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Preparing for winter in Victoria Australia


#1

I’ve looked through the forum but can’t find an answer to a specific question. I am new to bee keeping and got my flow hive last September and soon after a nuc. Since then the bees seem to have settled in really well and through regular inspections I am becoming more confident. I waited until the brood box was filling up before adding the flow super. Since then the bees have become very busy in the super lining the small gaps in the cells (presumably with wax or propolis). There are now very large areas across the flow frames that look ready to be filled but so far, nothing is going in. The bees are thick inside the super and during an inspection at the weekend the brood box seemed normal too. My question is whether I should consider removing the super over winter and if so, how should it be stored (assuming that it doesn’t get any honey in it). Also. should the corflute sheet be inserted at the bottom of the super? My concern is really all that empty space up top getting cold over winter - we are on the Mornington Peninsula in Australia. Any help or advice gratefully received! Thanks…


#2

There will be others more qualified than I to advise but heres my take.
Unless there is a mass source of nectar and pollen about to come on,(I don’t really know the trees in your area) I would take the Flow Super off now or fairly soon before Winter sets in. I think it unlikely they will start filling the Flow frames now.
I went through exactly what you are going through. I took the Flow super off in first week in April. I then waited till December to let the hive build up numbers as my hive did not do Winter well, before I put the Flow sup[er back on. You do not want an empty Flow super on over Winter.
It also took a little time for honey to come but when it did it only took about 3 weeks from start to harvest.
I did not have any honey in the Flows when I took it off so I just wrapped it very thoroughly in plastic (a few air tight layers) to stop moths and other creatures getting in. Put it in a safe place and waited for Spring.
If you have honey it needs to be cleaned out spotless.

Any way don’t give up hope. (read a few “The bees are not filling my Flow hive” posts and you will see all comes good eventually.


#3

Hey Busso

Can you leave the flow hive on, if its full/half full of Honey over the WA winter?
On the subject of cleaning…
How do you clean the flow hive? Considering all the wax on plastic?

I still have a lot of Marri flowering.


#4

I don’t think there is a wrong answer here.
If your Flow super is getting on to be full thats a hell of a lot of honey stores and would be beneficial to leave it on. Keep an eye on it and when it has been emptied you can take it off.

Or you can harvest what is there, take the Flow super off and feed the honey back to the bees by way of a feeder.
While SW WA has mild Winters compared to other places some places have frost and quite low overnight temperatures which the bees have to compensate for by expending energy.


#5

Hey Busso

When you mention to clean the Flow hives for winter do you take everything out.

I thought the point was to leave wax for the bees as it makes it easier for them . As opposed to conventional method of harvesting wax and honey.

I’ve just drained some honey and the bees are foraging again. I was thinking of leaving the flow frames on over the winter. Especially if there’s some honey in it.


#6

busso’s gone wayaway, won’t be back for manyaday.

http://forum.honeyflow.com/t/storing-flow-supers-in-winter/10398/6

Winter wherever, same deal. I’m after the same answers.
:wink: