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Need help bees not liking the flow frames


Ok so I am new to beekeeping. last year i didn’t put the super on and was all about getting them through the winter and in November the vacated the hive. this year i started over with a new package of bees and an Italian queen. The drew out the brood box no problem. I placed the flow super on July 1st. I sprayed the frames with sugar water as instructed by another beekeeper. the bees are going inside the holes and are still doing well in the brood box but have not closed the gaps in the super frames and have not filled any cells. It has been 21 days and no progress. Any suggestions???

Flow hive is controversial in my area so the beekeeper association near me is not an option for help.



That is part of the problem. Late in the season to put the super on. It really needs to go on in March when the nectar flow starts, if you have a full hive. If you don’t, you just have to know that you can’t expect a honey harvest in your first season. Plus in MA you are going to need double brood boxes to overwinter - do you have 2 deeps full of bees under your Flow super? Third, you may need to smear some burr comb on the frames to get the bees to accept them. Have you tried that?

Please also search the forum. This question comes up all the time, and there are hundreds of posts addressing various issues, including some really good ones from Flow, especially from @Faroe. :wink:

Like this one:


As usual Dawn is right. Listen to her. Always your first goal is to get your bees through winter. Always ensure they have enough for winter before even trying to put on a super. After that, if you have a flow on they will use the super, no flow = no nectar so they don’t need, or want, the super. The type of super is secondary…



Next year put it on May 1st at the latest and you’ll be good. Time to get ready for winter:


@Dawn_SD Dawn has given you sound advise. All I can add is very simple but sometimes over looked with the thinking that you have a problem, the bees can only increase the honey if there is more being collected than they are consuming as their food.
When I fitted my flow supers for the first time I tried sugar water one one super and brushed on melted bees wax on the second. The sugar water was collected and taken down into the brood as food and then the super ignored, while the brushed on wax super was actively being used inside of two weeks, so I brush waxed the other flow super and it is now being worked on by the bees.
I bought 2 flow supers as my personal experiment with them as in the past I was semi commercial and pre-Flow, I wanted to know if they were a good thing or not before splashing out more money on them.
Brushing on melted wax and the bees have accepted the flow frames when the hives were busting at the seams with bees and running out of room for food stores space. It is pointless adding a flow frame super till the bees need that extra space.


Where I am almost everybody I talked to have lost hives for past two years so was going to try to get some honey before they leave the hive and then feed sugar water for 2nd brood box in August until the winter. I will have to try the wax. I have talked to others who are getting honey now so there must be some nectar flow. I didn’t get the bees until end of may so that is why I couldn’t put the super on earlier.


I think I am getting the picture of where you are at. I would suggest removing your flow super and adding a second brood box. Your bees won’t just ‘leave the hive’ if you have the right conditions there for them; but they could simply die if there is not enough food for them to last through winter AND the number of bees is not sufficient to keep the colony generating enough heat to keep the hive warm inside.
Giving the hive sugar/water is a supplement but if there is still a good flow of nectar and pollen let the bees do their own thing and resort to the sugar water when the flow drops off.
Taking honey from the colony in their first year is something I wouldn’t do, except maybe just a finger licking. You aim should be to get the hive built up for the winter so you don’t have your hive up and die on you.
BTW, welcome to the forum, you already know there is advise here for you.


Hi there @crashseafood - I’m a third year beekeeper, whose first several colonies died out. The experience was sad & difficult but hugely instructive. Sharing it on the forum and using the input has made me a more confident & successful beekeeper now. You spent a decent amount of money on this product, but please remember that the most important part of beekeeping is the BEES. Getting honey by any means necessary is not helpful to them at best.

We are all here to help, if you want to learn :hugs:


Forget the obsession with a honey harvest. Look after your stock (bees) and they will work for you next year. Sugar water is only used as a last resort, not as part of a sustainable system. Sit on your hands, remove the super and build them up for winter.