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New beekeeper from Texas, ordered Flow Hive

Hello! New here and to beekeeping. I have considering getting into beekeeping for many years and finally ordered a Flow Hive this week. I’ve been reading Michael Bush’s 1st book and his website and find that his methods are the approach I would like to take. I am for doing this as naturally and with as little intervention as possible. But since I’m getting a Flow Hive I will need help knowing how that changes his approach, if any.

I have a local long time beekeeper who I don’t know if he knows of Michael Bush but from talking to him using a very similar natural, non-intervening approach with much success for many years. He is my local go to guy but has no Flow Hive experience.

My Flow Hive will be here this week and I am excited to start assembling and preparing it for spring. I know I will have questions and need help so I am glad to find this group! I’m 1.5 hours west of Ft. Worth, Texas, hoping others from my area are on here so I can learn area/weather specific things I need to know.

Anyone else on these forums from the DFW area, using the Flow Hive and similar beekeeping methods as Michael Bush (natural with no treatments)? After trying other forums and finding people want to talk me out of Flow Hive I’m hoping to find friendly help here!

Thank you!

Linda

Hi Linda and welcome to the forum, to beekeeping, AND to Flow ownership! I too began my beekeeping journey when I got my Flow hive, and can’t imagine harvesting any other way (with the exception of comb honey :yum:). It’s too bad there are still misperceptions about Flow beekeeping, because as you’ll find, we take caring for the bees very seriously here.

It’s great that you have a local mentor, and I wouldn’t worry too much about him not having experience with a Flow. It’s just a different harvesting method, nothing changes with everyday beekeeping. Just learn all you can from him and the way bees live best in your climate, and when he thinks it’s time to put a super on, check back here for added advice.

Hey so I just typed Dallas into the search bar and saw a bunch of other users’ posts pop up! Hopefully a few are still around and not too far from ya.

Thanks! Yes, I will be diligent to manage my bees. I wasn’t sure how this differed from a Langstroth when it comes to adding more than one super (which my mentor said most seasons he puts 2). So I wasn’t sure if when it comes time I actually add a 2nd super (just traditional box) or if I empty the Flow Hive frames and let them refill. I am very foggy on when and how to add brood or supers and I’m sure as I learn it will make more sense. Also, I saw some places saying to remove the Flow super for the winter (I assume this means their is a traditional super full of honey for winter) or others saying if the flow super is full of honey you can leave it and remove the queen excluder for the winter. These are things that I don’t understand just from reading and watching lots of videos (mostly Flow videos) but I’m sure it will begin to be clear soon!

Thanks!

Linda

Bingo! Flow frames were designed to do exactly that, making it no problem to keep up with a strong nectar flow with just the Flow super. Which by the way is basically a Langstroth deep box with cutouts to allow rear access for harvesting and side windows for viewing. It is the same size as what most beeks use for a brood box, so is quite a bit larger than traditional honey supers too.

Where I live it can get pretty humid in the late spring & summer, so to help the bees circulate air and get nectar ready to be capped, I will sometimes put a medium super on top of the Flow super. It’s a lot to think about so early in the game for you, but short story is then I end up with a good winter supply with the medium after I remove the Flow super in fall, because…

…would be inadvisable in my book. I harvest my Flows at this time of year and store them for next season (along with the queen excluder). It gets cold enough here that my bees would propolize the Flow frames which would interfere with harvesting. And if I left it on without an excluder I’d be risking having brood raised up in the Flow frames - a major mess others here have had to deal with!

There’s so much info and it really won’t all make sense til you can see it all in front of you. But you’re asking such good questions I can’t resist trying to answer and encourage you :blush:

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Thank you! I so appreciate the help and not being attacked for what choices I have made already. LOL That does help me understand somewhat better and I have thought it will all make more sense as it happens in front of me.

I’m not sure where you are geographically but are you saying that one medium super is enough for you to get through winter (in addition to the honey in the brood boxes, they do store some in there too right?)? I plan to not feed unless necessary. I will of course if needed.

I am unsure how many boxes honey (I know this may be dependent on how many brood boxes I have) it takes to get through our mild winters but I figured my local beek would be able to help me figure that out.

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Happy to help out! Yes, I winter in a deep + medium, and they start out in fall with 100% honey in the medium and more than usual in the deep because they have started to centralize and backfill the brood nest. I will sometimes add dry sugar or honey under the lid and surrounded by insulation, in late Jan or early Feb, when stores would typically be running low and the bees may be getting more active & eating more before any nectar is available. I don’t mind having to feed occasionally - better than worrying if they have enough.

Ok. Ty so much! I know I will be back with lots of questions as I begin the process!

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