Fred Oertli, Sydney

Thinking of removing the Flow super from the hive this week (May 18) and store it away in a dry place. How do I care for it ? Cleaning ? Anything else worth knowing on this topic ?

There are a lot of posts on the forum discussing this. Here is one of the main links, which I found by using the Forum search tool at the upper right of this page:

Personally, I harvest the super on the hive, and let the bees take the cappings off for a day or two. Then I wrap each frame in cling film (plastic wrap) and freeze it for at least 48 hours to kill off any wax moths and SHB eggs/larvae. The wrapped frames then go into a large plastic bag which gets tightly tied off to prevent access for pests and I keep it in my garage until spring.

If I had a bigger freezer, I would probably just leave the frames in there over winter.

If there is honey in the drainage channel, I would rinse that out before wrapping the frames, but mine were empty. There was no need for any other cleaning in my frames. The bees readily took to them when I put them back on the hive this year.

Hello Fred, some areas in Sydney have frosts and very low day temperatures like out in the western suburbs while in the coastal suburbs it is much milder. Without knowing where you live I would not advise leaving the Flow Super on the hive.
So you should extract what honey is in the frames and leave it in the hive and the bees will clean it up, once they have stopped showing so much interest in them wash them in your laundry with warm water and let them dry in the shade. Wrap each frame in glad wrap. We all tend to agree thus far.
If they are well cleaned and washed there will not be an issue with hive beetles or wax moth.
What I would do next is to put them into heavy duty garbage bin black bags, seal it with masking tape, place that into another bag and seal that again and store them in a cool dry place. Place some mouse and cockroach baits about the bag. You can feed the extracted honey back to the bees if it was not capped and they will store it for use over winter.
In the beginning of Spring wash the frames well with warm water and let them dry before putting them in the Flow Super box and back on the hive.
Some in the warmer suburbs say they leave the Super on. Bees will always find something in flower in the suburbs but when doing a hive inspection over the colder months just check for honey stores and that all seems good, don’t go looking for the queen or brood, that takes too long, do the check on a warmer day with no wind.
I had hives in the Richmond area with a cold winter climate.

Leaving the frames outside the hive is akin to open feeding and can attract robbers and transmit all kinds of diseases. Not 100% sure, but I think it’s even illegal in NSW Australia to leave honey frames exposed in the open.
Your neighbouring beekeeping colleagues would be horrified.

If one plans to take the flow super off, best to extract the nectar/honey as usual and leave the frames in the hive for a couple of days for the bees to clean up. They’ll do a sterling job.

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Sterling? Or solid gold? :smile:

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Note I said to wash the frames in the laundry before putting them out to dry, there is no law against that even in NSW and I am 100% sure of that, is taking frames out of the hive doing inspection the Dept of Primary Industries require of bee keepers not allowed by your interpretation of the law.
When I do my inspections I place frames as removed laying against the hive and have never had a robbing issue. When you do a hive inspection do you remove frames? Where do you take them to so they are not exposed to the open?, air I presume but you did not clarify.
My friend, it is a wild stretch to suggest my neighboring beekeepers would be horrified by my practice as until ‘sky hooks’ are perfected it is, believe it or not, normal practice to put frames against the side of its hive. We all, except you, do that.

In @Webclan 's haste to criticize me he thought he was stirring me but I can accept he is just having his fun, it is sad, but it takes all types to make the world go round.

Hi Peter,
Before you edited your text you said to leave the frames next to the hive for the bees to clean up.
My comment was I believe it’s not legal in NSW to leave stickies exposed outside. That was no criticism of your advice at all. Not sure what the law in QLD is, where you are.
Yes, my beekeeping neighbours would indeed be very upset if I left stickies out. We have AFB around.