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Preparation of Flow frames


#1

I have had my flow super set up for two weeks now.
It is a 10 frame size (7 Flow frame) Flow cedar box.
I am in Canberra and am lucky that where I live (locally), there is a nectar flow on from Sophora Japonica trees. Elsewhere in Canberra the nectar flow has been slow.
My bees have been filling the gaps in the cells and have been doing this since set up. It occurred to me that if the frames were prepared with a wax coating, then the bees will have been saved much of the effort in preparing the cells for use.
Would Flow consider this course of action for the out of the factory frames, or is it something that they would/would not recommend?


#2

May not be a problem in Australia, but the issue with wax is that it is a biological product, subject to contamination with diseases, pests and chemicals. Many countries regulate heavily on importing raw agricultural products, and for a small startup company like Flow, it wouldn’t be sensible to take on that degree of regulation. I agree, ideally it would be nice, like using plastic foundation with a wax coating on it, but it complicates everything, and it isn’t strictly necessary.

Enjoy your hive, and consider posting some photos if you take any! :wink:

Dawn


#3

Thanks Dawn.
I am inferring from what you have said, that there is no reason for a beekeeper starting out with their own flow hive to prepare the frames with a wax coating (possibly from their own bees), and this would help progress the bees on their way to utilising the flow frames sooner.


#4

Well, I don’t have years of Flow frame experience. However, from what Cedar and Stu write (founders of the company), I think that is absolutely correct. The bees accept the cells without them smelling of wax and bee hives.

If you decide to try coating the frames, I would be VERY interested to read about what you think. But I think the practicality would make it tricky, and personally I will not be doing that.

All the best,

Dawn


#5

Wondering what you did to coat with wax if you did? If you did coat with wax, from where did you source your wax??


#6

Hello Rob.
I did not do this with my own frames, however I did do this for the Flow frames at the Beekeepers Association of ACT Incorporated (BAACTI) apiary, where I have been involved in the apiary management.
The bees readily took to this and intuitively this should have helped the bees along.
The wax I used was sourced from smelting wax from burr comb, cappings and old frames off my own hives (non Flow).


#7

I waxed all my Flow frames bar three as I did an experiment, two waxed, ala long lost @Bobby_Thanepohn roller coating, and one not in a three FF hybrid super hybrid and one waxed and two not in a three FF hybrid.
There was some reluctance with the untaxed however once the numbers built they all merged and worked the frames equally. From observation.
I think it’s all about numbers. We newbees are generally too eager and add our supers too early. Flow frames or no, if the bees aren’t ready they won’t build comb.
Having said this these bees won’t touch my plastic foundation regardless waxed or not.
:don’t know: