My friends and I installed a nuc into our brood box yesterday. We are all new to bee keeping and did not realize that the super should not be installed until the brood box is sufficiently full. We are in Colorado, and nights are still chilly (low 40s), with day temperatures high 60s/70s. I feel terrible that the bees might be cold or have to use more energy to keep warm. My question is, should we remove the super until the population grows larger over the next several weeks? If so, should we do it ASAP or is it ok to wait until we check and remove the queen cage on day 3-5? We used a queen excluder, so she should be safe and sound in the brood box and not at risk of being in the super. I appreciate your help, thanks!
if you are concerned about the cold, especially if you do not have any frames with reserves, I would remove it asap to allow the bees to not have a drop in temperature overnight draining their energy (at best).
But I am new to beekeeping, so some more experienced beekeeper will give their experience. I am answering as I did the same thing 2 weeks ago on my 1yrs old hive and the temperature dropped to 0deg C overnight for a few days…I read a lot about it and decided to keep it on as day temperature was getting back to 15deg C
You should definitely remove the super until you have the number of brood boxes in your area close to 80% or better full. Your weather in Colorado is very similar to mine in Montana. I would guess that most other beekeepers in your area have two deep brood boxes. As long as you have your current brood box full of frames for the bees to build comb in your should be fine. If there isn’t a good flow in your area right now you might look at feeding 1:1 sugar syrup. This will help stimulate brood production and comb building.
Another tip that has helped Flow users get the bees to start working on the flow frames is to put a coat of wax on them. As your brood boxes are filling up you will most likely end up with some burr comb that you will scrape off the edges of frames. You can collect that and use it to put on the flow frames. I melted it in an old pot and then used a paintbrush to rub it on the frames. Having that smell of home on the frames attracts the bees to start working on them right away.
Take it off asap. It will be empty, anyway
Thank you all for your advice! The super is now removed.
I didn’t add to the above, because I agreed with all of them. You did the right thing, in my humble opinion. Well done, it takes guts.
By the way, as you are in Colorado with freezing winters, you probably need a second brood box. Personally I would add that before putting the Flow super on top, no matter what Flow says. I differ from their opinion on this, but I still love them, and I think they think I am OK… @Faroe - any comments?
Thanks for the advice. Adding a second brood box seems to be what many people have done on the forum from colder climates. I think I will go ahead and order a second one and hold off on the Flow super until next year. Thanks!
No comments, I agree with what you say Dawn, and have shared your feedback and the other bee keepers feedback with the Flow team…