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One brood box and two supers

Hi there I new to flow hives and bee keeping, and just after a little advise. I have two flow hives at present and am already reaping the benefits. My question is is it possible to have one brood box then the excluder, then two super?
Thanks for any help.

Hi @Loki! Welcome to the forum.

Possible of course. But to what end? Your bees are collecting so much honey that they are running out space? :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hi Loki having 2 flow hives each with 1 brood box is perfect in Queensland. You can move brood from one to the other to strengthen a weaker hive. You can take a split from both to make a new hive or give them more room when swarming is imminent.
Having 2 supers on one brood box is not necessary and a strong healthy brood box will deliver you a good supply of honey in good conditions. If conditions are poor you don’t want too much empty space that makes it difficult for the bees to maintain a good environment.
Good luck.

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Hi Loki! Welcome to the forum. I echo what Gary said - two hives are definitely better than one, and the beauty of a Flow super is that you harvest it & the bees fill it again when nectar is abundant.

It is possible to use 2 flow supers, however I fully agree with @Gaz & @Eva. It is hard enough to inspect the brood box with one flow super, let alone two. I find it hard to remove a flow super without removing some frames first. It’s hard to do that without killing a few bees, which starts to upset them. You would only compound that with 2 flow supers.

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I agree with what the others are saying Mike. Having a double stack of supers is no advantage to the bees or to the honey yield. There is a disadvantage for you and the bees as your inspection time and so the disturbance to the bees will take longer and so the time taken after you close up for the bees to settle down will also take longer.
For your climate I would advise a single brood box, then the QX and a single super. Keep it simple.
Cheers

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Jeff is it the weight of the flow super or something else you struggle with?

The weight of a full flow frame super is comparable to a normal framed super. I would think if you struggle with one you would struggle with both weight wise.

Regarding squashing bees taking out and replacing flow frames that occurs with normal frames too doesn’t it?

I understand the management/husbandry reasons for only running a double. I will however occasionally run a second normal honey super on my heavier flows and higher number colonies. This is so I can do some cut comb or get some frames drawn out.

Adam

I personally find the lack of proper grip points as a bit of an issue with a full Flow super.

I like using the handles on the short sides of the box. The Flow super only has a handle on one side. One way around it is to remove the rear door and use that ledge as a handle.

This weekend I am modifying one of my boxes, so that I have a permanent handle on both sides.

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During heavy flows one super can be drawn and filled but not capped as the nectar is still being dehydrated so it’s not possible to drain frames so I can see the logic in adding an extra super in some situations.

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I’ve recently started taking the viewing window piece out, and using the small recess as a ‘handle’…

I was doing what you described previously, but found my fingers straining a bit more with the inbult handles…

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I can’t lift a whole traditional super off without removing frames, unless a lot of the frames are light on honey.

I just find flow frames harder to remove & replace than normal frames. I haven’t got the nack of it yet. I can’t remove normal frames without killing bees. Therefore I don’t expect to be able to remove flow frames without killing bees. It’s the tightness of the frames that makes it more difficult to avoid killing bees, with my experience.

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I’m with you with what you are saying Jeff, but at least traditional hives have handles that you can get a good grip of. I have to remove some frames out of the hive as even an eight frame box full of honey is difficult for me. Your running 10 frame boxes so I understand the struggle you have.
Cheers

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That’s ok with Flow hive 2, as they have a window on each side. I have the original with just one window.

Yes, especially with gloves. The Flow handles are not deep enough. I solved the issue by fixing a piece of timber just above the handle, and that gives me excellent grip. I’ll send a photo later.

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Look forward to your photo so I can add handles to my hives which are original Flow Hives too.
Cheers

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Thank you all for your input, I was advise by the guy who I got my nucs from that if I only wanted to stick to two hives and did not want to split them I would be able to add another box, this would stop the bee from swarming and I would also be able to harvest honey comb.
The idea is that you keep the bees busy building all the time.
Thank you all I will have a re think.

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@Peter48 and @fffffred

This is what I did to mine to improve handling. Maybe I over tinkered, but that’s me.

All brood boxes get a handle like this on the short side. Very easy and straightforward.

Flow supers, get the same handle on front end. On the rear end, you can either leave as is, and remove the arched door and use the arch as a handle.

Or, do the same and fix a handle… but you have to remove the Flow latch from the middle, and make 4 small latches (just a small piece of wood screwed on one side) to hold the arched door, and flow key cover in place.

Because I really hate the painted finger joints, I got rid of those too on mine, as you can see from the photo. With painted, they stick, and when I sanded, I either did not sand enough, or too much, or I disfigured them - so off they went.

Hey @Loki… I just realised I badly hijacked your thread. I hope you forgive me.

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Lol no worries I like your idea :+1:

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That is going to make the lift easier and safer, thanks for the pics, it makes your improvement much clearer. Glad Mike isn’t put off by your slight deviation of his thread. I’m guessing Mike might be working on that little project soon. I have modified my Langstroth and Flow Hives to improve them for my climate, painting my new Paradise Poly hives today and already mulling an idea in my head to make them better for my apiary.
Cheers

That bloke’s advice is a little bit off. Giving bees extra room to build in doesn’t automatically mean a colony wont swarm.

If the conditions are right for swarming, some colonies will swarm regardless of how much room they have to build in.

Swarming is how bees reproduce. That urge gets very strong in the natural world. You wouldn’t give a young adult a heap of work to do in the expectation that he/she wont want to reproduce.

Just to clarify terminology: A hive is where a colony lives. Therefore 2 hives would contain 2 separate colonies. A hive would consist of brood boxes & honey supers. It would be fair to say that a hive consisted of any number of boxes, not hives.
cheers

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Read @JeffH 's reply as it is very factual Mike. You can’t stop bees wanting to reproduce and the urge to swarm. You can do preemptive splits which is a better option than having a hive swarm that you have no control over. Better for you to control and manage the hive and then if you only want to have two hives a split is a very saleable item. A swarm that goes feral is no benefit to you or the environment and will compete with your bees for foraging.
Cheers

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