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Heavy flow in sub-tropical Aussie winter


Hi Cathie, I suggest to leave the hole in the inner cover open. That will give you the same advantage as the space in a migratory lid. It is so easy to lift the roof every week or so, without disturbing the bees. Especially during this cold weather. You’d probably still need your smoker going plus wear a veil at least.

If I find the lid full of bees, then find it hard to put the lid back on without squashing bees, I just shake them all in front of the entrance, then smoke the top of the super to clear any bees away before replacing the lid.

I did 3 splits in the last 2 days. They all had one thing in common. A frame nearly full of pollen. I remove those to destroy to render the wax. Pollen is one thing they’re not short of.


I wouldn’t add the ideal now, add it when the weather picks up, maybe in a month. Adding an ideal will not induce the bees to cap the Flow Super and it might have the opposite effect. The bees will cap it when it is ripe or they might regard it as honey that can be taken down into the brood and needed now.
I did full inspections on my hives yesterday and found no queen cells and the hives were strong. I think at the moment it is a bit too cool for swarming. I found lots of honey and pollen in my hives. Certainly when the last of the cold weather is over swarm management will be a priority for me.
I agree with @JeffH leaving access for the bees to go into the roof for you to get information about swarming before it happens. I am guessing you have the same sort of weather down your way. Lately my bees are bringing in more nectar and pollen than is need now and the excess is going into stores.


Unfortunately my bees disagree. the moment I leave that hole open they start building in the roof before building out the other frames. I guess they are just evil-minded little bees. :smile:


Hi again Cathie, I agree with Peter about not adding the ideal super at this point in time. It’s more to remove while doing brood manipulations.

One thing I noticed with the flow hive I worked on last Sunday was that the bees left huge areas open in the flow frames. I’m assuming because they are drone sized cells & they want the queen to lay eggs in them, seeing as we are approaching spring. Something to be aware of with your own flow hive.

The bees aren’t leaving large areas of empty cells in normal frames fitted with foundation.


Hi Cathie,

Have you had a chance to take a peek inside the hive at the capping on some of the Flow frames by removing one or two? Is the frame on the side window capped?


Hey Dan, neither colony has capped the outside window frame at all, but they have definitely capped at least 4 middle frames all the way to the edge visible through the back. I harvested one frame about two weeks ago that was 95% capped. I’ll be checking both hives tomorrow - At least the supers, not so sure of brood boxes since it’s cool. I spent a bit of time looking at them coming and going today. I didn’t see lots of pollen at all - but then of course there may be a frame of it already stored like @JeffH found.


Good job Cathie …hope all is good tomorrow :grinning: