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How to get bees to clean flow frames without reusing them


Guess the subject shows my question, but I just harvested and I don’t want to overwinter with flow frames due to the cold. How can I get them to clean out the frames without refilling them? I just left them in place after harvest today but if I leave it long they’ll fill it up again.


No guarantees, but putting the super underneath the lowest brood box often works. The other option is to put the super on one of its short sides near the hive, so that the frames are vertical but 90 degrees from the normal angle. The bees will often clean it in a few hours, but the risk is setting off robbing.


You could put them above your inner cover. Its a standard way as the bees tend to not recognise that area as within the hive and will rob them out. When they are dry just take them off and store them away.



I was advised to put a foil on top of the brood box leaving a small gap for the bees to pass through, then an empty box and the flow super on top. I did that on one hive yesterday, plus left the frames in open position. I’ll leave it like that for two or three days and then put the super away. I’ll harvest the other hive today and will do the same.


As Rob. Over inner cover with a reduced hole, maybe 1cm diameter should do it


you know how you have a top board on the top of the flowframes with a hole in it?

put a board like that between the brood box and flowframes…

they will clean out the flowframes and take all goodies back into the brood box :wink:

works a treat :slight_smile:


Especially if you make that hole smaller



I moved the super above the inner cover. But I didn’t reduce the hole. I think that might be my problem. it looks to me like they are still filling the flow frames.

I’m guessing I need to make the inner cover hole smaller. Suggestions on how to do that?

Also-it’s too late for me to harvest again right? I keep looking at those frames and thinking I want more honey… I’m in mid-Michigan and I have 2 full boxes under the flow super.


If you harvest and regret it later, you can always feed it back to the bees! :wink:


Its autumn there so I would not push too many harvests, especially if your hive is fairly new. Let them build up for winter.

Of course if you have a large flow things may change but make sure you leave enough for the bees to overwinter. Bees that have honey over winter seem to do better than those on syrup.