Newbies in Richmond Virginia

My wife and I are to become Beekeeping newbies in Spring. We’re excited to already have our first FlowHive (not yet populated) and have enrolled into a beginner beekeepinging course starting end of January.

It would be great to connect with local FlowHivers who could help grow our knowledge.

Thank you.


Hi Ian & Wendy, welcome to the forum.
I think you’ve done the right thing by joining this forum. There’s lots of knowledge to be gained by reading answers to any beekeeping questions you might have. Simply click on the magnifying glass & ask away. Be sure to click on “all topics and posts” after typing your question or subject that you want to look into.

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Hi, I just joined from Ashland. How are you finding your adventure?

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Hi Cindy, & welcome to the forum. It is quite an adventure, to say the least. There’s lot’s of learning along the way, mostly learning by mistakes. however…

Highly skilled and intelligent beeks are eagerly waiting to answer your questions. Sadly, @Dawn_SD , or @Eva couldn’t be present for the taking of this photo.


I’m the good looking one.


I thought that the good looking one was @chau06!!



Hi Cindy,

Our bee adventure has been an oustanding experience so far. We got our first nuc in early April, followed by a second hive start up in late May. Huge amounts of learning, immensely enjoyable and fortunate to have landed with a great beekeeping group in Hugenout Beekeepers Association. The current task is keeping them strong and healthy over winter. Our first Spring to be very exciting.

What about you, new journey just starting or previous beek experience…? How have you found you Flow Hive…?

That is good news! It is all fascinating, learning the incredible life of bees. We are complete noobs, just bought our hive and are slowly putting it together and signed up for the Richmond beekeeping class.

I am a bit concerned re blistering heat in July and August stressing the hive. I’ve read folks have them in much tougher conditions, though. Did you take any extra measures?

Hi, and yes, definitely something that needs to be considered. Make sure the bees have access to water, (ideally not a neighbors pool). We put put a bowl out most days (you can add a little salt) and used window mesh to give them something to climb down to get to the water. Remove the bottom board of the hive and vent the top to allow air to flow up thru the hive, other than that let them do their thing. They are immensely capable of regulating the internal temperature of the hive. Great news on the beekeeping class, we did that same one in Midlothian. It’s a super beginning however it can feel like an avalanche of information, but well worth the time investment.

Hi Ian. I totally agree with what you say “They are immensely capable of regulating the internal temperature of the hive”, however… They do this best when there is no added ventilation, such as in the roof, or by removing the bottom board. I believe that added ventilation only allows hot air into the hive, in areas that the bees are attempting to cool, which works against them.

This video put up by a forum member, @VinoFarm , really tells the story, if you have time to watch it.



Totally it takes away a lot of the control the bees. I expect in some cases it might have them working harder too. Having top vents covers would be a must to then block them up. I can see them as being useful in high humidity with a new small colony that is unable to regulate well. But it is only a short time frame in that case anyway. I cant recall when or where but I saw a few pics of a colony that had gone as far as to propolise openings from the outside, to really remove any ventilation, and essentially making their own entrance reducer.

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Any suggestions on where I can place an order for a spring nuc near Richmond?

Absolutely, try Doug and Keith at Honey and the Hive, Bill at Zoso acres and check out the website or social media sites of the people doing your beekeeping course. They should have a list of local State Inspected nuc suppliers. I’ll try to get a copy from Huguenot Beekeepers.

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Thanks! I will save these. I got a price from the guy managing my class so thinking he of all people should have healthy bees. I see some who advertise don’t mention state cert and some do. Seems like a good thing to look for.

I have the full local list if you want it. My email is send me an email.and I’ll reply with the pdf. Ian.

So as we come out of winter, we are awaiting our first nuc. I got interested in the FlowHive because my neighbor has one. I read we are to take the super off in winter as bees can all head up there and abandon the queen. Neighbor never removed his. Do you guys?

Hi, our local club recommended removing honey supers, which we did over our first winter.

That’s what I thought. Just watching over the fence at what not to do. :slightly_smiling_face: So do you put it back on when Spring flow starts or when temps hit a certain level?

I agree with @Ianh7898, remove the super when the nectar flow is over. For me, that is around July, but some areas have a fall flow, so it could be as late as September.

The super goes back on when the brood box is 80% full of food or brood, and every frame is covered with bees. :wink:

Thanks, you guys! I appreciate your input.

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