New to bee keeping and excited to start this adventure with my kids.
Welcome Dallas here. The Collin County Bee club is great, http://cchba.org/ Try to check them out, They have a lot of classes a great receorce .
Good to know. Thank you
Hello! I’m in Flower Mound and just ordered my Flow Hive this morning. I’ve never kept bees and have been struggling with getting the standard hive, or taking a leap and get the Flow Hive. I hope it turns out to be as easy as they say it is.
Have you had your first season of bees this year? If so, how did you do and how did it go?
I have, here in far North Dallas, Frankfurt and the tollway bent tree north is my neighborhood. The only thing different between standard hive and the flow frame hive is the harvesting honey. Everything else i.e. hive Beatles mites, feeding the bees, inspecting the brood, Possibly killing the queen is all the same. Come to the Collin County bee club you will learn a lot do find a mentor that’s been my best Avenue for learning as well as this site
if your would like to set, have coffee and chat let me know. I would be willing to show you my set up if you would like.
You planning one installing your bee’s in the early spring?
Howdy neighbor! Thanks for reaching out. I will look up the meeting schedule for the CCBC and hopefully go in September and get to meet you. Looking forward to this exciting adventure and getting everything ready. It would be really helpful to do a popover in the fall to see your set up and see what extras you purchased beyond the Flow Hive kit.
Thanks for sharing and I will see you soon.
Absolutely you just let me know when. Brad, my mentor found me a swarm that he and I recently transferred to a NUC and I will be bringing it back to my house soon and will winter it there before transferring it to its new box in early spring/late winter.
Well everything was great and super easy until a few days ago. My bees absconded and I have not been able to find them yet. I’m pretty sure they left because the queen did not lay many, if any, eggs. (The brood was built out with empty cells.) It is a fun and enjoyable experience. If I do not find them I will order another colony. Another friend of mine is cracking his flow hive next week, I’ll let you know how the honey extraction process goes.
What a perfect place to have bees, Flower Mound
We went to the meeting in September and really enjoyed it. I sent in our membership yesterday. Hope to see you at the one in October.
I see in your photos that you added a 2nd Flow Hive brood box at some point during the season. What month did you add it and what was the reason? I’m wondering when to anticipate getting another one next year.
Also, I was wondering with regards to selling your own honey, if you had to get any special registration, certification or approval? I haven’t checked that out yet.
We put our Flow Hive together last weekend and I cured it with Tung Oil, as suggested by the Flow Hive video, so I won’t need to have it wax dipped.
Nice looking hive, Tina, even if the Flow super is on backwards in the bottom photo! You will find that the roof sits better when the super is the other way around.
Welcome to the forum, hope you find lots of useful information here.
Not sure what you’re asking about the Second Flow, are you talking about the fact that I have three boxes on top of each other 2 Brood boxes and one honey super, Or you talking about the fact that I’ve added a whole new beehive flow frame set?
As for selling honey in the state of Texas, Texas passed a law last year saying that beekeepers like you and I can sell or honey, But they’re special labeling required indicating is not packaged in a Health department inspected place. That physically has to be on the Bottle. We can chat at the Club meeting if you like
The 2nd brood box on the original 2 box set is what I was referring to. I didn’t realize you got another complete set as well. Cha Ching!
Thanks for the honey labeling info.
Yes, we will be glad to meet you at the next gathering!
In the US, it is recommended in most locations you run to brood boxes, mainly do to our overall honey flow. I will see if I can find a couple of other threads on here where it’s discussed at length.
Here’s the steps of your boxes in short.
Bottom brood box 1st, but your bees in
the bees will need to work that box by itself nothing else.
They will need to draw out all the comb, on all the frames essentially when you think the brood box is busting at its seams with bees is when you put the 2nd box on.
For you and I, being new beekeepers, it will feel like it’s busting at the seams, in reality for standard beekeeper it will be close to 80% full.
For me and my location and me feeding my bees occasionally that took right at 30 days.
Then I added the 2nd brood box, with the same process, said the bees occasionally and waited until it was nearly busting at its seams or for an experience beekeeper about 80% full.
One thing I’ve recently learned from another old-time beekeeper and this is left to be proven or questioned by others, is have your queen excluder on top of your top box regardless if you’ve got a honey super or not. This way the bees are used to it from day one and they’re not staying away from it, that may be some of the reasons why they’re not moving into the flow frames as quickly as some would like.
That note aside, then and only then do you put your honey super i.e. your flow frames on top.
Making 2 separate responses out of this only to help coordinate conversation.
Labeling, you can go to the Texas beekeeping Association website and they have labeling regulations on their for beekeepers like you and I
Hi Marty and Dawn,
We live in Flower Mound, Texas. We got 2 healthy nucs installed on May 11 and I have questions about whether we should add the honey super on the strongest hive, add a second brood box, or give the current brood box more time, as well as a question about frames and when to stop feeding.
When we installed the nucs, we put 2 new, empty frames with black plastic wax foundation sheets (that I purchased at a supply store), in each brood box, along with a 1 frame feeder full of 1 to 1 sugar water. Checking today, after 1 week, the bees haven’t touched the new black plastic foundation sheet frames but they are all over the original center frames, with capped brood and capped honey. They even built a burr of comb (about 4" x 6") on the strongest hive above and below the hole in the inner cover, that we had to scrape off. They don’t appear to like the new black plastic foundation frames. My husband read to spray the black plastic foundation frames with sugar water to entice them to be attracted to them and start working them. I want to try removing the black foundation frames altogether and replace them with the bare ones I got from Flow Hive, with nothing on them, and see if they start building them out by the time we check the hives again next weekend. My husband thinks that time is ticking and since honey harvest in Texas is around July 4, we should skip adding a second brood box and put the honey super on now to let them start making honey.
So my questions are…
Should we just be patient and try the natural frames this week to see if they start working them and see about adding a 2nd brood box soon?
Add the honey super now, or in the near future and skip the 2nd brood box?
When to stop feeding the sugar water inside the hive?
Or if you have any other advice, we welcome it. We are divided on how to proceed.
Good idea. I would take out the plastic foundation frames and move the capped honey/pollen to the outer edges. Then put the empty frames one frame in from the outside. The intention is to make the bees cross the empty frames to get to the honey. That way, they will consider them part of the brood nest and probably work them sooner. I would probably leave the feeder in place until it is empty, then take it out - don’t refill it.
Is the plastic foundation waxed? If not, it is going to be a real struggle to get the bees to use it. If it is, the same trick might work to get them to use the frames, but I would try the foundation less ones first.
That might work if they are waxed. Probably won’t if you leave them at the outer edges of the hive though - they seem to have decided that they are “walls” for now.
Any box (Flow super, brood box, traditional super) should only be added when ALL of the below are true:
- All frames have fully drawn comb across most of the frame, and
- The comb is 80% full of honey, nectar or brood, and
- Every frame is well-covered with bees
That way, you know that you have enough bees and enough motivation to use and defend the new space.
If you do that, you are putting the honey harvest before the well-being of the bees. In your region, I think most people use 2 brood boxes for overwintering. If you put the Flow super on, they won’t have time to fill a second brood box as well before winter. It is your choice, but I would go for the second brood box first, and accept that I may not get a honey harvest this year. Next year you will have a much stronger colony, and you will be ready for the nectar flow much earlier.
If you have a nectar flow, one feeding should be enough. If there is a dearth, and they need to draw a lot of comb, I would start feeding again.
Good luck to you and your bees! I look forward to reading @Martydallas’s advice.
When to add a second brood box with a flow hive? Missouri, USA
Thank you, Dawn!
You are very helpful with advice. We opened the hives yesterday. Should I wait a week to go in again to move things around, or just try and do it as quickly as possible today, if weather permits?
Also, when we installed the bees last week, I never installed the bottom board. Our bee teacher had said that the nights were getting warm enough in Texas to not have to have it in and the days have already been in the upper 80’s and low 90’s. I’ve seen the DIY beetle hive video and wondered if that is something I should do to trap the beetles? We did see a live beetle in the feeder.
I would do it as soon as you can, so that they get time to work on the new frames very soon. Weather permitting, as you say.
I am not an expert on SHB, as we don’t have them in San Diego, yet… However, I am not a fan of screened bottom boards. I think they interfere with ventilation by fanning, as they disrupt the “laminar flow” which the bees create. Additionally they provide a huge bottom entrance for ants and SHB to access the hive! I have gone back to all solid bottoms and my Flow hive has the slider in the upper slot.
I am in North Dallas (frankford and tollway), sunday raining. Just doing stuff around the house. Would love to swing by today and see your setup and chat about next steps for you Let me know.
you can send me a private masseage if you would like