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New Beekeeper in SW Florida (Venice)

I am new to beekeeping. My have a nuc ordered and will be placing them into my Flowhive 2 this Friday, May 31st. Anyone in the area have any suggestions or tips to help me succeed? The Flowhive is not very popular in this area, but I want to help make that change.

Look forward to any comments!

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Welcome, Gregg! Harris here. We live in Venice from Fall to Spring, and I am a beekeeper here in Virginia (Nelson County) during the other months. I’m a member of Suncoast Beekeepers down there – have you joined?
Up here, I run the Nelson County Beeks. Have 3 Flow supers, though I am having difficulty getting my bees to prepare and use the Flow supers.
I have not heard Flow mentioned by anyone at Suncoast. You may want to just ask if anyone has tried Flow, without saying first that you are ‘taking the leap’. I have found that here in Nelson County, there are some who are vocally opposed. I am trying to get to the point where I have proof of success before engaging them and recommending Flow to others.
Anyway, I look forward to meeting you in the Fall!
Best of luck with your nuc install Friday. I have always had great success with nucs.

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Thank you, Harris, for the quick response. I live here in Venice full time. I have not officially joined the beekeepers association here yet, mainly because of the negative feedback that I have received about using the FlowHive product. I have some people that I do ask questions to and have taken a couple of courses at the Sarasota Honey Company. I think that I am in the same boat as you are. I want to prove myself and have some success before announcing or showing off what and how I am approaching this. I have met another local person who is doing a Flowhive hybrid. He is also a first timer, so he and I are going to be discussing our results. I feel pretty confident that I have done enough research and am ready to start. I’m sure that I will make plenty of mistakes, but how else will I learn.?
I look forward to keeping in contact with you via this thread if that is ok?
Thank you again for your response.
Gregg Hassler, Jr.

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@hasslerjr I experimented with setting up my flow Hives, the common mistake is to add the flow super to early which actually sets the colony backwards. I also brushed melted bees wax liberally over the cells on each frame on one hive and left the other super ‘untouched’. Within 5 days the bees were busy in the waxed super and after 5 weeks the bees were not going into the unbrushed super so I waxed it too which the bees began to work in quickly. With the next 2 flow hives I tried rubbing wax over the super frames V’s melted wax and the bees worked the melted/brushed super a week faster. Food for thought guys.
We still have guys that are anti flow hives, some are just anti for no reason but some have at least tried flow hives but for some reason it didn’t suit them.:thinking:
Cheers

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Peter, I made a reply to you on a different thread — I tried putting the wax on the Flow frames as you suggested, and still had no luck. Discouraged after three seasons.

Will try one more time next Spring. What timeline and hive structure do you and others recommend? In our location in Virginia, with the warming we have experienced, our flow starts in March with the trees, and moves rapidly through April and declines in May, essentially stopping in early to mid-June, except for Dutch clover. We get a little spurt in September.

Do you use a queen excluder? Do you put a regular super on first? When? When do you put the Flow on? Do you add non flow supers later for the colony to build reserves for the winter?

Appreciate any help – or offers on my Flow supers… :frowning:

Harris

I’m hearing you are discouraged and feel like throwing in the towel on Flow Frames.
With my climate I run a single brood, I won’t advise you if a single brood or a double brood box is right for you when you can get local knowledge about that from local bee keepers.
Definitely use a QX above the brood, some will claim bees won’t go to a super thru a QX but I have used QX’s for over 45 years and yet to have bees not going thru it. If you don’t use a QX you are then making the super open to be used as a brood box with the queen laying eggs in it.
I never add a conventional super first, my Flow Hives are single brood boxes, a QX then the flow super, my conventional hives are configured the same but with conventional super on it, and they both produce similar amounts of honey.
My Flow Supers on on constantly thru the year as I don’t have a Winter and the queen lays eggs all of the year and the bees forage all year too.
I hope that gives you some tips so that you get better results with the Flow Hives. If there is enough nectar about and the bees only have the option of using prepared Flow Frames they will use them. Bees will forage because that is what bees do by instinct, even when the cells are full.
Cheers