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How to encourage bees to fill the Flow Frames


Morning Lee,

Jack n Rod have given you a lot of food for thought in there notes. I have a couple questions too. First, is this your first season n where do you live ?

If you live in the Nortnern Hemisphere usually you should be using two double deep boxes before (that are full of drawn comb, bees n resources (nectar/pollen/honey))) … And if so is there currently a massive or great local nectar flow… if so n your lower two boxes are stuff (80%plus) … and you’ve prepped the flow-frames with wax (as noted) then just maybe you might have a concern.

If most of this is a “No” answer… patience Lee … it’s not the end of the world with your bees … Don’t get the cart ahead of the horse, as my mom use to say.

Until the season, condition n bees are really ready you won’t find much happening upstairs in any honey supers…

Sounds like your doing okay. Some info in your profile n in your notes helps us help you as well. A pix or two are worth a bunch of words too.

Please keep the questions coming. Observing n asking questions will get you a lot of mileage in Beekeeping too. Find a local bee club n mentor if possible to know what is normal for your local region.

Good luck :four_leaf_clover:,



This kis the second season with this hive. Have tow deeps about 75% full of brood and honey and 1 medium about 60% full of honey. I did not take any honey the first year. I live in Central Texas, and the nectar flow is a little slow this year.

Thank you for the input, I welcome any advise as I am a new beekeeper.

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They won’t use the Flow super until that medium box is full. I would try moving the medium super above the Flow super, as long as there aren’t any drones in it, assuming you are using a queen excluder.


Good idea, I would never have thought of that. I did it about 10 min ago we will see if it works. Thank you.

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I perhaps didn’t fully explain my thought process. Apologies for that. :blush:

The logic is that bees can smell honey a long way off. You have a partly full medium with honey in it. If you put it above the plastic frames (which the bees don’t like very much if it hasn’t been used before), they will smell honey in the top of the hive.

Bees tend to have a touch of OCD, and they like all of their resources as close to the brood nest as possible. So chances are that they will go up to find the honey, meanwhile walking all over the plastic frames. As they walk, they lay down “footprint pheromone” - I kid you not, it exists. This signals to other bees that the plastic is an accepted part of the hive and more bees will likely go up into the plastic frames.

The second beneficial thing is the OCD part. It is very likely that they will want to move the honey down in the hive, so that it is closer to the brood nest. That means that they will probably try to start storing honey in your Flow super.

I don’t think that you need 2 deeps and a medium to overwinter bees in Texas, so this is not hurting their winter stores, as they will still have the 2 deeps. The end result is that you train them to accept the Flow super. :wink:



my bees have chosen to swarm rather than use the flowhive super when I had only on bb. So I have replaced the super it with an 8 frame normal super that is nearly full of honey now at the end of the season. What are peoples thoughts on putting the flow hive super in between the full super and the bb to see if they will move the honey down to be closer? aloha, karen


Are you saying “I had only one brood box”? Just trying to make proper sentence of your first sentence.

You could try it, but you can never tell with bees what they will do. I understand that most of Hawaii is tropical, and therefore has year-round nectar flows, but in the more northern climates, at this time of year bees can be very reluctant to cap honey. With that in mind, I would probably just extract your super the traditional way, and try again with the Flow super.

Did you prepare the Flow super at all? Did you put any wax or burr comb on it before putting it on top of the brood box? If not, that may be why they ignored it. :blush:


Welcome to the forum Karen. I have had the same problem as you with an experiment. I bought 2 flow supers of the 6 frame version, I painted on melted bees wax with an old paint bush over all the cells in one super and the other I did nothing to it. They were both put on roughly equal single brood boxes on the same day. Through the windows the waxed box had very active bees working after 3 days while the untreated flow super had no action at all.
After 3 weeks there was honey being stored on all but the outer frames and still no acceptance of the unpainted flow super so I removed it from the hive and painted the frames, reinstalled on the hive and after two days there was work going on sealing the cells.
After 5 weeks I extracted all of the frames on one hive and 3 weeks later the other hive was ready for removal of its honey.
Since then every five weeks I have taken 5 or 6 frames of capped honey from each hive.
I would wax up the Flow Super and fit only that to the brood box with a queen excluder.
Hope that gets your Flow Super underway and you won’t look back.


HI Peter and thanks for your reply- I cant figure out how the flow forum works…looks like someone moved my message somewhere else…anyway- I had squished a bit of wax into the flow frame area without any improvement before I swapped out for the old school frames.…but now I will go ahead and fully paint them as this sounds like a good ideathanks again! kk


Others have had good result by rubbing some wax on the frames, I tried that as well as spraying sugar water. The bees collected the sugar water that then down into the brood box. The only way I could stimulate interest was brushing on molten wax and they took to the Flow frames within a day or two.
Your brood box needs to be strong in numbers of bees and I am sure you will positive results.
Your post was probably moved into a location that you would get more replies or where others had posted very similar questions. Your not the only one to have had that issue.


Hey Karen - welcome to the forum! Sorry you’re having trouble here and in your bee yard :sweat_smile: About posts being moved, yes, regulars on the forum have the ability to recategorize posts if they seem out of place. When I first began using the forum I noticed the default category is “Uncategorized” :smile: …which means your post ends up unnoticed, as Peter said. When you’re about to make a new topic, just be sure to tap the category box to see your choices of where your post will end up. Beekeeping Basics is great for getting answers quickly! :sunglasses::+1:

About your Flow frames - also make sure they are set to the closed position. Sometimes the frames jog open in shipment, so if this happened to your set the bees would have an impossible task to wax up all the seams into a sensible comb :scream: The frames are designed so that the caps that cover the openings where the key is inserted into each frame at the top cannot fit on unless the frames are closed…so you’d be able to tell instantly. I might be telling you something you already know & is moot, but just in case :wink:


I have 2 hives , 1 is fairly new ,with bees ive moved from a farm the other is a huge hive with bees that moved in 4 months or more ago, neither hive is using the flow frames . I do see bees in among them occaisionally but no honey action, Do I need to coat the flow frames with wax or something to entice them to use the frames. The smell of honey is strong but the bees aren’t sharing… any help or advice would be appreciated


Any clues about where in the world you are located would likewise be appreciated. :blush:

This is an international forum, and my psychic antennae are telling me that you are probably in Australia, but until we know for sure, I can’t give you a meaningful answer. Perhaps you could update your profile to show a country too, because then my senile brain doesn’t have to try to remember. Thank you! :wink:


Etc, etc… :smile:


To get the bees really interested in the Flow Frames melt some bees wax with a low heat in a saucepan and use a really daggy old paint brush and brush the wax over the cell ends and put the frames back in the super.
The same advise applies no matter where you live in the world in this instance, Geraldton WA or Woop Woop.
Cheers and welcome to the forum, and at some time some folks may not know where Geraldton is so help them out by editing your ‘BlueW’ icon.


WOW, my Xmas prezzy was a genuine flow frame Accura box. COOL. Couldn’t wait for the paint to dry, before placing on existing brood box in which the residents from a captured swarm were residing. The swarm was captured in Sept 18, but brood box with 9 full size frames was already filling up fast, so needed to get the Flow frame up and running pretty quick. Then struck problem with the bees building comb in the lid cavity. Gluing the lid with the comb to the frames. This comb only contained honey, no eggs or larvea. Couldn’t work out why they do this. Pretty messy job clearing the comb and honey, but it had to be done. Installed the queen excluder and then placed the Flow hive on top. On top of the flow hive I placed board in which I had cut a round hole centrally to allow air flow. That very same day, the bees entered the flow box and started their work within. BUT, I also noticed they were again visiting the lid cavity, whether they were cleaning up remains therein or rebuilding comb I cant say at this stage. I hope it was not the latter.
Have now decided to cover the ventilation hole with mesh to prevent access and a repeat of the comb in the attic situation. Am pleased had no trouble bees entering the flow hive immediately as so many folks on here, seem to do.


The bees built comb in the lid for the sole reason to store honey, it is the way bees to increase the hive and once all the available cells are full of honey they will build more. The end result is the bees build in the lid because there is space there.
Comb building is often a warning that the hive is becoming too small for the colony as it is. Your options are to do a split of the colony or to increase the hive by adding the flow super asap but in the mean time extract any full frames of honey. Bored bee become angry towards the beekeeper.:thinking::grinning: