Hi guys, my new colony has just filled the brood box, and are starting to enter the super which is a hybrid box with 4 flow frames. Rather than use the 4 empty frames conventional frames that come with the kit, I replaced with 4 frames with bees wax foundation. It is early summer here, and I think the bees will be working the 4 conventional frames first rather than the flow frames, it’s early days, but they seem to be giving these frames more attention. Just wandering if I should replace the frames with foundation with those that came with the kit, ie those with no bees wax foundation so they are more inclined to go for the flow frames first? Tom
Hi Tom I would just leave it as you have done with the wax foundation. It will take a while to fill depending on your conditions. Either way I wouldn’t take any honey off the flow frames until you inspect them and see how capped they are. Looking at the rear of the flow frames is not always a true indication of their state more to the middle.You don’t want to take any too early and risk it being green or leaking out the uncapped cells.
I agree with @Gaz, but I would add that the bees may use the Flow frames a lot faster if you push some small blobs of burr comb from an inspection into the frame faces. This makes the frames smell of the hive, and gives the bees a clue that they should be using them. You can do it gently with a hive tool in about 5 minutes.
Dawn, I have some spare wax sheets, can I use them somehow to smear or attach to the flow frames to have the same effect? Tom
I have never tried that, but you probably could just tear off some 2 cm squares, scrunch them into balls and push them onto the wavy face of the frame. Seems like a waste though.
The advantage of burr comb is that it is free and readily available when you open the hive to take a look. Most people throw it out or render it later. The other even bigger advantage is that burr comb is covered with the pheromones of that particular hive, so strongly smells of home to them. When I pushed blobs of burr comb into the frames with my hive tool, the bees were sealing the frames within about 2 days. Worked really well and was very easy to do. You don’t need much.
We found with our hybrid that the bees built and filled the frames first, and though busy working the Flow frame, put up very little honey. I don’t think it matters which frames you use, but our cut-comb honey is superb
In addition to enticing the bees by waxing up the Flow frames, don’t make the mistake we did of putting the Flow on top of a honey medium. Install it right above your brood boxes to so they don’t have a choice.
Our bees seemed to store nectar in the Flow and then would move into their own naturally built comb if there was opportunity to do so.
Hello Dawn_SD. Question for you, but a little background first: Was planning on putting my flow frames on for the first time next spring…i live in the US…and was planning on melting down bees wax and painting it on the frames as I have read that this greatly encourages the bees to use the frames but also because it provides them to free wax to utilize and rearrange to seal up the frames. So my question is, in your experience would you put wax on the frames, use the burr comb as you described above, or perhaps even both of those things combined? Thanks!
I reckon you could put a wax sheet on the surface of the Flow Frame and run a hairdryer over it to melt it on?
Otherwise, some melt the wax and paint it on.
I wouldn’t bother going as far as melting a sheet of wax onto them- I have done fien just rubbing a piece of beeswax like the flow frame was a cheese grater. Only a tiny amount comes off- and only at the edges of the cells- but it seems to be enough to give the bees the idea.
Also I think no amount of wax will help if the bees are not ready to use the frames- and if they are really, really ready- no wax is needed at all…