How many bees do you need for 7 frame?

I’m new to bed keeping and want to how many bees I need to maximize production. I’d like to get the 7 frame flow hive 2, but I’m just trying to figure out how much money I’ll need to include the bees. Also, anyone know what the best bees are for hot, dry Texas?

Hello and welcome to the Flow forum!

You will need to buy either a nucleus, or a package of bees. A nucleus is 5 frames of bees with brood, honey, pollen and a queen. About 6,000 to 10,000 bees on those frames. A package is sold by weight, and I believe that a 3 lb package will have around 10,000 bees in it, with the queen in a separate cage. A nucleus costs $200-$270 and packages are around $200. I would suggest that you join a local bee club. Members often sell bees to other members at lower prices than I gave for purchasing from commercial suppliers.

Any type of bee should be fine in Texas, but for a beginner, I would recommend Italians. They are very gentle and very productive. They are also very hungry, so you may need to feed them over winter, especially if you don’t have a double brood box setup.

Thank you so much. If you were to get a 7 frame system, would 1 package be enough or would you need more? I’ve found some people in my area that I’ll start meeting with, but for now, I’m just trying to get a general idea of how this will all work.

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Just one package is more than enough to start them out.

You’ll more than likely want to feed a new package because they’ll lots of frames to draw out and remember that you’re not likely to need your super at all the first year, especially if you’re starting from a package instead of a healthy split or a nuc.


Thank you. If I purchased a 7 frame, would they eventually fill all frames or is 7 overkill for a 3lb package? I have a lot to learn.

If properly managed, yes, they will!

The size of the package (2, 3, 4, 6, 10 lbs) is not important in that discussion, the bees in the package are just workers to support the new queen (that they aren’t directly related to) while she makes her own colony.

Maybe there are places when the going is so tough that the colonies don’t ever grow large enough or ever have surplus honey but I would guess those are pretty desolate locations.


I agree with everything that @chau06 wrote.

Please keep in mind that you should not have the 7-frame super on the hive when you start. You need to start with just the brood box, which is a 10 frame Langstroth box. When you join a bee club, tell them that you have a Langstroth hive (you do). Do not mention the Flow hive part - that is just a harvesting mechanism. Many traditional beekeepers are hostile towards Flow hives, but you should follow their advice on local management of bees. If you just say that you have a 10-frame Langstroth hive, they will be able to give you good local advice. If they use double brood boxes, you should too. Local knowledge is very helpful for successful beekeeping. When you need advice about the super, we can help with that here.


This is all great information. Thank you to everyone that replied! God bless and have a great day!