Hi Everyone, I’m new to bee keeping with a flow hive 2 and we recently added the flow super. Just wondering how often it’s OK to open up the observation windows? I’m worried I’m looking in too much (1 -2 times per day) and upsetting the bees. Thank you!
I think you can open the observation window as often as you like. I’m sure that doesn’t upset the bees. It’s great to sit & watch the bees going about their business.
Thanks Jeff, thats good news. I love watching them, they’re being a bit slow to take to the super as well so it’s good for keeping tabs on them in between inspections
Even better than watching an open fire
Mine took for ever too. Like with any plastic foundation, coating or rubbing some burr comb will help a lot.
I only bought the Flow hive for the entertainment value of watching the bees through the observation window. Ease of honey extraction is just an added bonus in my opinion : )
My daughter just loves checking them out through the window several times a day.
I think there should be one demerit point for each time a beekeeper walks past a flow hive and not check the observation window.
Look as often as you like, your not going to stress the bees at all in doing that. 45 years ago my mentor told me that lifting the roof off for a quick look sets a colony back 4 hours till they calm down again.
Thank goodness that Flow hive thought of a window but don’t use it as a way of assessing if there is frames ready to extract, Physically looking at both sides of a frame is the only way to know.
Ah these replies are all great! So happy I can spy on them a few times a day, it’s such a joy
On the subject of “Mine took for ever too”. Do folks use flow frames straight out of the box? The other day I was told that they should be washed with warm soapy water, then rinsed before use. This is to remove the releasing agent off the plastic. Apparently plastic foundation works better after they are washed with warm soapy water. Bees take to it more readily.
I installed my first one straight from the box. I didn’t know any different. The bees took to it straight away and filled every frame in about four or five weeks. My second Flow Hive was the next season and I coated the frames with wax because I’d read it would be better. Again they took to it straight away. Plastic foundation in the brood box and standard supers has been the opposite. Washed, waxed or straight from the box makes no difference. They avoid it like the plague. Might have been the brand I used. I use wax foundation now, works every time.
I acquired a few wax coated plastic foundation in frames when I used to swap frames when selling nucs. I found that the bees were ok with it up in the honey super, however not in the brood box.
I find the same thing that wax foundation works every time. That is “local wax” foundation. I had trouble with some foundation that must have been imported from China. The bees worked on it, but not evenly. Needless to say, I no longer exchange frames when selling nucs.
I don’t want to sound sinophobic, but I do not want consumables like foundation (and pollen if I ever had to buy any) from overseas, especially China. I’m happy to buy hive hardware online, but definitely not foundation.
They didn’t think twice about lacing baby formula with melamine some years ago, and am sure they won’t think twice about foundation either.