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Packing down - how to leave Flow Super honey for the bees?

How to persuade my bees to take the capped honey (which is very little) in the super down to the brood box, before I pack it down for the Winter?

My flow hive is on the Mid-Coast of NSW.
After the fires last Summer, my bees have struggled with the dearth of pollen and nectar, but have now re-established good numbers, brood and pollen stores. Yay!

However, they have very little capped honey in the super, and none in the brood box, with only a small amount of uncapped honey in the brood box.
I haven’t taken any honey at all during this time, thinking that they would be building it up.
The bees seem to be actively foraging, but there must be no available nectar for them to store honey.

I have decided to remove the super, pack down for Winter, and feed them immediately with 2:1 sugar syrup until Spring, using an internal feeder in the roof.

There is a small amount of capped honey on three of the flow super frames. I’d like to have the bees take it all down to the brood box.

How to persuade them to move it?

I’m guessing your somewhere between Taree and Coffs so basing my advice on that sort of climate. I use a bird aviary watering station which you can pick up at any pet store for feeding syrup and it would also work for you feeding the honey back to the bees by extracting the super frames, filling the feeder with the honey and taking the Flow Frames from the super and use that box as an internal feeder.
Another option to consider is to buy a sheet of polystyrene 10mm thick from Bunnings and a roll of duct tape. Cut the poly and tape it in place around the hive to insulate the hive and leave the super in place. A warmer hive will have the advantage that the colony will remain stronger.
Last Summer was my worst with the drought and then the bush fires decimating the local foraging area, there was no nectar so I had to feed my hives till the end of February when I finally got some rain and nectar in the flowers.

I’m thinking what you could do is remove all the cappings, then place the flow super above the brood box separated by an empty super. The bees will most likely bring the honey down to the brood box.

You could harvest what honey there is before doing the same thing so that the bees clean out the flow frames for you.


Thanks Jeff, that’s a good idea to use an empty super, which I have.
If I put the Flow super at the top, even without drawing the honey first, the bees may well move all of it down to the brood box.
And it’s started to get suddenly cold her, so more encouragement for the bees to cluster together below.
There is room in the brood box for the honey that is there in the super.

Thanks Peter.
Yes, near Taree.
I had wanted to find a way for the bees to do the work, and move the honey stores and wax to the brood box.
I don’t think it gets that cold here to warrant insulating the hive, especially since they’ll be in a tight huddle.
I’m still looking at which feeder to use, but will start with a jar with holes punched in the lid.

You’re welcome Charanos. Don’t forget to take the caps off. Even if you can get the honey to drip a bit. That will get them up there for starters.

A local pet store can sell you a watering station that would normally be in a bird aviary, that is what I use for feeding syrup and I’m sure you could also use it to feed honey back to the colony placing it in an empty box top of the hive. The bees wont take old wax down into the brood box, there is no use for it there, so you can scrape any off the super and when you have enough to render it down is is very saleable.
Not sure you will need to do much packing down for Winter unless your up in the high country on the mountains.