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No Flow Frame Activity - No Spare Comb to Lure

If I don’t have any “spare” beeswax to paint onto Flow frames, what do I do?
Frames are barren.

Is there a flow on in your area? They will not create wax or use extra room if there is no flow on. Is your brood box filled to exploding with bees or are you just trying to expand and line these frames, again they will not use area they do not need.

If you can answer these questions then maybe someone will be able to help you.



Have you added a Flow Super and the bees are not interested in going into it? You are not giving a lot of info for us to work with. So I am adding to what @Rmcpb has said.
I have 4 Flow Supers and experimented with a few suggestions of the site as well as putting a clean super on as a control test. By far the best results I got was by using a daggy old paint brush and painting melted wax liberally over all the cells of all the frames.
The super I painted wax on had bees working on the frames within a few days, the clean super had very little interest after 6 weeks when I then painted wax onto those frames.
It you are wanting to put a Flow Super on the young hive that may be an issue if there is not enough bees to populate the extra space. Bees like to be in a densely crowded hive and that also helps them to defend the hive if needed and to work against SHB for example.
There is no gain in adding a super, Flow or traditional if there is no honey flow happening, if that is the case you are giving them honey storing cells that they don’t need.
If I am answering your question so far then I’m sure you can buy some bees wax if you can’t collect some wax burr comb from your brood boxes, but even buying it if the hive is ready for a super and there is a flow on regard it as needed to get a Flow Super into use. Even ask another local beekeeper if he has some to sell to you.
Hope the advice is helping you but some extra info would help.


You don’t need to paint it on. I don’t do that. Whenever I do an inspection, there is always a little burr comb, bridge comb etc. I scrape that off with my hive tool, and immediately gently smear it over the Flow frame faces, a bit like spreading cold peanut butter on fragile toast. You can leave a few lumps, and I have found that 5 to 10 small dots of wax on each frame are enough.

The first time I did this, the bees were investigating the frames within a couple of days and started filling them a week or two later. As others have said above though, it will only work if you have a good nectar flow, and it is getting late in the season for that in most of the US unless you have goldenrod, ivy or some other Fall flow in your region.


Hey @neokeeper - I see you’re in Connecticut, and I’m just a bit south of you here in Pennsylvania. I’m going to go ahead and say it’s too late for Flow frames to go on. I’d take them off even if you might have a fall nectar flow as Dawn mentioned, since you run the risk of bees propolizing your Ffs as ‘drafty extra space’ and honey from fall flowers can crystallize in there & won’t flow out. Either outcome is kind of a mess…besides, up your way your bees will definitely need the fall honey for their winter survival.

After removing the Flow super you could plan to put a shallow or medium super with drawn comb on, sometime in August (check with a local beek for best time) in hopes that your colony (if it’s good-sized & healthy) will be able to store some fall honey in there. Even if they only fill a few frames and you have to condense your box for winter, you can freeze any frames with honey, nectar and pollen stored on them and give them one at a time to the bees over the winter by laying a frame flat on the top bars, and using a feeder rim to add enough space under the inner cover.