Garden cover and comb building

We installed a swarm into my new FLOW Brood box. Installed inner cover and feeder bags. The inner roof had comb building rapidly. My beek mentor suggested a screen top for the brood chamber and to build out a flat ceiling for the cover. Is this a design issue?

So are they building comb in the “attic” area of the roof? I would put screen on the hole, myself, as I’ve had bees move into such small areas before…

1 Like

I’ve seen screened inner covers thing is if you feed them, you’ll have to ensure they can reach the feed through the screen or use frame feeders inside the brood box itself. Guy i knew used a mason jar feeder but didn’t flip the inner lid (the one you put inside the screw down part) inside out and that small space between the screen and the feed meant they couldn’t reach it and starved. If you use a mason jar it will cover the hole completely.

I wouldn’t say it is a design flaw it is just bees being bees. They will fill any cavity they feel is suitable to build in. Normally you would cover this hole with a feeder, or screen to prevent this

We put the feeder bags outside the hive, nearby. I ordered a hive box feeder, not sure how they get to it and it will be a week before it gets here. I went up to a local bee store looking for some kind of screen and he sold me an extra cover and stapled a screen on it. I thought I would use that long enough to put a ceiling in on the gabled garden roof that came with my “delux complete FLOW hive kit”. Well, doh, I got a 10 instead of 8 frame sized board. So, now what?

Because the box feeder will be a while I bought a jar feeder and just set it up next to the hive. Does it need to be internal? The reducer is still on the smallest setting. Remember, this was a swarm three days ago. Also, the fancy copper topped gabled garden box roofs the bee guy was selling had inner ceilings. I’m still thinking the FLOW hive needs this.

About the photo of the comb being built in the roof – and is this desirable?

No this is not desirable. But it happens if the bees have space available to them. In my research it seems this happens the most with winter and spring feedings where you use a spacer box to put food inside the hive. After the food is gone there is a gap that they can build comb and will do it readily.

So you wouldn’t make a drop ceiling in the roof? Once the super goes on, the cover will be on, but the bees will still build in the attic, right? They are using the space. There is too much space. “A violation of bee space” in principle, my Beek mentor tells me.

you could always take the inner cover off and staple some hardware screen to it yourself. :slight_smile:

1 Like

The roof with the Flow hive is ideal in some ways and not ideal in others. Personally I love it because it keeps an air buffer between my hive and the roof. This will come in handy in a month when we hit 115F. It also looks nice. However it does give the bees space to build if they are not kept out with some sort of barrier, like a screen or rock/tile. Then they will be restricted to the inside of the inner cover.

I’m a very new beek, so I wanted something on there while I was working on remedying the situation. I appreciate your suggestion. I can always sell the 10 frame cover to a friend.

What do you do with all that comb in the attic? Of course we want comb in the brood box. They are filling it with sugar syrup of course.

As am i. i’ve seen people put bricks there… but on my hive i just put a regular mouth mason jar upside down with some sugar syrup and 3-4 holes in the lid and it covers the whole completely.

And use an empty super, right?

yep you got it. 8 frame super then put the lid on top of the empty one. A quart jar will fit in the empty super.

1 Like

That’s just too simple. Funny, almost laughable, the Bee shop owner sells jar lids with holes punched in them for $1.77 each. I got this.

Next question. I have only had this hive for two days and have already gone in twice. Is it too soon to go back in and make this change?

It is undesirable as others have said. The bees moved into my feeder and the brood nest was there. I could not easily do anything without wrecking the colony. I put it on the bottom upside down, with a box above that and an upper entrance and waited until there was no brood in it. Then I harvested the honey.

You arent going back in per se you are just putting a feed jar over the hole. Thats the beauty of jars

1 Like

Yes, except there will be 10,000 bees in the lid to relocate.

open the box and position the bees directly over the frames and sharply hit the side of the top until they are all in the brood box. Put the lid back on and put the feeder jar on top covering the hole.