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Replacing the Flow hive roof and bee casualties


I have just transferred my Nucleus to the flow hive. The bees seemed to be very agitated (perhaps not enough smoke?) but what troubled me more was that I’m sure I must have squashed some of my bees when I put the roof back on the hive- how can I minimise bee deaths when I’m trying to get the lid back on and the bees just keep on running out?


There are a couple of things which can help. One is to smoke them from the top just before you put the lid on - don’t do it too early, or they will pop back up. Second thing is always to move slowly, like you are doing Tai Chi exercises. That bees have a chance to get out of the way as the gaps slowly get smaller and smaller. The third thing is to put the lid (or boxes if you are stacking them) on at an angle at first, then slowly rotate it into position to give the bees a chance to move out of the way.

Don’t worry about any bees trapped outside the hive on the walls etc, they will find their way home pretty quickly.


That’s how I do it. The bees always get out of the way


Thanks For the tips. I’'m thinking Tai Chi from now on


as Dawn and Dee noted- step three is the real trick. Place the inner cover on top at an angle- maybe 30 degrees off where you want it- then slowly rotate it into position. This is how you put on the inner cover or any box. The bees will move out of the way as the gap closes. With practice only a few will get squashed. I am so timid and scared of squashing bees that sometimes I worry about doing inspections- I realize I will have to get over this- some bee killing is unavoidable- but with care it can be greatly limited. Sometimes if you are overly timid you kind of panic- and in the end this results in more casualties. It’s important to feel that your suit is well adjusted and invulnerable- so if the bees get agitated you don’t start to panic.

Also with the flow roof- make sure you cover or screen the hole in the middle of the inner cover- otherwise bees will be all over it and when you put the roof on you can’t rotate it and many bees will get squished.


Thanks - I’ll need to open the top lid this weekend and cover up that feeder hole - hope they haven’t decided to start building in there :fearful:


When we first got our flow hive we left that hole uncovered for a few months and the bees never built anything in the roof. However we realised you need to cover or screen it so that the roof isn’t full of bees at inspection time. If it is full of bees it’s almost impossible to put the roof back on without squishing some. The bees do seem to like to hang out in the roof if they can.


Hmm that’s interesting - I can imagine if I were a bee I’d probably like hanging around in the attic :laughing: