Using 2 deeps under flow hive

I am new to beekeeping this year. I live in Missouri, USA. Most beekeepers here overwinter with 2 deeps so I decided to get 2 deeps 90 % full of brood, stores etc before I put the flow super on. I have quite a few bees working up there and filling in the cracks but nothing deposited in the cells yet. It’s been 2 weeks so I checked the upper deep today. What I found was that as the brood emerged the entire 10:frames are full of nectar, capped honey and pollen. Almost no brood left there. I didn’t remove this box and get into the bottom box which I realize I need to do next but I am quite worried that they didn’t use the flow super. Is this why the flow hives only come with 1 deep box. The bees are plentiful in the “honey box” imdid use the Queen excluder because the back of the hive was opened when I opened the rear door. The excluder covers it. No way the queen will cross this ocean of honey into the flow box though. I have supered another 2 deeps with a flow and it has the same results in the flow box after 1 week. I haven’t checked it’s upper brood box yet.

Hi Barbara, are the least beekeepers in your area using single brood? I would try to do what they’re doing. If you can find a mentor that uses single brood, that would be great. All the honey that your colonies stored in the second brood boxes could have been stored in the Flow supers.

You can get away with using single brood over winter if you heavily insulate the hive, or make a little bee house for it.

Hi Barbara, you’re in great shape I’d say! Flow frames need a LOT of waxing up before nectar can be deposited in there, and you may have a little nectar flow time left in your region for them to get nicely prepared - for next season’s bees. This is pretty normal for beeks in most of the US. The aim is to have a large and healthy population heading into dearth and cold winter weather, which is why your locals use two deeps.

Bear in mind, the Flow system was designed by Australians with generational beekeeping experience in their tropical region with basically year-round nectar flow, so 1 deep makes a standard kit for them. However, beekeepers in many other regions across the globe must use a different standard setup. Overwintering in cold climates using a Flow system requires specific management strategies throughout the season, and some beeks succeed with only one deep as Jeff indicated, but it’s not as simple as having the one deep and calling it a day. Insulation, winter feeding of carbs and protein, queen health, timing of nectar flow that is not year-round, PLUS the huge impact of varroa mites are the key factors we have to understand and deal with here in the US.

This is not to discourage you from trying out 1 deep configurations, just to add a bit of context :wink:. Personally, I’ve found that 1 deep and 1 medium works well for me here in PA - most of the time. Some years this is as far as a new colony gets and I can take a frame or two of comb. Last year I had to heavily feed a colony that was robbed badly in September. This year, two colonies are booming and have 90% full Flow supers right now - I’m harvesting today :star_struck::+1:
And the nectar flow here is winding down, with a possible ‘bump’ come late August with asters & goldenrod. But my Fsupers will come off after this, to allow the bees to store what remains as the brood nest shrinks.

Anyway - in your shoes I’d consider how much longer there will be nectar flowing in your area and leave the Fsuper on accordingly. Then plan to remove it and store it safe from mice and wax moths til spring, and focus on colony health maintenance so you can look forward to slapping it on come April or so :partying_face::raised_hands:
(always assuming you’ve pre-empted swarming).

What’s your mite strategy so far?


Thank you for the replies. I got to check the bottom deep and it looks good-many eggs, larva, capped larva and some drone. It has a great population. I left the Fsuper on hive #1 but on a second one, I put a medium super as it was 2 weeks behind the first. We’re pretty dry here now and our flow will be done within 1-2 weeks. You’ve answered many questions for me. I was planning to do a medium and a deep with my flows as a compromise but the first hive I supered was slow to go into the medium so I switched to a deep to be able to pull frames from the bottom up. I plan to use apiquard in August and possibly oxalic acid. I have 4 hives now at different stages. I’ve been working with 2 mentors and they’ve been great but no Flow hive experience. I wondered if I needed to clean the flow frames. I’d been hoping I might be able to keep their work from this year for a head start to next year. I’ve wondered about starting with one deep in the spring and then the Flow followed by adding the second deep for them to build out after the flow. Thanks again for your guidance.

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I’d say very early spring is the time where you want to expand to a double brood- a good compromise would be a ‘brood and a half’ where you move a queen excluder around - in spring you put it on top of the deep and half depth box giving the queen room to expand into. In autumn you put it under the half frame box (making sure the queen is downstairs first) and let the bees fill that with honey after the brood emerges (you may need to release drones that get stuck upstairs bu opening the hove top a few times. You can then remove the flow super over winter and store it till next spring. This will make the frames last longer and stop them being filled with candied honey or going moldy. If you have a good flow you can harvest honey from the half depth box or leave it all as bee food for winter.

one drawback of this set up is you have non standard frames and cannot juggle frames up and down inside the various boxes.

Well, yes you can. Mediums can go into deeps, and bees will just build comb off of the bottom bar to fill the space. Often this is drone brood, which is then simple to bend/break off and feed to chickens, if you want to put the frame back into a medium box. If you need to make room for deep frames in a medium box, you can use three feeding shims under it.

well I guess so but I’d prefer not to do things like that- and don’t have chickens

There was a short period of time in my life where I didn’t have chickens, the place seemed empty and I didn’t know what to do with kitchen scraps.


Ask @JeffH for his recipe for fried larvae patties (I forget what they’re called) :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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10% of drone larva homogenate added to syrup or candy is an excellent protein food for bees :slight_smile:

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Hi Eva, did you mean Hachinoko fritters?

Here’s one of my Hachinoko videos.


PS this video shows how to harvest it.

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I have noticed when drone brood gets squashed bees are always quite quick and eager to eat it all up. Waste not want no!

as the fritters: thanks… but no thanks :face_vomiting:

Yes… If it was the only source of easily available protein… Otherwise, I will take prawns over drones any day :laughing:

What are bears & honey badgers after when they raid a beehive? Brood, the honey is just a sweet bonus. I also witnessed ants eating brood, while ignoring honey.

As you can see, the brood is surrounded by honey, they would have had to walk past the honey to get to the brood.

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I bet that they ran past!!!




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I don’t judge your culinary choices. I simply don’t see drones as desirable food for myself.

On the other hand, drone brood needs to be utilised somehow. If one can do it in a beneficial way, so much the better. My preference would be to return this resource to bees.

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Hi Barbara,

Last year was my first year with a FSuper and it took the bees weeks to wax/propolis the place up before storing honey. I still harvested late summer and it was fantastic!

I got a second FSuper this year and thanks to advice on this forum, I took a chunk of wax and rubbed it all over the plastic frames. The bees in this colony moved up MUCH more quickly and although they are still taking time to wax up all the nooks and crannies, I’m hoping for at least a bit of a harvest late summer.

I’m in Colorado and use 2 deeps for overwintering.


My first attempt at beekeeping did not survive the MI winter. I harvested the frames and stored them. This spring I got another pack of bees (not a Nuc since I had all the frames). I put them into the brood box with two frames half filled with honey from last year. Several weeks later they were filling up 60-70% of the box. So I added the second brood box and put in the rest of the frames I had. Two more frames were pretty full of honey.

I was pretty excited that I would get lots of honey as they did not need to spend all their energy building frames this year–and they were starting with a bit of honey!

The bees have been thriving all summer and I added the Honey Super three weeks ago. I have seen 10-20 bees up there where I peek in the windows but that is all. No honey!?! So, I inspected the hive a few days ago and there is a ton of capped brood. Also, they seem to have filled the four frames that were half full of honey.

I am waiting to treat for mites until I have harvested honey, but it is now August and I am not seeing honey in the super. The bees look happy and healthy, no beetles or other bugs. Anticipating some honey…

Any thoughts?

A 3lb package? Even though the bees didn’t have to build comb, a package is quite a ways behind a strong nuc.

What was the status of your second brood box when you added the super? They’ll focus on finishing that box before they fill the super and extra space to guard and do HVAC on will cost them some energy.

You could always treat with formic acid with the supers in place. You’d have to ask around your area if there is a significant fall nectar flow but if your area is like mine, there’s not a lot of nectar after early July until the goldenrod and asters bloom in the fall.

Be patient and take care of your bees. :wink:


This was very much what happened to my in June\July. They filled 100% the top box with honey. I finally took off the Fsuper and still easnt seeing brood in the upper deep. So, I put a medijm deep in between the 2 deeps. They are making a second brood box in the medium. I gave up on the Flow this year. I had 100’s of bees in it and lots of propylus happening so maybe ne t heart.