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Moving bees from traditonal hives into new Flow Hives


#1

My name is David and I have hives in Athens, Texas. I currently have ten traditional hives that are productive and two Flow Hives that are assembled; but not put out yet. I am looking to replace my traditional hives with Flow Hives over time and wonder if anyone has had any experience transitioning bees from traditional hives into Flow Hives? Thanks for any wisdom you can share.
David


#2

David,

If you have used traditional supers on your hives then using the flow frame supers will not be different. Put them on just like you would the traditional supers. The only thing that most of us have done with the flow frames is to rub some burr comb or melted comb onto the flow frame comb to add some scent to the plastic and give the bees an incentive to start closing up the gaps to begin storing honey in them. Use the search feature on the forum to find multiple threads on other beekeepers doing this. @Bobby_Thanepohn has done a video of himself coating his flow frames. Pretty easy and it has worked like a charm for all of my flow frames.


#3

If you want to use the full new flow hives with their new brood boxes- switching a colony from one brood box to another is pretty easy. If the brood boxes are the same size (8 or 10 frame)- then it is just a matter of moving the donor hive to the side of where it is- putting the flow hive in that exact position (making sure it is level- this is important) with the entrance as close to where it originally was. Smoke the bees well and then simply start moving one frames at a time over- bees and all. You want to take care you don’t drop the queen- so have the boxes as close as possible and move them over swiftly but gently. Replace the frames in the same order as they were int he original brood box. Even as you work foragers will return straight into the new hive none the wiser. When you have moved all the frames there will be some bees left in the original brood- shake it over the new one- and then place it on the side beside the new hive- and last bees should slowly make there way to the new hive. The whole process only takes 10 or 15 minutes.

If you have to move say a ten frame brood into an 8 frame flow brood box- then perhaps you might want to make a split with the extra frames - or if there are two frames that are just honey- remove and harvest those frames.


#4

If they are the same size you can just put a QE on then your Flow super. Job done from what I understand.

Cheers
Rob.


#5

This is all very helpful information. I have ten frame traditional hives and my Flow Hives are a smaller size. Splitting the hive into two might be just the trick, Thank you all very much .for your help,

David Powell.


#6

I assume you have 10 frame Langstroth hives?
If you are managing 10 Lang hives at the moment, you will surely have no problem adding 2 flow hives. You could just wait till your hives are booming or wait for spring, when you need extra space anyway for splits.
I could only see a problem if you had other hives than Langstroth based.


#7

@Semaphore has given you sound advise with his answer. I have recently fitted two Flow Hive supers (6 frame) onto 8 frame Langstroth brood boxes and dimensionally they are exactly the same size. I brushed on melted wax over the ends of the cells of the flow frames and the bees accepted the frames and worked on them after 2 weeks.
Welcome to the forum David, there is a lot of reading here and good advise if you can’t find the answer already posted.
Regards