Flow super installation aftermaths: queen less?

Hi There, I thought it was a good opportunity for a follow up on the swap and flow super installation…two weeks back we completed the swap we found a lot of cross combs as there were just 8 frame out of 10!!
Then last week I have done my first solo inspection…brood, pollen, honey, and new bees coming out the cells!! It was amazing!! I haven’t seen the queen…hoping she’s not fallen out or squashed under the frames, as I had to squeeze a bit the frames to fit in a ninth one to avoid further cross combing…chances to have it gone wrong??? How long will it take to see signs of any eventual queenless?

Hi mate, are you using plastic foundation?

Hi Skeggley, yes plastic foundation…at the time we captured the swarm I hadn’t any bee supplies, hence I relied on my mentor’s, which was a standard 10 frame langstroth brood box and plastic foundation frames (used). Any reason of concern? Cheers

Hi Waldats, just checking that your FH is a 10 frame (7 Flow Frame super). The pics almost look like an 8 frame brood box. 9 frames can sometimes be squeezed in but will make inspections very difficult in the future.

There is some crazy cross combing and bur comb going on… that’s all

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It sounds a bit like you’ve got 8 frames in a 10 frame brood box? If that’s the case, then that’s why the comb is all over the shop. You need to put 10 frames in a 10 frame brood box or 8 frames in an 8 frame (Langstroth) brood box. Then push the frames to the centre of the box so that any gaps are beyond the outside frames.

Hi Tim definitely when we completed the swap between the temporary hive and the final one the cross combs were pretty wild!! But afterwards when I checked the final hive brood box (not pictured) frame were definitely better and the comb to be remove was a fair bit. Lately bees have thickened the combs in the central area of the frame. That was my reason of concern squeezing bees (including The queen) and the capped brood cells, as I was sliding in an additional foundationless frame…Any chances I have damage the brood cells?
Thanks for the hints, cheeers!!

Outbeck spot on!! It took me some days to reckon we’ve installed 8/10 frames, as of that last weekend I have squeezed in a ninth foundationless frame, and to do that I had to close the gaps between the frames. The fact is that the central frame had become thicker as it and The bees have fixed it. My concern is what is going to happen if brood cells of two frames are touching/ obstructing each other??

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Hiya, when I tried plastic foundation I had the same reaction from the bees. They hated it.
We have some of the cleanest wax foundation in the world, it’s what I use and I never have the bees building off the comb anymore. Some people love their plastic foundation and have no problems personally I hate it. You need to coat the plastic with wax prior to use, I tried this and had the same reaction.
Squeezing 9 frames into an 8 frame box without shaving the frame shoulders will lead to trouble. Once the frames are propolised in…
Replace the plastic with wax foundation and wire or fishing line or skewers and evenly space the frames and I guarantee you don’t have the same problem. :wink:


The bees do need space to move around the front of the brood cells and for emerging bees to hatch. So to answer your question, yes probably some of the brood has been compromised. However don’t beat yourself up about it as all this cross comb will need to be removed at some point sooner rather than later before they put too much effort into wonky comb. I agree with @skeggley. I’ve had more success with wax foundation, but thats my personal experience.


Look familiar? :tired_face:


Ah yes. The joys of plastic. I’ve never had any issues with the flow frames though… guess it’s because the cells are already “drawn out”

Did you pre-wax these?

I must admit, I haven’t had much luck with plastic. But the commercial beeks swear by them

Hi Fred, yes waxed, sugar spray and threats but they stayed off them.
I have had one in a super that they drew and filled during a flow but no joy in the brood box after a couple of attempts. Yeah I know some who love them but I’m not one, I sort of enjoy wiring and fitting foundation but then I don’t do a lot.

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Thanks skeggley,! The box is a ten frame and the plan is to have is fit with all the ten frame, progressively by removing combs.
Question mark, how would you eventually do a swap between a plastic foundation and a foundationless frame? I mean can you somehow transfer the combs from one kind of frame to the other?