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Hello from Pennsylvania

Hi Susan - so sorry your bees died :pensive:

Winter Deadouts is a good thread for understanding this. Mine died too, because of varroa-related disease and/or weakness going into winter. I’ve ordered 2 nucs for spring & will be following a much stricter oxalic acid treatment regimen this year. Are you going to get more bees?

And how did your bees make out so far @Zab?

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Hello from Uniontown, Pa!


Ha Ha! I’ve been on this board since June '15! I don’t post much though.

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Beautiful weekend, but very concerning… Both colonies out in full force bringing in lots of pollen.
I think it’s too early for these warm temps. We normally have freezing into May. Thoughts?

Decided to start training the bees to enter the TBH from the end, as when I built it I made the entrance on the side. Amazing how in a few hours 99% of them were going in/out like it had always been that way!


Thank you! The TBH is leftover lumber from a remodel in my house. Built in a weekend last winter.
Had a package of bees come in with a dead queen, called and had another queen overnighted, but the same day that I called a swarm popped up at my neighbors! Combined the swarm and package bees, sold the queen to a friend and 3 weeks later all bars were completely drawn! Amazing!


And now you have made contact with a carpentry wizard in PA!!! :imp:

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Hey PA beekeepers! I’m from Montgomery County PA. Started our first flow last spring & all was well until we checked our bees a few weeks ago & poof…gone… Ordered more for this spring so giving it a shot again. Will be reading what the rest of you are saying on this thread & may be needing more advice in the weeks ahead!


Hi Jennifer, and welcome! Not much info in your post there to help you with. So, I have some questions to try to help your hive do better this year.

  1. How often did you inspect the hive?
  2. How many boxes did you use for brood below the Flow super?
  3. Did you check for varroa? If so, how did you do that?
  4. Have you done a hive “post-mortem”? What did you find? Dead bees? Full or empty comb?
  5. Have you joined a local bee club?
  6. Do you have a local beekeeping mentor?

I wish you all the best, and I am not criticizing you, I just want to know how we can best help you. The instructions that came with the Flow hive are not ideal for the US climate zones, and if we know what happened to you this year, we can help you prevent it as you go forward.

Welcome once again. :blush:


Hi Dawn,

  1. At least once a week
  2. 2 brood boxes below the super
  3. No
  4. Full of empty comb
  5. No
  6. Yes, sort of…friends n NJ area that have helped along the way.

Thank you so much for your response. Looking for all the help we can get :slight_smile:

Hi again, Jennifer! :blush:

Thanks for the additional information, that is very helpful. It sounds like you did conscientious inspections during the season. So I would say the two most likely causes of your hive loss are varroa and starvation, in that order. It is possible that they absconded for some reason too, but in that case, the comb would not normally be empty unless it has been robbed.

So what do to this year? Well, this would be my tentative plan.

  1. Take the hive apart, if you haven’t already, and freeze all of the frames with wax in them for at least 48 hours. That will kill any wax moth and SHB larvae. If you have had a good freeze during the winter, you won’t need to do this.
  2. When your bees arrive, reduce the hive down to a single brood box. Put your new bees in this box, and do not add another box until all frames are fully drawn, plus they are 80% full of brood, honey or pollen.
  3. I would add a second brood box and let that get fully drawn and 80% filled before doing anything else. This will mean that your colony has good reserves for winter before you start sharing in the honey.
  4. Add the Flow super when both brood boxes are more than 80% full and every frame is covered with bees.
  5. Consider doing sugar roll (non-lethal and quite accurate) or alcohol wash (lethal but very accurate) counts for varroa thoughout the season. Treat if mite counts get worrying, or you see signs of viral diseases, including DWV. There are plenty of organic treatments if you want to stay as natural as possible, including MAQS and Oxalic Acid. Treating for varroa if needed will greatly increase the chances that your hive survives the winter.
  6. Carefully monitor food stores over winter, and feed if needed. One way to do this in cold weather is to learn to “heft” the hive. The best way is to get a hive scale and weigh the hive regularly.

I wish you better luck this year, and hopefully something from the above will be useful to you. :wink:


I know not everyone would agree, however this is my approach:

It’s pretty long, but here is the full discussion:

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Hi there welcome to the forum

New to Beekeeping in PA - located in Montgomery County. My sister and I have set up 2 hives at the Perkiomen School. We are looking forward to learning from all of you!

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Welcome to the Flow Forum. @Eva is in the same state as you, I believe, but bees behave the same all over the world, so we are all willing to help in any way possible. :smile:

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Hi there @Perkiomen_Bees! I’m in Montgomery County too :sunglasses: I’d be happy to help if I can, as a second year beekeeper. I’ve definitely learned the most from this forum!

Hiya @AyAve - wow, I don’t think I’ve seen any other Danes here yet!

Hi I have a flow hive setup in schwenksville at my home. Haven’t bee on here much first year bee keeper, learning everyday.

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I am in Chester County PA. New this season to beekeeping and my flow hive.

Hey @jennybeeyou - welcome to the Flow forum! I’m in Montgomery County & also new to beekeeping (second year). How did your season go so far?

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Hi first year bee keeping did not get honey this year. I am out in Atglen/chester county Amish country. However been hearing a lot about killing the queen so that they can make a new one. Should I do that? Also I would like to move my hive from where I have it now when would be the best time to do that.