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Multiple Brood Boxes/ Multiple Flow Supers

I have just got 2 Flow Hive 2’s with the 7 chambers. Bees will be added in the spring. I, like a lot of new/novice bee keepers, have been watching YouTube videos - reading online - networking with others. I am hoping someone can answer what I hope is not a stupid question.

Q: I have seen traditional bee keepers with hives that have more that one brood box and sometimes 2 if not 3 supers. I assume this to build a larger hive and maxamise honey production.

Why does Flow Hives only employ 1 of each?

Or are there other combinations.

I think it’s because they don’t suffer the winters we do here in the states. Go with your local areas suggestions. Example: I live here in Tennessee and we have almost a 6 month winter so I have 2 brood boxes. The bees store ample honey to make it through and have strength in numbers to ventilate the hive while it’s under 32 degrees. While I’m no be expert that’s the advise I received and that’s been successful wintering over my hives.

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Thanks for the info. I’m in the Kansas City area and not sure if our winter is that much different. Do you still only have the 1 Flow Supper?

Oops forgot… How often do you harvest each year?

I’m in Tennessee and have 2 brood boxes and one flow super on top. I harvested this spring a full super of honey on each of my 3 hives and will hopefully harvest again this fall. The spring yield was 9 gallons. Basically 3 gallons per super.

Hi Tim, welcome and good luck as you progress :+1:Martha’s right about winter setups vs single boxes in milder climates. About why there’s only one Flow super needed per colony, it’s because you can drain the frames and if there’s still a nectar flow on, the bees can refill them! :smile::wink::honeybee:

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Understood, thanks. With 2 broodboxs on should the supper be removed for the winter?

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I came from west of Sydney in Australia where the Winters were so cold the bees needed a big cluster to keep the internal of the hive warm so double brood boxes was the way to go there. I now live in a sub-tropical climate in Queensland where I wear jeans and a sweat shirt of the 6 weeks of the ‘Winter’, the rest of the year is shorts and a T shirt. Here the standard is a single brood box. But if you have cold Winters you can add a Langstroth honey box and waxed frames between the QX and the brood box, it will fit perfectly with no mods needed.
Extracting honey from a flow hive is only a short job to do and can be done in all but the worst conditions, so there is really no point in having double Flow Hive Supers on a hive.
With conventional hives, thinking Langstroth, I try to run single supers but if conditions are too good I often drop on an extra super to give the colony more room and work for them to do while I’m too busy playing catch up with extracting.
No question is a stupid question if you don’t know the answer. Hope the answer helps you understand.
Cheers Tim.

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I remove mine so I can winterize the bees and they don’t have to keep the super warm. That’s more energy they expend to keep the temperature even. Plus I use a vivaldi top inner cover to collect moisture and it also holds emergency stores of what ever food you provide.

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We use honey supers for bees, we eat supper. Well, Americans do. We call it “dinner” or “tea”.

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If there is no stores in the super then there is no reason for keeping it on the hive over winter, it is just more space for the bees to keep warm which after all is the issue in Winter time that kills colonies. Remember a big colony can run out of food quickly so they may need feeding over winter.
Cheers

Thanks for pointing out my typo… Helpful thanks.

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Thanks so much. I am trying to learn all that I can before spring when this all begins. I am sure these questions have all been asked before and I appreciate your help.

Glad to pass on advice that I have learnt, it makes me realize that there is much more for me to learn even after over 40 years of bee keeping. It is easy to forget about other bee keepers conditions and climates so guys like me enjoy reading about how you guys are faring and your issues.
It is easy to smile at some of the questions but we also know all that is needed is some straight forward advice to get the novices going in a better direction. One thing about bee keeping is that often there is a few ways to sort an issue, and all are valid and correct, it is that when find a good way for us we run with it. So the old story of asking 6 bee keeper for advice and you get at least 7 answers… Enjoy your journey in bee keeping.
Cheers.

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