Just did my first harvest with the Flow hive 2. Checked the roof and it was full of burr comb and honey. Am thinking to replace the plug and block access in to the roof but am wondering if it is necessary for ventilation and airflow? I’m in Far North Queensland and in the hot season we can get sustained temps in the high 30’s. Or should I allow them to maintain the comb in the roof and just harvest the frames?
Hi Les, I would remove the comb out of the roof. I would leave the hole in the crown board open, however I’d suggest you lift the roof & take a look at least once a fortnight.
I like the space in the roof because it can act as a relief valve for when the population blows out. Leaving the comb in there will remove that advantage.
Thanks for your advice Jeff. I had already removed the comb, I was wondering about the future. I was speculating that perhaps if I harvested more frequently (this was my first harvest) that perhaps the bees would be more occupied with filling the frames rather than building new comb. I am new to beekeeping, but I see that traditional hives don’t have an opening in the roof, so expect that it may not be necessary for cooling or ventilation.
I am switching all my hives to traditional lids with vents in them. I get bearding much earlier in the day with hives that don’t have vents so the bees are spending energy and time fanning at the entrance.
I clean out and comb in the lid and filter the honey and render the wax. I take finding comb in the lid as a signal that the frames are full of honey and needs extracting. I find that a reliable sign.
Given your climate I would do nothing to reduce the air flow through the hive.
I do an inspection of the supers weekly and the brood fortnightly but if everything is good I stretch that to 3 weeks between brood checks, if I find an issue then that hive is brought back to two weeks between inspecting the brood box.
For my location the bees don’t wax up the vents so I figure they like the added air flow.
Welcome to the forum and enjoy
Hi & you’re welcome Les. I’m not sure that the bees will fill the flow frames before filling the roof on account of the hole being in the middle. I’d prefer the hole in the middle to be closed & then thin holes around the perimeter of the crown board. That way the bees will fill the flow frames before moving into the roof. That’s my experience with using migratory lids in conjunction with hive mats. That is with using traditional frames.
If the population increases to the point that there is always bees in the roof, it could be time to think about weakening the colony in order to avoid swarming.