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Second super or second flow super


Hi guys I am really curious if anyone has used a second flow super on top of the first.


Placed a second langstroth super box on top of the flow super.

What is the correct process please?


You may well ask “what is the correct process please?”. The answer would have to be whatever works for you. Everyone’s answer will be based on what works best for them.

Personally, I’m comfortable with one brood box with one honey super. Let’s put it this way: I’d rather have 3 x 2box hives than 2 x 3box hives.


I use ideal- half depth langstroth boxes- for when the colony needs extra room. However a lot of the time they do not need the room and cannot make use of it- in those cases it does more harm than good as it just gives the bees a larger area to maintain.


Hi John I agree with Jeff, lot less work also with only 2 high, lifting wise particularly when brood inspections due and really easy to split hives into a third when you have 2 seperate hives to reduce swarming


I agree with the comments above. With a Flow super, you shouldn’t need another super. When a frame is full, you just drain it, so there is no reason for the Flow super to ever get completely full, unless you are out of town for a long period.

The only time I have added a Langstroth medium (approx Ideal size) is if they are not capping the Flow super in very humid weather. The extra box on top can help with air flow and encourage them to cap the Flow super. Several other forum members have tried this and had success with it too. Otherwise, just the Flow super is plenty. :blush:


but then there was that Canadian flow user with FOUR entirely full flow supers on multiple hives… though he has a very complex and intriguing way of building up those hives- and this year- I think the only thing that stopped my mums hive swarming was adding an extra ideal in early spring. her bee numbers exploded and we coasted right on the edge of swarming just amazingly managing to not swarm… it paid off as it has been productive in a bad season. I think using extra boxes or not depends on local conditions to a degree?


Dawn, adding an extra super seems extreme just to get the bees to cap honey during humid weather.

I’ve always used migratory lids with hive mats & I’ve never had issues with bees not capping honey during humid weather (we get a lot of that). I wonder if the space under the lid does the same thing as the extra medium super in helping the bees during humid weather.

@Semaphore, I feel more comfortable with splitting a colony rather than coasting right on the edge of swarming.


me too- but this year I wanted to see if we could coast that edge with that hive… I really wanted to get some comb honey made as well as a good flow box- and it worked. But I knew all along I probably should have split it.

when I beekeep- I have an inner jeff- and he was telling me ‘weaken it out’. I don’t always listen to my inner Jeff- and usually I pay the price. but this time I got away with it. :wink:


Well done Jack :slight_smile: Generally if a colony is strong enough to split in order to prevent swarming, it will be on account of recent favorable conditions. Normally that hive will still produce honey after splitting it if those favorable conditions continue. However in doing so, it does give some peace of mind, especially if the colony was making no preparations to swarm at the time of doing the split.

I have one colony I look after that belongs to our doctor. I told @Dawn_SD about it on I think the 14th of April. It’s first full super was ready to extract then. Since then I’ve extracted 4 full supers of honey. #6 is filling up now & nearly full. However in the mean time I’ve taken lots of brood & bees out of it to prevent swarming. One time it was making preparations to swarm, so I removed every brood frame bar one. 5 of those frames were covered in bees minus the queen. The frame I left had the youngest brood, flanked by all fully drawn perfect worker comb stickies. That prevented swarming.

The last time I robbed it, I took 8 of the 9 honey frames as well as 5 brood frames. I replaced them with all foundation. To look at that hive now, 3 weeks later, it’s hard to believe I took so much out & replaced with foundation.

If I had to name that queen, I’d call her “Dr. George”. One super outstanding queen.


wow! that’s quite amazing Jeff.


Thanks Jack, that’s the one I’m keeping mental records of. I remember telling Dawn about it when I was ready to harvest the first box. I did 3 boxes for the Dr. & 2 for me. He pays me more than I ask for. Basically I sell him back his own honey.

That was the colony I talked about in the past that had what I thought was about 500 beetles one day. It’s always covered in thousands of ants. I keep telling myself “I’m gunna fix those ants one day”.

I think it got so many beetles because it’s a stand alone colony. Some colony near by must have gotten slimed out at the time.

His gardener got in his ear about the hive’s location. The Dr. wanted me to move it to another location on the property, more to the gardeners liking, I assume. I told him I had to take it away for a few weeks, then bring it back. It was too heavy to move & filling up fast. I set up a new stand & raised another queen in another box for him. I told him I’d take the first hive away after I remove the honey. I removed the honey & left it there, it’s doing so well. So much for the hive’s bad location.

There’s always someone that knows better. I don’t argue with them. He uses a stand on excavator called a “Dingo” I think. Anyway I got an urgent call from the doctor. The gardener got too close to the bees, so they attacked him. He ran without turning his machine off. The doctor wanted me to go down to assist him. A couple of minutes later he phoned back to tell me that the gardener was able turn the machine off.


Hi Jeff putting the hive mat and a migratory lid on our home made flow hive works a treat. We have spare mats and spare lids and just swap them when they have built a fair amount of comb up there. The comb is easy to to remove and no mess on top of the frames as the mat just peels off. Thanks for the great advice.


Unfortunately we don’t have the same kind of migratory lid/roof in the US. Ours have overlapping lips at the front and back, and leave no bee space above the top of the box. Great idea for Australia, but not possible here. :face_with_raised_eyebrow: :thinking:


Going back to the original poster’s query…it’s been our observation if the workforce can occupy the box, whether it be Flowhive or traditional Langstroth, then they will fill it all…provided the nectar is there. Something in our part of the world keeps that population building rapidly and I can’t imagine trying to limit the nectar storage area to just one or two boxes above the queen excluder. We super to the max in preparation for our third (largest) pull and when we ran out of Flowsupers, we put traditional Langtroths on the very top. They do fill the Langstroths first and prefer them when they have the choice…but if they don’t have the choice, they seem to store just as much in the Flowhive supers (which are all converted to 7 flowframes each). Below is a screen shot of a traditional Langstroth full of honey…sitting on a stack of Flowhive supers (5) with a fixed collection system we experimented with in 2017. My apologies for the blurry photo. So I think Semaphore is right…all depends on the area you are in and how you manage your bees.


Hi Dawn, they are so easy to make. All you need is a piece of ply cut to the same size as a super. Then make the frame out of 2x1 for the ply to nail to. There you have it, a migratory lid.

Being a lazy person & always looking for short cuts, it would be easier for me to use a lid like you describe, because I’ve seen them. I always put the extra effort in because I want the advantages they offer.

The main advantage being the extra space for a population increase. It tells me when it’s time to split, or add the honey super.

PS @Dawn_SD, I just looked at Kelley’s bee cover lid. I have one like that, someone gave me. You can get one like that, then silicone some wood under it to give the space. I did that with mine so that it only has about a 1/4" overhang on the sides.


If anything, I would do that @JeffH. My carpentry skills are rudimentary… :blush:


Cheers for the suggestions
Could we keep a flow super on a flow super?
Please keep on topic


You can, but you shouldn’t need to, because you can empty any frame as soon as it is full, so the bees should never run out of space. :sunglasses:

I said it in my post above already:


My second box is a hybrid. So from spring to autumn I typically run 1x brood, 1x flow super, 1x hybrid super. A couple of years ago I also had a half deep but I still haven’t finished that honeycomb so haven’t put it back on again!

EDIT: I should add that I over-winter with my hybrid and not my full-flow super. Take note of my location as I have mild winters so my approach won’t be suitable for everyone.


I do apologize for going off topic. However I did answer your question earlier. Happy new year.