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No worries.
Just found out it’s necessary to put Frames in the brood box, too bad the suppliers didn’t tell me that, or provide them with the hive set up. LOL.
I’ve already put the swarm inside and they’re busy building was along the side wall, hope it’s not too late.


Hi, new to bee keeping in Whyalla SA. Have constructed my first flow hive and put a swarm in on 7th October. It developed very well and I put the Super on 22nd October. On 22nd November, honey started appearing in the outside flow frame. At about 2.00 pm today, the bees swarmed and when they left they took all the honey from the flow frames and there are very few bees in the super. I will have a look in the brood box tomorrow. Any comment on why they have swarmed while still putting honey in the super would be appreciated


Hi William, yes they will swarm irrespective of the super honey status. What they do is make queen cells inside the hive in order to make more bee colonies. When they swarm, about half the bees fly off with about half the honey. After the first swarm, more swarms can come out of the hive and again, half the bees can fly off and half the honey with them. After that, sometimes you can get more swarms with the same thing happening. This can happen within days of the first swarm.

Sometimes you can re-capture the swarm after it has settled and put it in another box to make a new hive. It can be tricky to manage them so they are strong enough to thrive and give you some surplus honey, and yet at the same time not swarm.
Did you see where they went?


Hi Dan2,
thanks for the quick reply. I live in a suburban setting and I saw them go over the neighbours fence but after that I could not see them. I walked down the street and around the block but could not see them or any indication of them. The local beekeepers know I have the bees so hopefully if he is called to extract them he will let me know and I can put them in another brood box I have. Is there any way to stop further swarms so soon after the first one.


I think there would be a way, but someone else more experienced might need to advise. I know that the colony that remains in your hive can sometimes end up without a properly mated and laying queen, so the colony can die if that situation is not managed too.


Hi Ellen, is this your first winter? Good luck! We are in Seattle so share some climate challenges. Our bees are going into winter strong and with a lot of honey. They were able to fend off the long season of pesky yellowjackets. We have found that the length of the wet/cold seems to be the defining factor on how and if they make it through the winter.

Let’s compare notes!


When you say “mesh” it makes me think you are talking about the screened bottom board, not the queen excluder. I would think your Flow kit came with a list of items and what they’re called, did you happen to see that when you unpacked it? …or…could this be a knockoff product?? I’m inclined to think the satay stick thing you mentioned is perhaps the queen excluder, but yes, please post pics if you can.

My Flow kit came with a plastic queen excluder, basically a thin, grid-like mat. Some are made of metal, but I’ve never seen or heard of one made of satay sticks. Of course, I know Flow has introduced new setups…


That’s pretty odd too…again I’m wondering about the source of your “Flow hive” :thinking:


It looks pretty clear to me in the official Flow instruction manual. See page 5 of this document:

The piece with the white pullout slider goes on the bottom. The box without windows goes on next, and the diagram shows that it is filled with frames (item 12 in the diagram). The frames which Flow supplies come unassembled. If you bought a hive with 6 Flow frames, you should have enough parts to make 8 standard frames = 8 top bars, 8 bottom bars and 16 side bars. You will need nails and glue to assemble them.

Once the brood box is full of bees with all frames full of drawn comb, you put the queen excluder on top. This is a sheet of white or yellow plastic in most Flow kits. The Flow super and plastic frames go on top of this. Then the inner cover is always the on top of the highest box (brood box until it is full, or Flow super when you put that on. Then the roof.

Hopefully you have it sorted out by now, but if not, photos would really help us to help you.


The frames should be there. If you have a genuine Flow hive, you can contact Flow support, or ask @Faroe to get missing parts sent out. They will need your original order number. The assembly manual even tells you how to build the frames, and page 5 tells you to put them into the brood box:


Hi again Dawn,
Thank you for your perseverance, much appreciated.
I have woke up to the fact that my hive is a knock of, from the original, thus instructions leave much to be desired and no frames were included. From your attached Inst’s of the ORGINAL Flow hive, it’s apparent the mesh goes on the bottom, though unblike the Flow hive in the attachment, there is no provision to slide this in. (Intend to resolve that shortly) Similarly, there is also no provision for the slide in/out bottom board.
As posted earlier, I have now installed Frames and the bees are busy at work, doing what they do.
Thank you all for your most helpful advice. Much appreciated.


That’s a bummer…but please in no way let it stop you from enjoying all the amazing support & information here :blush::+1:


Thank you Eva,
Would you believe, the bees Vacated their new plush residency yesterday for sunnier climes ???
Dunno what their problem was/is.
Though it was a cold day, and overcast, they did swarm about 10 feet away in a nice sunny spot ???
I picked up the hive box, placed it near them and left them to their own devices, evening came and I noticed they were returning back into their new residence.
I took the hint, and moved the hive this morning to a sunnier location and keep fingers crossed, it meets with their strict criteria.


Hi everyone. I’m brand new to bees. So brand new I don’t even have any. My husband and our four kids have a little over and acre in qld a Sunshine Coast. We keep chooks and ducks and some sheep to keep the grass down. I’ve got a nice little veggie patch that I am trying to expand. Thought bees would be a great addition to help the garden along. We just bought a flow starter pack and looking forward to learning about and then finally setting up a hive soon.


Welcome to the Flow forum. You will find lots of good reading and advice here. Depending on your location on the Sunshine Coast, you might want to see whether @JeffH has some nice bees that he could sell. He is in Buderim. He has been willing to mentor new beekeepers in the past, but I think he is trying to reduce his traveling these days, but you could always ask. He is a nice bloke - I have chatted with him and his wife Wilma on the phone. :blush:


Thanks for the kind welcome Dawn :smile: I’m really looking forward to the learning process. I will have to look up @JeffH and see if he is willing to mentor me in this new journey. My hive arrived yesterday and today. I’m just starting to think about whether to pain or stain or what is best to use to protect it from the elements. I’ll be off to search the forums to see what others have to say about it. Itching to get started, but want to go slow enough that I don’t make any mistakes. Also need to decide on what type of bees are best for beginners in my area. Can’t wait!


That will depend on what kind of wood you hive. If it is a cedar hive, they look very nice when sealed with Tung Oil. However, if it is pine, you really should paint it with a good quality exterior house paint. The best colour is white, because it reflects heat better than any other tone. If you really can’t do white, pick as light a colour as possible. I would do at least 2 coats, even if it is self-priming. If you have the Flow super, you will find it easier to paint or seal it before you put the perspex window in the side. Otherwise it is tricky to keep the sealant off the window. :wink: You don’t need to paint the inside of the boxes, as the bees will seal that with wax pretty quickly. I think @JeffH does paint inside, but he is a little bit strange about some things. :blush:

I would paint or seal the hive at least 2 weeks before installing the bees.


Hi Bella, feel free to phone me any time. It’s 54454602.

If your hive is hoop pine, I prefer to treat it with copper naphthenate first. Then a couple or 3 coats of white paint over that, inside & out. Hoop pine just doesn’t take the weather too good untreated, with paint only. That’s been my experience.

Yes I have to agree with @Dawn_SD about being a little bit strange :slight_smile: However nobody told my bees about waxing the inside of the boxes. In weather like we’ve been experiencing lately… they need to be treated.


If I can ever get my feeder-covering deeps off the hives, I will get some photos of the beautifully waxed interiors - looks like matt varnished furniture. However, my bees are in California, so perhaps they are not as laid back as subtropical Aussie bees… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Perhaps washboarding behaviour is an undetected method bees use for waxing flat surfaces???!!! :smile:


@Dawn_SD my hive is the red cedar flow hive with a super. Will the tung oil be enough in this wet weather we keep having do you think @JeffH? Also, I’m hoping to get started early in January if I can get the hive ready and source the right bees. It will all be a bit hectic here as we approach Christmas. I’m hoping I can get everything done in time. A friend who lives an hr away said she was told that you can start a hive around here up until about March, but I am not sure if that is correct advice.