I live on the Gulf Coast and have ordered the 6 Frame Flow Hive 2+ and am wondering about packing down for the winter. I am assuming I will be able to get a harvest before winter and will then pack up the flow super till spring, leaving the bees with just the brood box for the winter. Should I buy a Flow brooder box but use it as an extra super with normal foundation frames and exclude the queen, until winter, as well as leaving it alone year round except for inspections? This way they will have the brooder box and a deep super full of honey for winter.
Hello and welcome to the Flow forum!
You can’t really assume that, I am afraid. It will depend on the type of colony that you start with (package/swarm/nucleus/full hive) and the nectar flow during the peak season. The majority of beekeepers do not get a harvest in their first year. Of course that is climate-dependent, and if you lived in a subtropical climate, that might not apply.
You would probably do well to join a local bee club and ask them what they do. That would be best management, even for a Flow hive. As you don’t say where in Alabama you are, I would assume Mobile region (Gulf Coast) and that would mean you may be perfectly fine with a single brood box, as there may be forage even during winter. However, local knowledge is key in this. Even if most clubs don’t meet yet because of COVID, many of them still have a strong online presence, and there will be a group leader that you could ask about number of brood (not “brooder” ) boxes that they recommend.
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