Plenty of activity on Flow frames, but no apparent stores.
They are probably just preparing the frames. It’s normal.
edit: I didn’t check your location. So while it is normal it’s probably too late in your season for you to get any honey this year. Your attention should probably be turning towards managing your hive through the coming winter - remove the Super, consider if you’ll need to feed, consider if you need to help insulate the hive against a harsh/cold winter - and then look towards the next season.
Thanks for adding the pics. You have obviously done everything right as the bees are active in the Flow Super. Now they are sealing up the cells and hopefully there will be nectar about and then your bees will begin storing honey in the super after they have enough for their needs in the brood frames. The super is where they store honey that is in excess of their needs. If there is a good flow in your area they will use the super, but if there is a dearth (a shortage of nectar) then it won’t be used till there is a nectar flow back on.
Bees work at their own speed and we need to adapt to their time. You are doing well but just sitting back and waiting is a good thing in bee keeping.
In Connecticut, it is too late in the season for a super now. I would take it off before they gum it up with propolis, and try again next spring.
Added the super in early July to the one colony with 2 full boxes
Looks like they’re already putting propolis in place
So if Dawn is right that the flow has finished for the summer and there is no Autumn flow in your area then be happy to have at least built up a double brood colony. Bee keeping can be effected by unusual changes in climate and other conditions we have no control over. Last Summer for me was the first time my bees have had to use stored from the Supers to carry them thru till rain finally came after a drought. But at least my hives had honey in the supper to carry them thru.
Sometimes things don’t happen as we wish but hey, that’s bee keeping and adjusting to conditions by the bee keeper. You will have disappointments that make the good times even better.
July is a bit late late too. I would suggest April next year, or March if we get a really warm spring.
It looks to me like your bees are preparing for winter, on account of the color of what they’re sealing flow gaps with. It looks the same as the propolis they used to fill those vertical gaps.
Your days will be getting shorter, so therefore the bees will be getting ready for winter.
PS, I agree with @Dawn_SD, remove that super before they completely gum it up. Plus it will save the bees wasting all that energy & resource that could be better used elsewhere.
If anything, they are removing any honey from the flow frames and bringing it in to the brood nest as they prep for winter.
I am in Hawaii and it is late summer. I am also patiently waiting as my flow super has been on since June. I see increased activity now in all flow frames. My super does not have that much propolis but may be what they are doing? But, I am also seeing that they are filling the bottom super with a double row of comb. They are tight together. I pulled this frame and put in a blank one. I have only pulled one other frame this season. Still bringing in pollen I just do not want them to be honey bound? Should I keep pulling from the frames or keep them full and have them have to go into the flow super. I know you like pictures and I am not a good photographer so this is what I pulled.
Looking at you pics those frames are wide in comb (the depth of the cells) so I am wondering if you set the box up with the frames should er shoulder with a gap at each side between the outer frame and the box, or are you spacing equally across the box?
I’m thinking both our climates might be similar but reversed as we are on opposites sides of the equator. My Flow Supers stay on my Flow hives all of the year with no issues with my short period of cooler weather.
If you add a traditional empty or blank frame frame into a box under a Flow Super box the bees will work on that frame as it is closer to the brood area. If you want the bees to use the Flow Frames then if they don’t have any other places to store honey they will use the Flow Frames, if they are not storing honey in them the hive isn’t honey bound.
Thanks. I do have the frames tight so thought maybe they were not into the flow frame, so they were doubling the comb. Thank you it is still hot and we have a quite a few things they like that are still going. We may get to the high 50s F at night in Jan. Will see how they do as long as they are happy fine with me that at this time no honey in flow. Learning about the flow super itself and will pay more attention to it now.
Shoulder to shoulder is the way I have my frames. But I am not understanding your meaning of “doubling the comb”?
If there is an excess of nectar for the bees needs then they they will fill cells closest to the brood first. Don’t keep taking full traditional frames of honey and replacing them, bees have a mind set to forage and if they only have the Flow Hive to store honey then they will use it.
I have had 4 Flow Hives for 4 years now and at first I experimented about the best way to get the bees to use the Flow Frames but now they don’t have any hassles in using them. The Flow Hives are on 8 frame single brood boxes and only have the Flow Supers on them. It works for me and should for your climate too.
The frames are shoulder to shoulder, as I tried to show in the picture they are laying comb on top of capped comb. The frames are pretty tight in the box. I actually saw they had a lot of honey and we still have lots of bloom so I snagged this frame that was connected and tore when I did inspection. I have only taken one other frame from this hive this year. Seven and 1/2 of 8 frames in the med super are filled with capped honey. There is also some in the deep brood box. But I will leave them alone and watch the flow super. Saw that this frame was growing 2 frames together. I do have a med and the flow super.
I’m following you now, the bees are building comb between one frame and the one above that, that is fairly common, and nothing to worry about. Bees love to try to upset us by building bur comb or bridging comb, or maybe it is that they are making a handy means of getting from one frame to another.
I try to cut thru any comb that will cause a tare, I try to put in two cuts and jag the piece with my hive tool so it is taken out before the frame but poo can happen and I miss one but the bees will seal up a tare pretty quickly. I’m thinking the medium being where it is is why the bees aren’t using the Flow Frames. As an experiment I would change the Flow box onto the QX and put the medium super on the top and I recon the bees would fill it and maybe even take the honey down to the Flow Frames.
Hmm I did not know you could do that? Thanks will watch them and see what they do in the next month.
I am in NC and it took two seasons for my bees to put honey in the flow frames. I was getting pretty disappointed until this year then they loaded it up. Not sure the reasons, but it looked similar to yours packing it with propolis first. Good luck!