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Rwanda: add a second brood box or a honey (Flow) super?


#1

First, a little context:

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I live in Rwanda, which has pretty good flow year round. There’s no winter or even really cool period, although there is a drier period between the middle of June and late September and another from January to March. The regular, daily rain ends in mid June, but there are blooming flowers and plants all year round because there is still intermittent rain and storms like many other places in the world. But for the bees, there are blooming flowers and plants all year round. In short, and maybe this is most important, there’s no overwintering here needed. Officially, the climate is, as an agronomist told me, Rwanda’s climate is subtropical humid.

Here’s more info on Rwanda’s climate if you’re curious: http://www.meteorwanda.gov.rw/index.php?id=30 (On that map, Kigali, where I live, is in the center, in the light green area).

So, that brings me to my issue:

Nearly two months ago, my bees were installed by a traditional beekeeper as I already shared with this forum community in this YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quv3YpCpQD8 I got lots of messages saying people liked the video! The traditional beekeeper in the video (the one with the mosquito net on his face) is unfortunately not available to answer my question.

I’ve inspected the hive twice, and I’ve seen plenty of brood, larvae, and even some honey. We’re lucky in Rwanda to not have Varroa or AFB issues so far, so that’s not a problem. Every frame is very much covered in bees. After years of waiting to get into beekeeping, it is very exciting!

For the box in the video, the girls have to about 80% full—which I have read everywhere that that’s when you add another box. I’ve read multiple articles and posts on this topic (including this one: When to add a second brood box with a flow hive? Missouri, USA ) and I don’t know what to do exactly.

Do I

a) another brood box (which I don’t have, which is a problem)
b) add my honey (Flow) super
c) nothing
d) something else… but what?

Most beekeepers in Rwanda use the Kenyan Top Bar Hives and and I cannot reach the traditional beekeeper (the guy featured in the video) so I currently don’t know if anyone uses two brood boxes here.

Of course, I’d love to add my Flow honey super, but I more so want to do the right thing.

Your suggestions on how I can solve this problem and/or your options A, B, C, or D are most appreciated.


#2

I would say add the Flow super, but :blush:

I would find a way of waxing it first. The easiest way (I have done it and it works) is to remove burr comb during a hive inspection, and smear it with your hive tool over the Flow frame faces like butter on toast. It doesn’t have to be pretty or tidy - the bees will clean it up. The theory is, the wax smells of home, so if you put it on the frames, the bees will explore. You don’t need much, 5 or 6 one inch blobs on each side is plenty. If you don’t have enough for all frames, just do the middle ones.

Much luck and thank you for the update! :wink:


#3

Yes, I’ve already waxed it with some burr comb. Thanks for the reminder and the advice. I want to hear what others say too!


#4

Ben,

I’m in total agreement with Dawn n since you’ve waxed it already you should be on your way … I do one other little trick too … Just before I add the Flow-Super… I spray each frame with 1:1 syrup sugar water. It almost instantly draws the girls upstairs for a “Look n See” … That way as they suck up that sweet stuff they are leave great bee smell to your Super. Just an added thot n idea.

Good luck n GO for it,
Gerald


#5

Thanks guys. I’ve added the honey super with a little wax rubbed on it and also with a little simple syrup sprayed on it.

Thank you!


#6

Ben:

Please keep us posted. I think tomorrow I’ll probably melt wax n roll it on all my 7 frames of my Flow-7 Super … I’ve got one 10 frame Langstroth left that will need a honey super soon. Wish me LUCK too :wink: !

Have a great week.

Gerald


#7

Hi @Bungee - just noticed you said “simple syrup”, which to a cook or baker means it is boiled. It’s my understanding that boiling will invert the sugar, which is toxic to bees :hushed:!

When making 1:1 syrup for feeding bees, all you need to do is use hot water, below boiling point, and stir into your sugar until dissolved. Just making sure - sorry if that’s redundant to you :wink: