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Swarm control in flow hive wkd australia


Hi all,

I’m a new bee keeper of 6 weeks. I started with a 5 frame Nuc and 3 foundation less frames in the 8 frame brood box. I was checking often and at 4 weeks the brood box was raging with bees so I put up the flow super and frames. The bees were on the flow frames but not really making a start with them. 2 weeks later a mango sized swarm left. Now I’m left thinking how can I avoid this happening again? Most locals here only run the one brood box. So I figured I’d be right. However I assume they must move frames from brood up to honey super in traditional hives or between other hives to prevent a swarm. My issue is I have one flow hive 8 frame brood hive. All I could think of is pulling out a couple flow frames and rotating brood frames up between flow frames above the excluder then replacing with empty frames to allow space for egg laying. Otherwise I would have to go with two brood boxes to give more space? Luke


Hi Luke,
Where abouts are you located in Australia? 1 brood box should be fine, all my hives are single brood with 2 supers. I still get the occasional swarm but this behaviour stopped a couple of months ago. My advice for swarm control is exactly what you are suggesting. Rotating honey and capped brood frames up into an additional super, you shouldn’t need a 2nd brood box if you are located in a temperate zone of Australia.

There is a post on this method here =>


A lot of people have found that painting the Flow frames with melted wax, or even rubbing some burr comb on them will encourage the bees to use them. It also signals that this is part of the hive, as the wax makes it smell of home to them - might discourage the swarming.

I wouldn’t move the frames around - it will likely mess up all the bee space in the box. If you really need to thin out the bees, you could do a split - even a small split into a nucleus box might help remove the swarming urge.


I agree with @Dawn_SD
Bees swarm to reproduce.
You can’t stop them by giving them more space alone. They don’t need a humungous sized colony. You need to thin them out somehow and making splits or removing frames of brood away from the hive regularly is the recognised way to do it.


Ok thanks. With only the one hive where would I take them away?


Thanks Rodderick. I’m in Toowoomba qld


You can leave them relatively close by. There is a very nice article about how to do it here:


You need more than one hive.
You can take frames of brood away and donate them to a weaker colony
You can take frames of brood away to make splits.
You don’t have to go into winter with an extra hive. You can choose which queen you want to keep (i.e. you squash one) and combine them but you will have to repeat the process next year and the next ad infinitum


Another option is to create the artificial swarm in late spring, put your bees in a new hive for a couple of months and then recombine into one hive to create a highly productive honey machine. This way you don’t loose half your bees to swarm.


That is exactly what Wally describes in the pdf I linked :slight_smile:


Argh! Sorry Dawn, I should have read it. A bit time poor this morning. :scream_cat:


You are lucky if it is just this morning. I feel that way 80% of the time :blush: Page 15 of the pdf, if that helps :slight_smile:


Hi Luke, I had a 6 frame flow hive as well. I had the same problem with regard to rotation of brood frames, so what I decided to do was convert to normal supers into what flow call a hybrid super. (you can see pictures and plans for them on their site and in the manual that came with the flow hive) It has 3 flow frames in the middle and 2 standard frames on either side of them. So I was able to make up two hybrids from my single original flow super, made up one for my existing hive and one for the nucleus I collected last night.:grinning: So now I will be able to rotate the standard frames if desired.
Cheers Tim.


Thanks for all the tips, something to think about