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Hybrid Flow in Seattle-better than last year :^)


#1

This year we harvested three deeps of cut-comb honey from the hybrid Flow (4 flow frames, four cut-comb deeps) and not quite one jar of honey from the Flow.
These photos are from our August 17 peek into the hive:


!IMG_9633|666x500](upload://z1JikeIbIfSZ6HJE9J6Rg5bHACq.JPG)![IMG_9770|375x500]

We waited a full month (from the Aug 17 inspection) before tapping the two Flow frames-to allow the bees to finish capping the honey, and were rewarded with 1/2 jar of beautiful herbal honey.
(upload://1rPyWWoAzcHdmZKQQRXoUWSjor7.JPG)

You can see the different colors/flavors of honey in the comb, beginning with the clover honey in the spring, on to the borage, fruit trees, and herbal honeys of the summer, and then blackberry, buckwheat, echinacea, and fall blooms in our neighborhood.

The Flow was placed on top of a deep and two mediums in mid-June. Healthy hive with lots of brood, pollen, and honey.
@Forum_Support


#2

I have one hybrid flow hive and last year the bees never fully filled the three flow frames- whilst they built out and fully capped the four regular frames twice. At the end of the season my flow frames looked similar to yours: some sections of capped honey and the majority of the frames completely empty though heavily propolised. The combs are much darker from propolis than in any other flow hive I have.

Can I ask- where your flow frames fully capped when you harvested? I ask because it seems like 1/2 a jar is a pretty low volume from 3 flow frames.

I have put my hybrid back on this year and am hoping it will go better- but if it doesn’t fill it up this season I will convert it to a flow only super.


#3

@Semaphore
Hi Michelle, our 1/2 jar was from three sides of two frames that had some capped honey (no uncapped). Does that make sense?

If you look at my photos, you can see that in mid-August there were both capped and uncapped cells in the Flow frames; by mid-September the bees had moved most of the uncapped honey out, and we were left with probably just a little over 1/2 of a Flow frame total. (Two of the Flow frames were ignored completely.)

On a side note, we harvested almost 30 pounds of cut-comb (from three of the adjacent deeps and one medium). We are set for winter.


#4

that’s very similar to my experience. I ended up with maybe 30% of the frame area capped- and the rest 100% empty. Over the season many times the bees put in honey- only to remove it later- never filling the flow frames. The frames were darkened like yours from propolis. Having seen yours I am even more certain that I won’t continue trying to get the hybrid idea to work if my frames don’t fill up this season. One more chance then that’s it. I run 4 other hives with complete flow supers and none of them have issues getting all frames 100% capped in short time when the flow is on.


#5

That is really helpful to know. I look forward to hearing how your hybrid does compared to your full Flow this season.

Thank you Michelle :purple_heart::honeybee:


#6

Michelle is actually Jack… :blush: Naughty boy is usurping his mother’s account (with her knowledge from the sound of it), and using it to sing her praises about all the honey show prizes she is winning as a novice beekeeper. :wink:


#7

Perhaps hybrids are not the way to go?
It’s obvious the bees prefer the wax comb?
Perhaps giving them no choice in the matter would mean all the honey got capped in the Flow frames?
Just an idle thought?


#8

I had a hybrid super this summer. They filled up the flow supers 1 and a half times but only filled two of the four traditional frames. The other two were only partially filled. So in my case they did the opposite of your situation. I will say that I put melted wax from the hive on the flow frames and not on the traditional frames with plastic. (they did have a light coating from the factory). I really like the idea of the hybrid because it allows me to use the traditional frames in the hive its on or another hive that may be low on resources for the winter.


#9

Haha.
Hi Jack; please give my regards to your mum, and congratulations on all the honey ribbons :ok_hand:t4:


#10

@John_Yeager
That’s interesting- as we don’t use plastic foundation (I.e. Cut-comb honey), but that could be a strategy if the bees prefer the Flow frames to them. We also liked the idea of the hybrid, options, but our bees definitely choose it last.
@Dee
That’s what we’ve been thinking, and would like to convert/ move to a full Flow, but it is a big investment (with little success in the first two seasons) so, hesitant. Especially for using here in the Northwest.

Also a question of what to do with the hybrid?
:honeybee: I would like to suggest that Flow consider adding a “hybrid upgrade conversion” kit (with 3 more Flows and a deep box)) so we could do a comparison before investing in the full Flow hive set👌🏽


#11

@BeePeeker I don’t know I would say that the bees prefer plastic or foundationless because I have both types of frames in my hive. I will say that the bees seem to build comb faster on the plastic foundation frames then they do on the foundationless, but then again I think it comes down more to what their plan is. If they need to build comb they will build it. If not then the wont.


#12

Other users on here have done better as well with hybrids than me. That’s why I’m giving it another try this year… so many variables it’s hard to say what the problem was with mine. I also prepped my frames with wax- and they were covered with bees but just never filled.

I put it back on about ten days ago and the bees have built beautiful virgin comb very fast. There are many bees on the flow frames too. I should know in a month if it’s working


#13

Hi Tracey,

Sorry to hear your bees are slow to take to the Flow Frames. It seems to be that some people have their bees preferring the Flow Frames to traditional frames, and some prefer the other way - bees will be bees I guess… :honeybee:

There are a few options which you may have already tried…
If you feel like it may be an issue with the Flow Frames yourself, I recommend that you email customer support so that they can work with you to resolve the issue.

This is the topic I created about how to encourage bees to use the frames:

It is also possible to upgrade your order to a complete Flow Super - you just need to email customer support and they can help you :slight_smile:

https://www.honeyflow.com/contact/p/3


#14

@Faroe
Thank you for that information and advice; we will check into an upgrade with customer service to see what our options are.


#15

Exactly.
I’ve had my hybrids fill and the full Flow not last season. They are all within 30 metres of each other in the same yard.
@BeePeeker, The bees definitely drew out and filled the std frames before the FF but they did fill the FF, nearly 10kg from 3 frames. I’m trying plastic frames in the hybrid like @John_Yeager as an experiment, last time I used these plastic frames the bees did everything to not use them and I had planned to never use them again in our hives.

I think the hybrid is a good idea in theory and a lot of peeps have had issues with FF full stop. It’ll be interesting to see how they go this year starting with already partially filled FF from last year.


#16

thanks for sharing, great pictures xx


#17

Has anyone tried different configurations of the hybrid frames with the flow frames?


#18

I’m not quite sure what you mean? There are no hybrid frames- just hybrid boxes- which are boxes that hold 3 flow frames and 4 standard ones. I stopped using my hybrids and went to just all flow or all standard. Works better for me.


#19

Hi Martha,

A Hybrid Flow Hive or Hybrid Flow Super means:

Half Flow Frames and half standard wooden frames, thus a Flow Hybrid :wink:

Let me know if you need more info :slight_smile:


#20

I’ve seen them and mis-communicated. So let me see if this works. Has anyone re-arranged the configuration of frames in the super? I know the 3 frames in the window are flow frames but has anyone taken one flow frame out and sandwiched in a wood frame to get the flow frames surrounded?