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Langstroth transition to Flowhive

Hello, I would be interested in peoples opinions on how I should go about this.
Firstly I live in Brisbane close to the bay so our winters are very mild.
I have a Flowhive 2+ on its way due for delivery this coming week.
I was going to wait until spring and buy a nuk but after joining the local Bee keepers club we have managed to aquire 2 Langstroth hives which have been moved successfully. Both are the same configuration. 3 box hives with a brood box at the bottom & 2 supers on top. I want to convert one of these hives across to my new Flowhive once built. Lately there has been alot of rain but after inspection plenty of frames are 50% + full of honey and plenty of pollen arriving.
Options I have considered so far:
1: Move the Langstroth brood box frames to the Flowhive & shake all the bees from the two supers into the brood box before I add the flowsuper. - Means the hive only has the resourses left in the brood box.
2: I do have a 3rd empty Langstroth so modify one of those boxes to actually fit as a super above or below the flow super & then I only need to shake out one super. Then I have a broodbox, a super with plenty of resources and the new flowsuper in one stack.
There are no doubt other options as well like just waiting until spring to transition the flow hive using option 1.
What do people think ? Thanks in advance for any ideas.

Welcome Ewen of Lochiel! – I’m going to do something similar by starting with a Langstroth and later swap it out for a Flow Hive. (My bees arrive next week and I haven’t yet assembled and sealed my Flow Hive.) So although I haven’t done it yet, I do know this: You must put the Flow Hive in the exact same location as the existing hive. Otherwise, the bees will get confused trying to find their old home. So the idea is to keep the bees in the same place, but swap out the hive.

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On a train so won’t been a long comment… You don’t really have a winter by the standards on this forum. In fact, you might even find “winter” quite productive…

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Hi Claire, Yes the flow will replace the Langstroth so will be in same position but the entrance will look completely different so not sure if they will re-orientate. :+1:

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Ok… I’m back.

I’d suggest you pay more attention to how to store the traditional frames so you can use them to feed, rather than sugar water, in the event of a dearth (you can swap out a FF and use a traditional frame, mindful of the increased potential for burr/crazy comb).

As you’re likely to get a winter flow I’d suggest you:

  1. Determine how strong the colony is.
  2. If weak, reduce the size of the hive. Depending on how weak reduce to one super or no super. If one super, just use put a FF straight in place. If you’re concerned about a dearth either checker board FF and traditional frames or put 1 traditional frame on each side and the FF in the middle.
  3. If strong, just do a straight up replacement for the supers.
  4. Make sure you can identify pests/diseases and have given thought to how you’ll manage ants, cane toads etc
  5. Make sure you have a QX in place and always keep the Flow super above the QX. Never use a Flow super without a QX.

You’ve got no need to change brood boxes over unless you want it for visual or other purposes. The flow supers will sit straight on top of a langstroth brood box.

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Hi Ewen, if you don’t have any plans for tomorrow, with all that rain forecasted, a good option would be to look at as many flow videos as possible. There’s lots of Q&A’s in Cedar’s Facebook videos.

Personally I like a single brood/single honey super configuration. Therefore I’d be suggesting to wait for the weather to clear before slowly reducing the hives to one honey super each. Find a mentor who can help you go through the brood boxes, in order to remove any undesirable brood frames (if any), as well as check for diseases etc.

I’d stick my neck out & even suggest making a third hive, weather permitting, by using brood & bees from the two hives combined into the flow brood box. This is provided the two colonies are strong enough to take splits from. That is an ideal time to reduce them to one honey super during that process.

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Thanks Jeff, We have been watching 100’s of youtube video’s mainly Flowhive ones with Cedar but also Fred Dunn’s are very good too. Learning plenty and enjoying it. I like your idea of reducing back to one super for the transition hive and may do that later in the month after this rain event is finally gone. Will also bounce a few ideas around at the next local bee keepers meeting before we make a final decison. Cheers Ewen

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