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Hello from Ontario

Hi everyone. John here from Kingsville Ontario, Canada. I’ll be starting my first hive this spring and really looking forward to getting tips and advice from all of you. My general plan:

  1. Install nuc into 1st brood box in May
  2. Add 2nd brood box when appropriate
  3. Add 1st honey super soon after
  4. Add Flow Super once 1st is 75% full

I only intend to harvest from the Flow frames, and leave the 1st super to the stack for bees to use over the harsh winter we have here. I don’t expect to harvest anything this year from the Flow hive but would be pleasantly suprised if I got a sample or two from it.

Would love to hear opinions from folks on this plan, I know its very general and will probably depend on what the bees want but I gotta start somewhere.


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First of all “Welcome” to beekeeping, this forum n using a Flow-hive ! Your plan seems fairly right on but I’d up the bee coverage to more to approx 80%. It’s just a close estimate so your bees get one section (box) close to full before moving up stairs to the second floor.

Your bees have a lot of work building n drawing out 16 frames before even thinking :thinking: of the Flow-Super. Living way north n your May later start … watch your bees draw out very straight comb or you’ll have to rework by hand :raised_back_of_hand: to keep straight … that’s if you go foundationless … I personal didn’t n don’t… There are both thots on foundation or “less” ! I have a mix of wire reinforced n wax coated plastic which doesn’t come with Flow-system …

I’d connect with a local club or at least a beekeeper or two n get there local slant/thots/opinions. Use this local info as a guide not total truth as we all have slightly different ideas. Some are from local Wx/conditions/other. I’m really doubting you’ll use the Flow-Super because your girls have a lot to do to built comb n get the honey supply (60 to 80 lbs) to winter over in a cold/icy environment like yours… I’ve been at the Flow-system for two season without a Flow-Super harvest. This was do to short first season then a combo of varroa mites n dreath my second season (2017). I’m not discouraged n looking for season 2018 to be it or at least better.

I have two Flow-hives ( a 6 n a 7 frame ). The other four are traditional Langstroth hives that did no better in there shallow upper honey :honey_pot: supers than the Flow. Local flowers, weather n other regional issues might allow you faster or slower harvests. Just keep on keeping on, learn from your bees, mistakes (we all make them), keep records so you can be knowledgeable about your colony n keep improving.

Good luck :four_leaf_clover: n again welcome,


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Hello John,
I would suggest to skip the honey super (step #3) and instead place a QX on top of your two brood boxes and then the Flow.

That’s what we’re doing this year-after two years of not much action in our hybrid Flow. Last summer we had a deep and a medium for brood, the QX, a honey super, then the Flow. This year we’re going to skip the honey super and put our hybrid Flow on right over the brood boxes. We harvested the luscious cut comb deeps but only one Flow frame.

Our bees were flying yesterday, here in Seattle it was in the high 50s F! I checked their honey stores and they still had a full medium plus several frames in the honey super. They were looking good, cleaning out the dead and taking cleansing flights.

We do not use wax foundation and have found this to make all the difference for bees health and vigor, plus we are cut comb affectionados.


Thanks Gerald. I appreciate the insight. I agree that 16 frames will be a lot of work for them, and I am conerned about leaving the flow system on the hive during the winter, hence the idea of the standard honey super. I figure if they can fill that, at least they can enjoy the honey over the winter even if I don’t lol.

Thanks BeePeeker. Always happy to get some advice! Nice to hear there is milder weather somewhere out there, we have been in deep freeze since Christmas day.

We usually host several (2-4)10-frame langstroth hives, and this way we can leave enough honey for the bees to over-winter and also have honey to feed new bees or if our over-wintering Flow hive bees need an extra boost (as we do not like to supplement with sugar.)

You don’t want to leave the Flow frames on for a long cold winter. We’ve got ours emptied and put away.

You’ll discover that those of us who deal with cold and wet winters have a different seasonal routine than many of beeks on the Forum.

We have found Michael Bush to be an invaluable source of information :honeybee::ok_hand:t4:

I know! You guys have been colder than Kotzebue Alaska, above the arctic circle. Hope it warms up soon.


You can see the deversity in methods n thots in beekeeping… Tracey n I only live 25 plus miles apart (she’s in the city n I’m out in the country). She uses foundationless frames yet I use foundation. Nothing wrong with either method. She harvest comb thus foundationless is best for her end results. I’ve used wax foundations since the 50’s n 60’s. I tried a few foundationless frame tucked between drawn combs … Had fair to good luck with it last season but for the most I’ll probably keep using foundation except where I want to harvest honey in wax comb.

You’ll get a feel for what you want to do. I experiment a lot n work also with a local commercial beekeeper as well. My style of beekeeping is more like his.

I’m hoping a few others will drop in here n add thoughts, ideas n encouragement.



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Welcome to the forum John,

Sounds like a good plan: You’ll just need to inscribe that on the inside walls of the hive so the bees can read it :rofl:

Good luck!


Can you teach me how to write bee so i can tell mine the plans too! Or do they only have local lingo so your bee speak will not mix with Australian bee speak???