I am curious to know any information. My flow hives have a small gathering of what looks to be pollen drops/wax like white pellets that have fallen underneath the hive. I cannot find anything online about this. Does anyone here know why or what could be the cause?
Hello and welcome to the Flow forum!
Need a bit more information to be sure.
- Could you post a photo? If you can’t work out how to do it, ask and we will guide you
- Do you have the tray or slider in place? If not, the debris may have fallen out of the hive
The reason for my questions is that it could be wax, pollen or chalkbrood. Without more information, it is very hard to know. At this time of year in the UK, the most likely would be chalkbrood. Photos would help a lot
Thanks for the reply! Its a bit hard to see but they white drops are on the outside and the yellow pollen like drops are in the middle? I did put wax boards in to help the bees as i only got bees in late this summer and thought it would take them too long to build the honey comb needed in the brood box.
Additionally I am feeding the bees as well so unsure if this is also an added factor? Any ideas on how to rectify this would be greatly appreciated.
It is a bit hard to see as the photo is not really enough of a close-up, but I don’t see anything worrying. In fact, your tray is impressively clean!
I would guess that the centre brownish pieces could be propolis. Pollen is unlikely at this time of year, unless you know of something that is flowering nearby. Wax is also unlikely, unless the weather is unseasonably warm in your part of the UK. Bees find it hard to shape wax once the night time temperatures drop below about 13°C and so they usually tend not to build much wax from autumn until early spring.
Is your Flow super still on the hive? If so, I would take it off or they will glue it up with propolis, which is messy and can make the next harvest difficult or impossible
looks a bit like propolis at the top and poo/regular deposits below. As Dawn says, that is a very clean tray!
When I zoomed in I thought several of the dark bits looked like wax moth poop. Just to be sure I would suggest checking inside, especially in the corners for cocoons.
The super is on. The bees had moved up into there about 3 weeks ago. Annoyingly there is a bit of propolis in the super. Hopefully it doesn’t become worse. If you guys think it would be worth taking the super off then I can do so however there is a fair amount of activity in there. I will send through a photo today for reference.
If you’re in the UK it’s autumn, which means a rapidly dwindling nectar flow if there’s anything. Your bees need to prepare for a cold winter, so they’re up in your super busy closing up all the gaps with propolis to block drafts. Since you’re feeding, they might also be storing some of it in the Flow frames.
Keep in mind that with Flow frames, the bees have to first seal and extend each cell with wax before they can start storing nectar in there. So it makes sense for one’s first season using the Flow super to be in spring, with a strong colony and strong nectar flow.
Hard to see but a fair amount of activity in there. Your statement does make sense Eva. Would you recommend taking the super off then?
Absolutely, Mike. I can understand being excited to get going but timing is everything and more with beekeeping . It would be sad if your brand new kit got all gummed up and doesn’t work properly when the time is right, or worse - your bees don’t make it because of cold drafts and/or pests inside the hive because of too much space.
When you take it off, you can set it on one end next to the hive so bees in there will exit and go into the lower box. If there is anything stored they will clean it up within a day or so. Then all you have to do is wrap it in hessian (burlap) and store in a cool dry place where pests can’t get to it.
Have a look inside once you do remove the super to make sure there isn’t a wax moth incursion starting and things look well for wintering over. Keep us posted on how this goes, there’s so much great support and info here!
I totally agree with @Eva’s remarks. You should take the super off. In fact, you shouldn’t really have a super on when you are feeding, because the feed may then contaminate your next harvest. While sugar syrup doesn’t taste bad, it isn’t as nice as nectar-based honey!
One Flow forum member had their harvest contaminated with a syrup feed that had essential oils (Honey-B-Healthy) and vitamins in it, because they hadn’t realized about not feeding with a super on the hive. Apparently peppermint flavored honey is not very appealing…
Many thanks team! Just waiting for a little warm and dry spell before i can take the super off. Hopefully it comes in the next couple days! Appreciate the help.