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Installing a Flow Honey Super

#1

Hi everyone!

So I’ve set up my new hive, bought a strong nucleus (nearly 6 full frames) and have set up the bees in the back yard. At the moment I’ve put the top cover and the roof on the brood box while they settle in (2 days so far). What do you suggest I do with installing the Flow Super? Should I take out 1 or 2 Flow Frames and replace with a couple of full brood frames? Will this encourage the bees to take residence in the Flow?

Thanks,

Allan

When to add super?
#2

@AlMcK Allan you need the bees to build up to bursting and good production of brood before putting the super on.

If you put a super on a weak hive they have to keep the area warm and will waste resources and time just keeping it warm.

Foragers are the nurse bees after they have helped bring up the brood if there is not a big enough work force to begin with they will have no real work force to replace them as nurse bees.

8 good frames of brood before putting on the supers

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From swarm to honey
#3

Thanks Valli!

I’m in Melbourne, Australia, so we’re just getting into summer now. I’ll check to see how they’re going in a week and take some pics on how active/full the brood is.

How easy do the bees take up in the Flow Frames? Once the brood is fairly full, should I put 1 or 2 nursery frames up in the super or will the bees naturally want to expand into the super?

#4

Depends on whether you want to build up numbers for a stronger hive and then the flow or go straight to the flow but it will not be quick - in the long run a stronger hive will take advantage of late blooming - if you are in the 'burbs there should be plenty of forage from gardens and native trees.

It is important you know what is blooming nearby and what forage is available.

Personally I would let them build up and put the Super on in Feb. Add another brood box when the numbers are building up about now and checker to build up numbers while you can.

See what they make and keep a nice bunch of stores to see them through winter and plan from there.

Check with your local beeks and see if there is information about forage in your area

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#5

Valli is right, to get the bees to take to the Flow frames, let them build up their numbers in the brood box first. You’ll know they are ready for a super when:

  • you have bees covering all your frames
  • there are bees on top of the frames when you take the lid off
  • bees are building comb on the lid or on top of the frames
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When to add super?
#6

This is just want a NEW BEE needs :smile: thank you so much. Very precise short into the point. New beekeepers like myself need direction more than suggestions at first.

4 Likes
#7

Thanks. I’m also a newbee. Bees are through our UK winter and got my first inspection today as the weather is warm enough. Made some mistakes, didn’t feed enough over winter but they are all over the place and foraging well. The above post really helpful. What my instinct was too.

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#8

after 5 years I may be at the stage to use my flow hive. I have had all these years to catch, cut, buy and loose bees. I just added my med box to my deep. Still a new beek. I want to grow my colonies. I am anxious to use the flow super but think I should grow my bees first. Anxiously waiting. I could still split them after I added the flow super ?

#9

If you do that, there may not be enough bees to fill the Flow super. Having said that, if you are seeing signs of swarm preparation in the brood box (queen cells), you should split them anyway.