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Ops I need help! Adding a second brood box


#1

HELP!

I am new to bee keeping and we have 2 Flow hive. The brood box was just about full so we went ahead and add the FLOW top. I then was doing some reading and realized that in Ontario we should likely have 2 brood boxes in order for them to survive the winter. NOW WHAT?? the bees are already in the FLOW. Do I remove it put on a new brood box and leave the FLOW no the ground so they make their way back to the hive to build comb and fill with honey for the winter? Or could I add the new brood box so it goes existing, new and then the flow? Will they automatically start forming comb and fill the 2nd box first? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


#2

Its late in your season to add a box but I would remove the flow and shake the bees out. Then I would add another broodbox UNDER the current one so if they don’t build it out there is no heat loss. Make sure all new frames have foundation to give them a boost. If there is not a strong flow on start feeding them to help them get ready for winter.

Cheers
Rob.


#3

I totally agree with Rob @Rmcpb. Better to remove the super now, before they invest too much energy in it, and add another brood box below the existing one. :blush:


#4

Thank you!
Should I leave the FLOW out front for the night to allow any straggles to head back into the hive?
And what do I do with the FLOW? Jjust leave it in a cool spot in the barn and when we finally get to the point to add it back on (maybe next season) do I trust the bees will clean it out if needed and the existing honey will be ok. It has only been on for a week but it is looking really good.


#5

Just shake the bees out and if there is nectar in it move it at least 20 metres from the hive so they can rob it out. If you keep it too close to your hive it can start other bees robbing your hive.

Another option is to leave it on top of your hive BUT put an inner cover between it and your brood boxes. The bees will think its outside their hive and rob it out. This is how we handle wets. When they are dry just remove the flow box and put it in a shed for winter.

The second option is my preferred method as the bees get to keep their hard earned nectar and not share it with other hives.

Cheers
Rob.


#6

That would be fine.

Good place for it.

The bees will certainly clean it out well after a winter in the barn. The existing honey will crystallize if nothing finds it before then (wax moths). However, if you leave the honey super on one end outside the hive now, I bet it will be empty in a day.


#7

Another option once you have got the bees off the Flow Frames is to freeze them.
You can wrap them in plastic and put in the freezer.
Then when you want to add your Flow Super you can pop them straight in the box.
This saves you worrying about cleaning the Flow Frames and prevents bugs etc.


#8

G’day Kim… here is an alternative which may best fit all of your question in
showing a workable way forward every year at this time of colony management - coming fall moving into winter.

Build your second broodbox(B2) using frames #1+#2+#8+#9 from B1.
Place those frames at positions #3 through #7 in B2. Add new frames with foundation in place to #1+#2+#8+9 in B2. Add new frames with foundation in place to the vacancies now existing in B1.
Assemble placing queen excluder(QE) below the Flow super.

When packing for wintering, extract any full frames in the Flow super and
bottle those. Extract the remaining into a tight container and store as “bee feed”. Remove the Flow super and QE, placing the Flow super on an antproof riser in front of the entrance to the hive. Depending on heights a 100mm wide ramp could be used from the top of the Flow super to the entrance.
When cleaned out (next day?) remove the Flow super to your equipment storeroom.

Next Spring - the weekend following the first of flows - take any splits from a mix of frames sorted between B1 and B2. Make out of the remaining frames assortment a single broodbox of fully drawn combs with a central brood core in at least frames #4+#5+#6 and some drone comb at #9.
Restack the hive with QE and Flow super, adding a queen restrictor to the entrance for at least another 10days.

Repeat ad nausueam each year.

Tips - or maybe “of importance”?
For the new player stack manipulations need to be positive yet calm
To help with gaining confidence, suit up but try and avoid using gloves.

When pulling frames and replacing same, always remove frame #8+#9 or #1+#2 first, then slide the frames you work with away from the next before pulling. Reverse that action when installing a frame.

For smoker use - a neccessity for new players - the optimum is to recruit a helper whose sole duty is to apply “puffs” at your direction. Pick someone who is as calm as you need to be. Make very sure whatever material you choose to burn is wholly chemical free - be aware some timbers own toxins which set bees off in a tizzy.

Have close handy, like in your pocket or resting on the box body, a sturdy wide bladed short bladed knife with a fine edge but not sharp.
My personal choice is this one, for some years now, and all it gets used for;
https://www.knifecenter.com/kc_new/store_store.html?ttl=Spyderco%20Folding%20Knives&a=folder&brand=234&series=1515&
Spyderco C142GP Resilience Folding
How to use it is to scrape along the skin towards the pulsing stinger in one swift move, ejecting the stinger. It does take practice. You have at least 10seconds to remove the sting before getting the full venom hit so take your time and be accurate, first time.
When one bee loves you others may follow, more so if you react with sudden moves. Calm positive actions with knife and smoke will deter followers.There is the solution for “no gloves” as the new player grows in confidence.
It is important only becauae as you start out so shall you adopt for all time.
I have witnessed many a “experienced beek” fumbling around boxes in full suit and armoured gloves… doing more harm than good. Frankly.

Your goal, in time, is to be confident enough on a good day to lift the lid on
a hive using just a little smoke at the entrance, and then the top ventilation aperture, dressed in no more than a hat, shirt, shorts/boxers and thongs (flipflops).
My “beekeeper kit” for more years than I care to remember… back when the bod(y) did not scare young children I only ever wore shorts+thongs+hat.
Today that approach, like some of my editorial, scares more folk than it helps :slight_smile:

Cheers.

Bill


#9

Thank you
I’m glad to report that things are looking good!
We removed the Flow hive, added a 2 broodbox and the girls are busy building comb. They are 2 frames in so I feel good about it.
I did feed them sugar water.
I extracted the nectur format he Flow and will feed it to them in a few days.
The hay field should be in flower in about a week too so that will be a large food source

THANK YOU