I was worried at the start that my Cornish Blacks did not like the plastic frames. But as soon as the flow came on they filled them up very quickly. The frames are almost full to capacity and will soon be all capped. To lift the whole super off was quite heavy. My Location is Cornwall UK.
How long did it take to fill all the frames once they started to use them?
What a lovely sight
They have been focusing on Brood until Mid to Late June which led to a massive expansion in bees. I fed them for a few days as we had a bit of a June Gap and did not want to lose any bees. Then within 3 weeks they rapidly filled the Frames. I thought they would fill the frames a bit at a time. But my bees filled all the Flow Frame cracks with wax and they filled all the frames with nectar in probably less than 2 weeks. Very rapid work unbelievable to watch.
Hey Camper, don’t know anything about Cornish Black bees but the sure are being happy campers n doing a great job of bringing in honey for you … Awesome. Thankz for sharing your great picks. Just put my Flow-Super on last week. Just hoping they can get a couple stuffed soon … I peer between the frames n all my bees are so busy … Side window shows bees n all seams sealed n ready so they have been very busy girls !
Again … Thankz for sharing n good luck. Looking forward to few harvest pix’s soon from you !
Thanks for the kind comments Gerald. We planted lots of bee friendly plants around the hive and they have mostly been visited by Bumble bees like yours. My Flow Frames had been almost ignored by my Black Bees till a few weeks ago and I was starting to be a little disheartened but then all of a sudden they went hell for leather sealing all the gaps with wax and filling them up. They are now capping at an astonishing rate and you can see the results through the inspection windows. I will try to make a video if and when I decide to harvest some honey.
I got a real late start getting my Flow-Hive. Fortunately I was able to add a really buff/strong Nuc (15 full deep frames) I’d been saving if the Flow got here soon enough.
The Flow-Frame n parts (wood) both came the same day (6/28). It exploded being a double deep already. On 7/14 I had to decide what to do … 1) add a shallow honey super or 2) add the Flow-Super. I knew bees often were reluctant to use if the flow is not strong. To give me a possible head start I melted bees wax n rolled it in the 6 plastic frames
Wow Gerald you have lots of bees going on in your Apiary.
I got a little impatient and dribbled some of their honey and dribbled wax on the Flow Frames they had a look around but did nothing. I used to have one or two bees come and look through the side window and that was it for weeks.
Then on one inspection ( I inspect every 7 to 9 days) I noticed they had started to fill a few of the cracks with wax. It only took a couple or three weeks to completely fill the frames the cappings are visibly being completed every day now the progress is astonishing especially as I am new to beekeeping. I must say its been very exciting. Moral of the story is not to worry if they are not storing in the Flow Frames I honestly believe that you don’t really need to put wax or honey on the frames they will do it when they are ready and not because we want them to. I am very proud of what the little Cornish Black Bees have done. Looking forward to videoing the Flow extraction but I will be patient and wait till all frames are 100% capped.
BTW I enjoy reading your posts Gerald all the best my friend.
Lovely sight! I’m curious about something & maybe others can add thoughts - given that bees do move their stores around, could the bees be moving existing stores up to the Flow from the brood areas, and not solely from nectar sources? If so, would they have time to replace their stores in the brood area before winter?..I know this all depends on one’s local nectar flow patterns & believe this would be an important consideration for anyone putting a Flow super on now in my area for example.
They certainly could, if they detected that the queen needed more space for laying and she was somewhat honeybound before the super was added. They do like to keep sufficient stores close to the brood though - it is a waste of nurse bees’ time to make them trek up to a super just to bring food back down to the larvae.
Great question. Whenever you harvest, you are obviously taking from the bees. Before my last harvest of the season, I like to check the food stores in the brood boxes. If it looks low, the bees get to keep the contents of the super. One super of honey could sell for around $150, but if I lose the colony to starvation, it costs $180 to buy another nucleus and a year to build them up enough to harvest again. I would rather let the bees have too much food for the winter, especially as mine are greedy Italians!
@Dawn_SD that is a great tip for Flow hivers, to check stores in the brood area before harvesting from the Flow frames. Sounds like a vital step to take anytime the nectar flow is questionable after your harvest.
What an exciting day today. Did my first extraction. Just one Frame to see how things went and not take too much from the bees until I am certain they will have enough for winter. Just one Frame yielded more than 2693 gms. 5.9 lbs in the old money. https://www.facebook.com/tree.camper.5/videos/694038477416934/
Hi I’m Living inWicklow Ireland. I have been told the Flohive is ‘not suitable for our climate and honey flow conditions’ by a bee supplier. Do you agree?
There are plenty of Flow hives in Canada, Scandinavia, and the wet northwestern US which has a climate similar to Ireland. I also know of Flow hives in Wales (UK). There is no reason it shouldn’t work for you too. This is a very common attitude amongst traditional beekeepers. All you need to remember is that the Flow hive is just a different method for extracting honey. Everything else about keeping bees in it is the same as traditional beekeeping. With your climate, you may need a second or even third brood box, before you put the Flow super on, but it will work just fine. Even if you have Oil Seed Rape in your area, you can still harvest from the Flow frames before it sets solid - you just have to be quick and vigilant.
If you are getting local resistance to the idea, just tell them you are setting up an 8-frame Langstroth hive (that is what a Flow hive is) and don’t mention the Flow part. I am sure you will get local help then, and for all things Flow, you can come here and ask us.
@Dawn_SD hello Dawn, I know this is an old conversation, but I’ve been trying to locate a thread to compare experiences with the FLOW in the cold,wet, seasonal, northern climes.
There definitely seems to be a pattern of bee-avoidance in our hybrid flow, and two years running, we harvested great cut-comb deeps, with lots of action but hardly any honey from the Flow.
Because it is often difficult to winter over bees in our area, we often have to start with new bees in the spring (local swarm or package from California).
We are wondering if a full Flow might have more success, and would love to compare strategies with other northerners.
Thank you for pointing me in the right direction-