Last week I looked under my Flow Hive and noticed a small cluster of bees on the screened bottom. I do not have the bottom board inserted but plan on installing it when the weather gets cooler in 4 weeks. Is this normal behavior or is there something happening that I should look into? The Custer is there Day and night and temperature seems to have no effect on the size of the cluster.
Bees often beard in hot weather or even moderate weather if they are strong. Having a screened bottom means they sometimes beard on the bottom. Also, sometimes, a swarm will gather there. Sometimes it’s difficult to say which it is.
Thanks for the input. There does not appear to be a problem. If the are still there when it comes time to put the bottom board in I’ll brush the off.
In addition to Michael’s comments, some of the Flow hive screened bottom boards have faulty mesh, with gaps big enough to let smaller bees pass through it. Not drones, and not the queen, but certainly workers. I had to adjust the wires on my mesh to even them up, but even now, I think bees can get through the gaps. I just keep my slider in the upper slot all of the time. The bees seem to ventilate fine, even in our hot California summer.
I agree with Dawn. I keep the coreflute in the bottom only if it is really humid or if I place an apithor trap on it. They usually keep the bottom clean themselves if it’s in the upper slot.
Another possibility is, the bees are clustering under the screen in trying to keep the brood warm and the draft out.
I have observed in a friend’s flow hive without coreflute, when he added a second brood box, the bees just filled the bottom one with honey. Presumably to keep the brood insulated.
I did add a second brood box on top of the original. I checke the new brood box and found brood cells but never checked the original brood box.
I will insert the coreflute.