using the Flow Frames. They could be seen through my observation side windows exploring around the upper box where the Flow Frames are located, but there was absolutely no drawing out of cells. I’m disappointed in this, but this hive is from a smaller split and I don’t think there has been an overabundance of nectar at this time of year. I’m hoping this is the case and that if this population survives the winter and grows next spring, they will move up into the Flow Frames.

My question is whether or not to keep the upper super (which includes 3 Flow Frames) intact over the winter, or if I should remove it and replace with a standard super containing a supply of honey. Any thoughts on this? I live in temperate California.


#14

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#15

That’s pretty much what I was thinking. I didn’t expect to harvest any
honey from this hive this year. I did think they might have started drawing
it out a bit. But, I don’t think this hive is very strong. I’m trying to
nurse them along so I don’t lose them. I’m thinking I may just replace the
Flow Frames with honey supers by next weekend.


#16

@en2gen just leave the Flows on until your area would normally take out supers - ie treat the Flows like a normal super.

It is the end of the season and if they are having trouble brining in nectar they will want to store first.

1 kg of wax takes 4 kg of honey to make. If they are not bringing in the nectar then there will not be much building going on either - they still have to eat.

My girls did a lot of building and then the bad weather hit so they stopped building


#17

Thanks for the reminder, Valli. Although we don’t have much of a “season” here…moderate most of the year. I believe the key is the lack of nectar.


#18

Update to my earlier post:

I did remove the box with my flow frames in it today and replaced it with a standard super filled with capped honey so the bees would have sufficient food for the season. What I found was that even though this small split hive had not used the upper box for storage of nectar or pollen, they had started to draw it out in that about 80% of the cells had been modified to make them “whole”. Hard to understand if you have not seen these frames in person perhaps, but the hexagon shape is split in two “halfs” which is necessary for extraction. What my girls had done was “zip up” these two halfs to make a complete cell, So, I was glad to see that. They are using them. Their population was just not large enough for them to do more to date. Hoping things will get cranking in the spring.


#19

I would remove the Flows. Do not treat them like a normal super, you do not want the bees to winter in them because come early February when the queen starts laying, she’ll be laying in the Flow frames. Also, many times here in New Jersey, the bees will not fully cap the fall flow. This doesn’t matter to me because after the July harvest I leave the bees their 3 deeps and some medium “wet” supers to refill knowing they probably won’t cap it in time for another harvest. What I do is take those mediums and divy up those frames to late splits or hives that may be light. Come Spring, the queen will be up there laying so I place her in the deep below, add a second or third deep, an excluder, and then put the medium back on. The brood in those mediums hatches out, and the bees back-fill it with honey. Once it’s backfilled with honey, the excluder comes off.