So I’m in NY, and am about to get a Flow Hive 2+. I have done some research and working with a old roomate who keeps bees and I was instructed to purchase an additional deep brood box to sustain them through the winter. I have heard mixed opinions about a secondary super as well. I know they are more routine to stack with traditional langstroth hives…-…but do people ever stack a second flow super on their Flow Hives?. Is that unheard of, uncommon or pointless altogether?. I figure with the amount of bees and brood being produced they would probably fill up the 6-7 frames rather quick in peak season. I understand I could simply drain it and make more space, but would it not be wise to have a second super ontop of the first if the nector flow is heavy and such?. Or would I best best served simply investing in a second Flow Hive altogether?.
You CAN add a second super but unless you are not going to be able to harvest when the first is filling, I don’t see much reason to. Even in the heaviest flow times of the year, you should have plenty of time to harvest a few frames, unless your hive is in a remote location, which will make management difficult in many ways.
Unlikely that you would need a super at all for your first season so you have some time to figure it out and decide. Let them build up in their two brood boxes for their first year.
If you get your bees early enough in the season, and they have fully drawn out and filled all the frames of both boxes after any summer dearth, before your fall flow (goldenrod and aster probably reliable in NY) then you may be able to add it late in the season but that’s a lot of “ifs.”
Especially if your old roommate is local, you should draw off his/her experience but you may have to adapt some recommendations to fit Flow hive vs traditional (really only about harvesting and flow frame maintenance).
Yes - this would be a better idea - not just from a honey production perspective but from a colony maintenance/management perspective, 2>>1.
Where in NY are you?
Hi Devin and welcome - it’s great you’re thinking ahead and asking good questions. Alok gave you a solid reply, and I’d just add the encouragement to focus on your first season as one to learn all you can about the bees, their habits and life cycle as well as the various factors affecting these in your local climate. All with an eye toward growing your first colony well enough to survive your cold winter.
About a second super, I sometimes put a medium Lang box on top of my Flow super when the nectar flow is good but there is too much humidity to allow the bees to cap stores in the Flow frames on pace with intake. When the colony is strong and the season is good, this results in a full Flow super AND a full medium box of honey, that I might take a frame from but generally use as instant winter stores when I remove the Fsuper in fall. With careful swarm management I am then running a single + medium hive configuration.
I also have a decent goldenrod and aster bump in late summer and early fall. This honey is more prone to crystallization and is therefore helpful for the bees to have in the hive to overwinter on. Another benefit of the added medium, rather than letting them refill the Flow late in the season.