New install of Flow Hive

Daft comment removed **************

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I take it you’re South west of Dallas?

I’m a do my best to explain for I’m also a very new beekeeper and based off my mentor and the classes that I’ve taken. The idea here in the US is that two boxes, a larger colony will actually produce more honey then two smaller colonies. In my last lecture I attended they described one box colony with that honey super on top may have 30,000 bees and they would produce X amount of honey. Two boxes on top of each other would have about 65 70,000 bees and they would produce almost 3 times as much honey.

Also two boxes gives you a stronger company to ward off any diseases

Two boxes allows you to potentially collapse the 2boxes 1 in late winter or early spring when the colony needs to grow back to its full strength. With one box even just have a very small colony and it actually takes longer for the colony to build up to full strength if they’ve got more space.

That’s sort of what I know I’m sure there’s more that I’ll remember later there are a number of other great beekeepers/mentors on here can help fill in the gaps

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It’s not just that
I can only speak for bees here in UK but an average colony reaches 50K at its peak so they need the room of that extra box or they will swarm. The extra box enables them to store their winter food too

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Yes more gap in what all I remembered. That was yet another one that I would have soon remembered

I am sure there is more that others will fill in as I said lots of great beekeepers mentors I’m here

Marty. Yes. Midlothian TX. The two box idea sounds great. Makes sense. The only question it raises is this. If we go to one box for the winter how do we make sure the queen is in the remaining box? I guess just have to locate her. What do you think?

Helping my mentor out a little over a month ago during late winter or early spring, is when he actually reduced a few hives down to one box. Typically they will slowly move up to the top box and likely all you need to do is remove the bottom box. Occasionally there will be some honey left in the bottom box where you’ll need to make a decision on whether to move those frames to the box you’re keeping or possibly just lay the frames outside in front of the entrance so the bees can remove what they want.

Yes you’ll just have to make sure the Queen is transferred or in the correct box. This may entail taking your brush and sweeping all B’s off of each frame into the box or keeping so that you can ensure she is in the right box but make sure you don’t sweep hard enough to hurt her. You could just give it a good bang and the all drop into the correct box.

I additionally thought this posting was great

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The bees will have located their stores in the top box, If you leave it on they will move up through the winter to eat them.

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So. Here is where I am. I have a super on top of a brood box. The super was there to give the bees their food for the winter. I will inspect things today. If the brood box is full and healthy. AND if the super still looks good do I put the flow super on top of the super or do I remove the super and put the flow super directly on top of the brood box? If I take the super off and replace it with the flow super do I just leave it in front of the hive and let the bees clean it off. Getting down to the nitty gritty for the spring flow and I dont want to make a mistake here. So glad you guys are there!!

That is not a good idea.The whole county’s bees would be there if you did that the they might move to your brood box and rob that out.
Is your brood box big enough for your bees?
What do other beekeepers in your area run, one or two brood boxes?
It might be that your type of bee needs two boxes to achieve its proper size.
Maybe one brood box and a super is sufficient.
Either way, leave the super on and put the flow frames on top. You will still have the super full of honey for them to over winter.

Hi there Dale - I’m also a newbee but I live in southeastern PA. We do get cold winters & common practice here is two brood boxes for better chances of overwintering, as mentioned. As the flow setup I have comes with just one deep brood box, I bought another deep & plan to put my Flow super on if it’s a good enough season after the two deeps are well-established. IF I can harvest from the Flow this year, I’m planning to let the bees clean it out after that & then take it off to clean & store inside.

The little cedar peaked roof is very cute, but I’m considering bringing it inside as well for winter, and using the kind of insulated covers people use around here instead. Currently it is serving nicely as a cover for the sugar syrup in a Baggie & pollen patty I put on top of the inner cover, when I hived my package this past Friday.

You guys are so amazing. Eva that raises another question. I made two purchases from Flow. A full hive and a super. The cedar peaked roof is custom made to fit over the knobs of the flow hive. But you dont get a roof when you just buy the super by itself. A conventional cover wont fit over the knobs. Any ideas? And Dee I dont want to encourage robbers. How about I put a frame at a time or so in my garden about 100 yards away and let them clean them a few frames at a time. Thanks!!

You bees will still get there along with others.
Why don’t you eat it?
Freeze it to give to the bees when there is a dearth?
In the autumn you could put it under the brood box and the bees will move the honey up into the brood box.If you do that do it at the end of the day and close the entrance down for a few days.

[quote=“daleknott, post:32, topic:6291”]
cedar peaked roof is custom made to fit over the knobs of the flow hive. But you dont get a roof when you just buy the super by itself. A conventional cover wont fit over the knobs. Any ideas?

Hi daleknott - I’m not sure I get what you’re asking so I’ll try to elaborate a bit, hopefully not too obtusely! I believe the Flow roof/cover fits over a standard super (I have all 8 frame equipment) so that is interchangeable. I didn’t think about the knobs getting in the way of a conventional cover…but then again I hadn’t planned on leaving the Flow box out over the winter, and so the whole thing, frames, roof & fun box with cute knobs, is coming inside as part of my winter prep. Then, I’ll be left with a two-deep brood box stack (per beekeeping custom in my area) that I’ll put the conventional cover onto.

Some companies do sell an extra large insulated telescoping cover (big enough to add more insulation) that would overhang an 8 frame box enough to probably not bump into Flow knobs, if you didnt want to use the Flow roof for some reason.

Hope that helps :wink:

How about a double inner cover? Depending on how deep your telescoping roof is, that should work. Other alternatives would be to put an eke or shim, or even an empty super on top of the inner cover - you could put it on just for harvesting. Something like this one should give you enough space to access the Flow key slot:

Good advise Dawn. I’ll be adding only a Flow-Hive Super next year 2017 so this is great info even for me too. Of course … You know me Dawn… If it didn’t fit I’d probably modify mine or build a new one.

BTW if Vera is okay today … I need to buy cream for my coffee n might pick up couple of those bubble shipping packages n get that reducer down to you ! Have a great Humpday down there. Dee gave me some tips about my bait hive so need to crawl back up the ladder n adjust some stuff :blush::ok_hand:

Take care ,
Gerald :honeybee:

I saw that - be careful leaving your hives open with drawn frames and no bees in them. You may find you have a wonderful nest in there - of WAX MOTHS! :anguished:

Thank you for you effort on the entrance reducer. I am happy to hear that Vera is having a good day. :smile:

Thanks Eva. I probably wasnt too clear but your answer helped. I bought a flow box super only. That means it did not come with the same roof as the full hive. (I have one of those too by the way). So the flow super will go on top of the brood box for honey season. That super only flow hive does not come with a roof. The roof that is long enough to avoid hitting the knobs to the cover where the key goes in to harvest the honey. I am only assuming a standard top will not clear those knobs. I may be wrong. Anyone out there tried a conventional top on the flow hive super?

Thanks Dee. I was horribly unclear. The frames that need cleaning have very little to no honey. Just wax. The bees abandoned this hive and I just want to clean it. I assumed the bees would use the wax. True?

If there is little honey in there just store them somewhere.
I store all my super frames wet over winter and come the spring the bees are straight up there.
Bees won’t strip the wax and take it home, BTW

I got the impression the super was from a live hive that was getting some flow frames put on.
If it’s from hive where the colony died out or abandoned it I would render the wax down and abandon any idea of the bees salvaging it.