I am getting my Flow Hive Classic Araucaria 7 Frame and am worried about whether j should get a package of bees or a 5 frame nuc. Now are the honey flow frames the same as the ones that come in nucs? Will I have to transfer them over?
Both packages and nuclei will work, but as this is now late in the season, I would recommend a nuc over a package. That is because a package has to start from nothing - no stores, no drawn comb, no brood.
The major nectar flow in your type of climate is March/April to mid-June, then there is often a gap until late summer/early fall, when you may get a secondary nectar flow depending on what local forage is around your hives. So they won’t have much time to build up the hive before winter if you get a package. It can still be done, but I think it would be easier with a nucleus which will usually come with one or two frames of food and three frames of brood.
There are 2 types of frames in a Flow hive - the plastic harvesting frames and the brood box frames. The brood box frames are Langstroth deep frames, which is the same as >95% of nuclei frames available in the US. The harvesting frames are also Langstroth deep size, but you certainly don’t want the queen or brood in those.
Nucs are usually 5 frames of bees, as I described above, and typically they are supplied in a cardboard or corrugated plastic box. So, yes, you will need to transfer them over.
Having discussed all this, it is very late in the season to be getting a nucleus. You probably won’t find many from commercial sources. I would suggest joining a local beekeeping club and asking, or being very nice to @Red_Hot_Chilipepper (who is also in NJ) to see whether he has any extras that he is willing to sell.
Also, you would only be setting up the brood box and leaving the honey super off till the bees had built up some strength. Most probably no honey this season.
Especially as @Red_Hot_Chilipepper would have him on at least 2 10-frame brood boxes with that climate, before adding the Flow super.
Yeah I will be setting it up on Tuesday, I have a 5 frame nuc I am buying. I figure no honey is fine, but at least I finally will do this lol. I wanted to do it last year, and forgot about it this year.
Ok, I noticed that it is two boxes, now, is the bottom box the brood box for the queen and what not? The top box the actual honey we harvest? Or do I put the queen in the top one. Just making sure. I assume, if you put them in the brood box they will eventually fill or expand to the box above?
The brood boxes will be on the bottom, that is where the queen lives. As this box is directly linked to the entrance drones can get out, the can’t get through a QE. The honey super is above the QE so no brood gets up there and wrecks your Flow frames.