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How to encourage bees to fill the Flow Frames


What purpose would the fume board serve?


Ditto to what @Red_Hot_Chilipepper said. What purpose would the fume board serve?

The only purpose of a fume board as far as I know is to clear bees out of a honey super before removing frames. Just give your bees a little bit of smoke before inspecting the frames.

It’s really worth physically inspecting the flow frames, because the end view isn’t an accurate assessment of the status of the frames. Sometimes they look fully capped, but they’re not. Other times they can look uncapped, however upon inspection, they are mostly capped & ready to rob.


Yes it is a great post, but I can’t highlight it sorry.


Hi Seb, its a fair question you ask, however hopefully I can answer some of your queries. The bees will not lay down nectar in the Flow super or any other super unless there is a plentiful bounty to lay down. They will always choose to place honey in the brood first (they like to keep their stores closeby to feed the foragers as they return or are preparing to depart. Only when the brood chambers are full and there is no where else to put the honey will they then look to building more comb in places like the roof and a super. It could also be that your bees are consuming the same amount of nectar/honey that they are bringing in, and the further and harder they need to source that nectar will also determine how much they consume.
Do you have any good nectar sources closeby? and how many brood boxes are your bees having to occupy and fill? Two months is not very long, it can take up to a couple of years before a colony has the ability to produce enough of an excess that you can harvest. Lots of factors to consider. Just be patient and observe, I think you fill find that they will produce just not when you expect.


To get the bees to leave the flow hive, draw off honey, and then let them resume where they left off. There is a lot of summer left here (3 more months of hot and then 1 1/2 months of mild).


THis is my first season with a flow super. I put it on one of my second year hives with two brood boxes.
I had four supers on the boxes - three conventional and the flow super. I put the flow super in the second position (from the queen excluder, reasoning that the bees would have to go past the flow frame and that would end up getting filled.
I just finished an inspection with mite count (negligible).
The good news is that all the conventional supers are getting filled nicely. The ones on top were so heavy…
All frames in the super that was under the flow super has been nicely drawn out and filled with honey and frames are about 75% capped.
The bad news is the flow super…the bees seem to be going right through the flow hive.and storing honey above (and below).but not in the flow frames!
I could see some scattered pollen in the two frames I pulled out to inspect.
I wonder if you have any advice…
When I reassembled the supers, I put the flow hive on the top…hoping to have the honey in conventional supers capped fully.
thanks in advance for any inputs


Remove any empty supers if you want them to store it in the flow frames.


I agree with Michael, I would remove the supers so the bees don’t have a choice. Even if its just for a short while to allow the bees to get used to working the Flow. Maybe a bit late now, but you could move them to one or more of your other hives.


I would remove the Flow super until next year and let them start winter preparations. How many boxes under the excluder do they have? In Minnesota 3 deep boxes would be my recommendation.


Is it only me or do these posts seem out of order? Some say posted hours ago and then after those posts there are some from a year ago.


I set my Flow super out 9 days ago and when I checked it yesterday (7/9) I found only a few stray bees in the box with no activity on the frames. I had some burr comb so I rubbed that on each of the frames, put the frames in and set the super aside while I checked the lower brood boxes. I reset the Flow super and noted that I had put the frames in backwards so I set to repositioning the frames in the correct position. In the few minutes it took to turn the frames end for end, several hundred workers had crawled through the excluder and had started working on the clumps of wax I had just rubbed on the frames. It will be interesting to see if they stay in the Flow super now and do their work. RC


I think it’s too late to add a super. Better luck next year.


I have ran out of patience and will be removing my two sets of flow frames. I tried the lang frames with honey and brood in place of one of the flow frames and some of that frame is now capped honey and just about all of it has honey stores but the flow frames int he same box has not one drop of honey. I have put this off since 3/2016 because I know they will likely never be used again. Sad day.


Same problem here. I added the flow super at the end of the spring nectar flow and all summer long they “worked” on the flow frames, but deposited nothing. There was a lot of bearding during the summer. Then last week I lifted the flow super and saw that the excluder was pretty built up with wax. I cleaned the excluder and the tops of the brood frames, and the bees seem much happier now. No more bearding, the flow frames are packed with bees, and I’m seeing some honey come and go, so I know they’ve adapted to the frames. Fall nectar flow starts soon! Yeehaa.
P.S. I’m in Central Oregon and I’m a new-bee.



I have just ‘waxed’ the flow frames in anticipation of spring’s arrival in a few weeks! Very excited to see how it progresses!



I have been trying to get my girls to deposit honey on the FHS since mid May. Tried ALL suggestions below. Wet wax, dry wax, sugar dusting, syrup dripping - nothing happening! I post this to see if my problem relates to the alignment of the plastic edges of the supers - see the pictures attached. Are the outer edges meant to be stepped, or on the same level?Flow hive - 1 (1)


I was expecting no end of trouble with getting the girls to take interest in the flows…

I put mine on with ZERO prep and within 48 hours they’re crawling all over them. I guess I lucked out?


Hi Michael…same thing happened to me. I think we need to think of a Flow super as just that. You put it on when there is a flow (of nectar) rather than thinking of the honey flowing out at harvest :smiley:


I thought mine weren’t being used either, as both windows and the back show no honey at all:

Yet, when I went to lift off the super for inspection it nearly put my back out, so I pulled the frames to find the 5 middle ones 50% to 75% full:

The girls can be quite sneaky at times!

I prepped mine by rolling on a thin layer of liquid wax, and drizzling a tablespoon of honey on them. This pic is after 5 or 6 weeks.


Hi Hubert,

Yes the edges are meant to be stepped. They are designed like this to create less disturbance to the bees while harvesting.
Having the moving leaf inset a bit, means that once the bees build it out the movement happens deeper within the honeycomb. This often means the capping stays intact as the honey drains out, leaving the bees with less disturbance.