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How to encourage bees to fill the Flow Frames


Hi RBK, yes I coated the frames with wax, I used a roller to put the melted wax on. The bees have sealed the frames and store nectar in different cells, around the edge, nothing in the middle. Then I check a few days later and it’s gone😜 This has been going on for about 16 months.


Hi Alan, well that’s interesting! I guess all bees are not the same. I wonder what would happen if I requeened from a different supplier?


@Timbo2 If you remember to ask me in about 2yrs I might be able to offer an answer. That’s about how long I think it will be before I commit regicide…

My queen is fantastic thus far…I wish I could clone her…!


Thank you all for your helpful comments and encouragement. Weather permitting this weekend, I will remove the flow frames, wax them and I plan to move up one frame of worker brood and place in the center. It will be a bit odd since I do not use deep frames, and I assume they will add some funky comb below to fill the gap. This will be the first time i do any hybrid mixing of frames.
Below my empty flow hive super i have a queen excluder and two supers with shallow frames all filled with brood and appropriate resources. It’s a healthy hive…


Hi there @RyanPhelan - so much good advice here…not sure if someone already said this and I missed it, but I thought I’d suggest to check that your flow frames are set in the “closed” position.


Follow-up comment. We inspected our hive in urban San Diego today. The recent hive weight gain has looked like this, about 600 to 700 grams per day:

The Flow frames are largely unfilled, but the two center frames are about 10-20% filled with uncapped honey, and there are many cells which are being lined with wax. Looking at the brood box, there are plenty of food stores, but also plenty of empty cells for the queen to lay. We spotted the queen and she looked peaceful and busy. So I don’t know if we will have a harvest this year, but I would say that pushing in blobs of burr comb and dribbling Honey-B-Healthy syrup onto a few frames worked for us. Wishing you luck too!



My bees have gone into both of my flow hives with no problem. No loss over winter.


Hi Bobby

I’m in Perth, Australia and will be assembling the FH later this month and I got a silly question for you.

Watched your video, it was great. Just wondering what happens to the foam roller that you used? Do you heat it in hot water after each use, to remove the excess wax?



@aaron_y, I disposed of mine. You could try to clean one in hot water but it’d be a tough go.


I thought as much. Too much effort

Thanks for the tip


I have a medium honey super above the Flow Hive now. (It was beneath the FH but not yet fully capped) but they fill it up and didn’t pay much attention to the flow hive. These both are above the queen excluder. Should I remove the excluder? Should I remove the medium honey super? Help!


How about moving the medium above the Flow super (switch positions). That way they will have to walk across the plastic to get to the good-smelling stuff, and they will probably decide to use the Flow frames. :slight_smile:

Edit: Oops, I misread what you wrote. OK, so if the medium super is fully capped, I would remove it. If not, leave it above the Flow super. If you haven’t already, I would also suggest getting some wax onto the Flow frames. You can do that by smearing some burr comb on with a hive tool, rubbing a bar of wax over the frame faces, or painting on melted wax. That might make a big difference. :blush:


Hi May - are you saying that you have a brood box, above that a queen excluder, above that the flow super (with flow frames) and above that a medium super? Thanks.


This is how much my bees “dislike” the plastic Flow frames:

Going to inspect tomorrow and see if any are ready for harvesting. :smile:


One would be forgiven for thinking that the bees absolutely love the flow frames. I just reckon that the bees are happy to have somewhere to store their honey :wink:


So how was it, Dawn? Anxious to know!! LOL


The two middle frames had a beautiful arc of fully capped honey - about 50% of the frame. Under the honey were open empty cells, ready for the queen to lay in. She won’t though - I have a very good queen excluder. :blush: So I made some more space in the brood box, as it seemed to me that the bees felt the need for more sisters. :wink: I will wait a while and see if they fill the rest of the Flow frames.

I don’t want to drain them with so many empty cells below the honey. Chances for a big leak back into the hive are high. :flushed:


Has anyone else had a strong hive that does not want to expand into the Flow section? I’ve done it for 2 seasons on 2 different hives, and I get some activity in the Flow section, but they don’t cap any the cells. The cells are arranged properly with the key tool. What is wrong here?


Have you tried the oft-discussed waxing or sugar spray?


@Faroe is making me re-type this. As I am a bit senile, it may not say quite the same thing… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

This problem is very common. Go to the top of this thread for the comprehensive list of suggestions.

Personally I just took some blobs of burr comb from an inspection on my hive tool, and smeared them gently into the plastic Flow frame faces. Within 2 days, the bees were waxing the plastic frames, and within 2 weeks, they were beginning to store honey. Two months later, I was able to harvest about 3.1kg per frame from 4 frames. :smile: