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New to site and question about adding supers and flow hive


Hi all,

I joined a while ago, but out side of looking at the for sale area and doing a lot of reading I have not really posted yet…

Sooo hi! :stuck_out_tongue:

I have had a very little experience with “beekeeping” from another situation… But I realized I did not feel they were. Doing it well… (Hive death ever winter so far). So I stopped participating in the project .

Ok so this spring I and a ex coworker decided to do a hive as we were very interested in the flow hive. Oh and we live in northeast ohio btw. We only got the brood hive this year not really expecting honey this year (giving us time to save for the flow for next year) … Welllll… It has been going so well this year that they filled both brood boxes and a med super… We just ordered. The flow hive super. We decided to remover 5 frames from the med super for harvest and to keep the bees busy and happyish until we get the flow…

So our original plans was to fill the med super for winter feeding, this is the reason we only took out 5 so that we can still hopefully have a full med super for winter…

So here are the questions, can we still put the flow hive on this last with anticipation of full supers and flow hive? And once the flow hive comes in can we put the what maybe full of part full med super one top of the flow hive and bees still have access to the med super?

We still have a lot to learn, and we sort of consider ourselves bee havers vs bee keepers at least for this year…

Oh and if Michael bush should read this… Thanks for the wonderful website… It has opened our eyes to many ideas that make a lot of sense. Thou we have to implement the foundation-less idea next year as I did not see your site until after the fact we got the hive up and running… But this batch of bees does not seem to mind our lack of doing things “right” and except for one crazy psycho bee (dead now due to stinging me:( ) there all very friendly!

Sorry for bad grammar, spelling and being all over the place… I kind of suck that way… Or positive way of saying it… Providing a mind challenge for all of you! :stuck_out_tongue:



I’m in Northwest Ohio in Toledo. Just started with bees myself this year. It’s been a struggle. Started with packaged bees. They lost their queen and their numbers began to dwindle. Ordered a queen. Picked up two nucs too. The nucs became full blown hives. Took brood frames out of each nuc and put it in the flow hive that lost it’s queen. Then the new queen came in. Added her. Did OK for a while. Then that queen died or they killed her. Ordered another queen, placed her in a push in cage. She’s in there now. Meanwhile the two nucs are now full blown hives with two brood boxes and growing quickly.

Due to the drought and questionable nectar flow and being completely foundation-less, I’ve been feeding them syrup and pollen patties non stop. I just want them to draw out all the comb and begin storing for winter.

I don’t know if that answered any of your questions. But that’s my struggle and what I’ve been doing. Hope it helps. I learned way too much about bee keeping. It started out as a curiosity and now it’s like a full time job.



Thanks for the reply! Even though there Is a drought this year, the clover in the area has been massive! And watching all the golden rod happily growing is a good sign also, it looks to be setting its flowers now but no blooms yet. We stopped feeding mid to late June as the bees stopped taking it.

I have yet to find the queen, but I know she is there as the brood is a plenty and a good pattern. I removed some of the super frames because the bees are starting to fill the brood boxes (probably for winter and maybe because there is no room…?) so I wanted to give them room for more stores, but not take everything so they have some food too.

Just need to find out about moving the super / flow around and if it is to late for collecting more honey this year (provided the golden rod does well)

Hope your hive starts to co operate and shape up… Kind of interesting hope different our experiences are…



Since, your bees are doing so well and you filled up two brood boxes and a medium super, it sounds like you can put the flow frames on (assuming they drew out and filled everything else). But, don’t leave them on for winter.

One way to get your bees back out of the flow frames is to use the one way excluder from Brushy Mountain. They can go back down into your brood boxes, but can’t go back up to your flow frames. It takes about 24-48 hours to get them all back out of your flow frames. http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/8-Frame-Escape-Screen/productinfo/254ES/

Don’t put your medium super on top of the flow frames. Put it below. Everything should be below your flow frames, they go on last. Use the queen excluder screen, then put on the flow frames.

I would also suggest getting the top feeder from Brushy Mountain. This is the most brilliant, cleanest, and most intuitive feeder I’ve seen. Can hold up to 2 gallons, but we only fill one side at a time, so we use one gallon of syrup on one side, and put pollen patties on the other side. We’ve been feeding non stop mainly to avoid disaster and get them going fully. Really need them to get through winter and draw out full frames of comb.

Also, may I suggest the top cover from Honey Run Apiaries. It is insulated and vented. You can use it all year. Has removable styrofoam insulation. Can protect your bees and keep the heat in for winter and keep them cool in summer. Also has a nice top entrance built in, which the bees prefer and like. http://shop.honeyrunapiaries.com/all-season-inner-cover-8-frame

Honey Run is in Ohio and when you order brood boxes, frames, or supers, they arrive right away. Their prices are much cheaper than any other place you will find online (an 8 frame deep super is only $12 bucks, frames are $1.25). I’ve toured their facility (it’s near me in Delphos, Ohio) and it’s a great facility with top notch woodworking. I get all my wooden ware and supplies from them now. There is no need to order the deep super from Flow and pay almost $100 with shipping for it. The Flow wooden ware comes from BeeThinking.com)

I get my pre-mated Italian queens from Apple Blosom Honey Farms in Indiana. In case anything happens, you can get one pretty quickly from them. Excellent quality queens. http://www.abhoneyfarm.com/

The best way to introduce a new queen and have them accept her and not kill her is using a push in cage. Something like http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/Push-in-Introduction-Cage/productinfo/260P/
Or http://www.betterbee.com/marking-tools-and-queen-cages/iqc1-push-in-queen-intro-cage.asp
I got the one from BetterBee and the acceptance rate is nearly 100% now. Whereas with those small wooden cage that the queen comes in and they release her a few days later by eating the candy, the rate is more like 50-60%.

I hope that all helps. Just sharing all my experience. There is quite a learning curve. I didn’t anticipate having to become an expert beekeeper when I first started this, but this is what happened.

If you ever roll through Toledo Ohio, let me know. We can meet up. Always looking to meet beekeepers and exchange thoughts, experience, and knowledge.


YThanks for the reply again,

We actually go to bluesky bee supply as they are within driving distance of us and my co beekeeper drives by all the time as it is between her work and home.

We found a really cool bee feeder that holds one gallons but we hope to not use it much as we really want enough honey for the bees to live off of over the seasons. Will keep an eye on it and see what happens.

I can not remember where they got the bees, I know it was local… Maybe Madina? I will have to ask when I talk to them next. Will let you know :slight_smile: We also do not plan to replace the queen as she is really good and as long as I do not accidentally squish her… Well no reason to replace. If I could someday just see her I would feel a lot better, but as I said not going tempt fate…

The reason I asked about the med super on top of the flow super is because I saw somewhere on the internet (place of all things truthful and right! Ha ha) that there was a rotation that you can do with supers to get them all full at a reasonable pace… But not one else has replied to my heathen messy message except you about it so all is good :slight_smile:

All right time to go, thanks again for you ideas and such


If you use all deep supers (like the boxes that came with your flow hive) you will be able to rotate frames and boxes very efficiently. If you switch to medium supers, you now have 2 different size boxes and frames and it becomes harder to manage possible emergency situations. Like if you needed to take out a frame, move a frame up or down, remove frames, add the flow frames, etc. The best piece of advice anyone gave me in beginning beekeeping was to keep everything the same size. So far, it has saved me a few times.

I don’t know that you need a medium super over the flow frames. Especially, not this first year. I don’t think you should use the flow frames at all. I’d say, add a second or third brood box, and let the bees get through winter. I think you really need to feed them until they finish drawing out comb and at least storing a good amount of it. You need them to survive this year.


Shouldn’t be feeding sugar syrup or pollen if you have supers on


I know to not use sugar water when supers are on the hive. Our set up is 2 deeps for brood, and one med box for a super. We fed sugar water,to the bees until the first week of June, after that the bees were on there own and very strong. By middle of June they had the 2 brood boxes built up and the queen had just about every thing full of brood at some stage or another. The outsides of the brood boxes were full of honey stores and pollen and all this by June! We decided to put the medium super on and also decided to order the flow super as the bees seemed to be doing very well (especially for the first year!) … It only took three weeks for the bees to fill the medium super! We decided to do a half harvest of the medium super as we did not have the flow super yet and need to make room in the hive to avoid swarming. Our idea is to save the medium super for the bees to feed off of during winter, but there just two darn fast this year! So we got 9.5 pounds of honey off of 5 medium frames! Also… Checked the hive this week and in the medium super the bees already have half of the sides of 3 of the frames built up with wax and partly full of honey! … Not sure where they are getting it from… But for a first year this is awesome!

The box for the flow super came in this week, but sadly it was creaked and broken, co-beekeeper emailed pics to customer service team and hopefully thing will be set strait soon. I have not seem them yet but yesterday afternoon the flow frames came in… Can’t wait to see them! :smiley:

Soon I am going to build a cover system for winter protection. Can’t believe we already need to start thinking about winter protection>_<



It sounds like your bees are doing very well. You can leave the medium super on for now and cont to harvest frames off of it until you can get your flow frames on there. The bees will eventually realize that winter is coming and start moving all the honey out of your medium (or flow frames) back down into the brood boxes. It’s hard to figure out when they will do that. If you leave your honey frames on too long, they will empty it out and move it down for storage. Delicate balance.

Your bees are doing very very well, that’s really good to hear in Ohio! I have to check on my bees tomorrow and see if they are also doing that well. Hopefully, my second brood box will be fully drawn and ready to go so I can add supers.