Using the flow hive in cold climate or freezing conditions

Your irony is killing me!!!


Sounds like our San Diego climate. Winters get down to an icy 5 Celsius, even lower in the mountains! Summers are around 22-28 Celsius, but last year we had many days above 30, so we are thinking about installing solar panels and air conditioning…


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Install the panels ditch the air con. Summer mornings, if temp going to exceed 30C we close all doors and windows and open everything up in the evening when the outside temp is less than the inside temp. Only in long hots spells may be 6 days above 35 C does the house get uncomfortable.:sweat_smile:…then a cool change sweeps through and all back to normal. We have a 4.3Kw solar system and that covers and more, our daily usage.

PS. our swimming pool is very nice in summer when things get uncomfortable :grin:.

We don’t have a pool. And I am “a woman of a certain age” - even my husband calls me a furnace sometimes… I can soak sheets in less than 5 minutes on a bad night. We are going to need a 7kW system… :wink:

Ah a young lady.:blush: my wife came out the otherside wondering what the fuss was all about, when only the inconvenient things ceased. LOL
But ah we digress :neutral_face:

Our Normals east of Seattle are high: 5 to 7 dgs n Low: 3 to 4 dgs C … (Winter) normally we don’t have high 100 dgs (37) here. Usually 23 to 32 dgs at most even in August (our one hot summer month. We are rather cooler but still run around in T-shirt n lite clothing. We have a lot of Southern transplants that complain but not the real Locals.

Lucky her
Some poor ladies are menopausal for 20 years!

Goodness. I was so looking forward to pampering and tending to my wife’s every wish for as long as it took, but she missed out on all that.:innocent:
20 yrs, that would test ones patience.

Yeh Wore that T-shirt out and good riddance LOL

Ugh. Only 52 and it already FEELS like 20 years…

My same question. I am unsure of what to do for my bees in the winter. I can’t find any clear instructions. I am concerned about the queen getting enough food. Is there enough in the brood box? Should I get another brood box and stack it? Do I remove the super for the winter? I am told the queen cannot eat from the super.

Where in the world are you? The answer depends on your location.

Dawn, I’m in patagonia QZ, usa… growing zone 8 if that helps. southern mountains and it freezes about 30 nights in the winter. i am concerned about having enough food for the bees in the wind=ter. i saw a video that said the queen cannot eat from the super as she is too big. or is the video wrong?

I am assuming that QZ is a fat-fingered version of Arizona? In that case, I suggest you join a local beekeeping society and ask what the locals do. Don’t mention that you have a Flow hive, there is still a lot of hostility out there to new things. Just say that you have an 8-Frame Langstroth deep (that is exactly what you do have), and ask whether you should have 2 brood boxes for overwintering. I bet they will say yes. Most clubs are full of people who want to share and help, so I strongly encourage to seek their local advice. If you want a matching box, makes 8-Frame Langstroth deeps which would match perfectly. They are about $50 each, with free shipping last time I checked.

Now to answer your question more directly.

It is not wrong if you have a Queen Excluder on your hive. With that many nights of freezing, personally I think you should have at least 2 brood boxes, and you should take the Flow super and the Queen Excluder off the hive over winter, so that the cluster of warm bees doesn’t follow the food and so abandon the Queen to a frosty death.

This thread is interesting- we are in Adelaide- where in winter it rarely if ever goes below freezing. We have a Mediterranean type climate… Following advice from our local beek- we just removed our flow super at the end of autumn. We were advised to check in the brood box to ensure there are at least 2 frames of capped honey which we will check for in a week and which I am confident we will find.

I have been wondering lately if we actually needed to remove the super at all? The bees are still very active- thanks to climate change we are having a very mild autumn indeed.

It was such a shame to remove the super as there were two frames 50% capped- we drained these- the honey (3.5 liters) was not ripe- very watery. We have frozen it to feed back to the bees. We then put the frames out beside the hive for a few days and the bees went to work uncapping them and licking up what nectar they could find. We are about to freeze and store them.

Here’s what I have done to make sure my bees will have enough honey stored for winter after using the flow hive. This is used with an established hive, I only added the flow hive a year later after the bees have established a strong colony.

  1. April (early spring) start out with 2 deep boxes and a medium super, the bees survived the winter and are doing well.

  2. Do a full inspection, then place a queen excluder directly in top of the 2 brood boxes, then the flow hive, and in top of that the medium honey super.

  3. As the bees go up to the honey super they start working on filling the cells in the flow hive with wax.

4.Depnding on how strong the honey flow in your area, you can periodically check how they’re filling in the honey flow frames.

  1. After you extract, and the period of dearth is starting, remove the honey flow, and the queen excluder, then place the medium honey super right above the flow hive. This is important for us in the northern climate as bees need enough honey to survive the winter.

  2. Drain out the flow hive, clean and store it.

Looking forward for another year with the flow hive now that I have more experience with it.

Any others in northern climate want to share their experience with it?



I have zero experience, but a lot of desire to get a flow hive and start on the bee business but I am majorly concerned about winters. As many from all over the world have expressed their concerns and solutions – I am from Canada and was wondering if anyone has had success in a place where their winter can last 6 months, has temperatures dip into -40 degrees Celsius and have mountains of snow piled on top of that. We would clear the snow after a fall, however the hives could be completely submerged in snow for a day or so, before we would have access to them.

Does anyone have experience with this type of an environment? Successful or not, I would love to hear from you!

Thank you!

Hi Emily I would suggest checking if their are any beekeeping club close to you. But with your environment you may need to keep them in a closed cool area building like a barn or a shed. With these temperatures and the length of winter you’ll need to have a strong hive with lots of honey stores for winter to be able to survive.

Thank you for those suggestions!

So would it be advisable to have two brood boxes? I purchased an extra to have two. Basically Ill remove the super and leave the two brood boxes over winter. I’m in northern Michigan.

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I bet most beekeepers in your area use two brood boxes but I don’t think it is probably the only way to do it. You might consider checking out the university of Guelph videos on YouTube. This one in particular: