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Washington State Bee Keepers


@Dawn_SD :honeybee::honeybee::spaghetti::spaghetti::wine_glass::dancer:t3::honey_pot::honey_pot:
Gotta Love those Italians


After a year of research, we bought a Flow Hive last winter and then I set to building a garden for them. We are in Clark County on 3 acres and have a live creek running through the property. I built the garden down on the slope to the creek so they would have access to water and be protected from the summer heat. We started late since our bee supplier went out of business a week before they were supposed to deliver. Fortunately another shop south of Portland was able to get us a NUC in late May. We started with a single brood box and the extra frames were filled in pretty quickly. After some reading of this forum, I added a second brood box in mid-summer and that one has been pretty well filled out now. I put the flow super on around Aug 1 after priming the plastic with wax. But, no honey this year. We did see them regularly inspecting the flow frames but they seemed happy with the two brood boxes this year. We understand that this is fairly common. We took off the Flow super about a month ago and put on an empty box to house feeder jars. I’ll put in some cedar chips as top insulation once this bout of rain subsides. We inspected every 6 weeks or so and removed any wild comb that may have developed - although this has been pretty minor and they don’t really like too much “handling”. So we will continue to feed both pollen packs and sugar water as needed through the winter and see how well they survive the winter. We are planning to add a second Flow hive next spring - just to give them company :sunglasses:. So not much to tell other than our experience seems to be pretty typical… so far. (BTW: the picture is “staged” as I didn’t have the bees yet when I took the picture :grinning:).


How pretty…I love all the work you’ve put in. There is room for the other hive you will need to cope with swarming next year :slight_smile:


I see a cute little bee Apiary guard dog !


Hi Dee,

I think I’ve got the bugs out of my log-in,password at least for now. Crossing my fingers.



At least you don’t have to be somebody else :wink:


Yaaaah ! I was concerned I’d have to return with new I.D. That would have sucked Yellow Jackets in a beehive or even worst !


Hello and Merry Christmas to all!
My plans are to add sugar blocks with some pollen sprinkled on top to help my girls celebrate the winter solstice and get back into the brood raising mode. Anyone else tried this? I have had a lot of activity this last few months with the mild weather and I figured they could use a boost. I am here on beautiful Whidbey Island.



just moved down to lacey myself. how is your set up doing? i’ve heard the flow of honey this year down here is not doing so great. had to start my colony over this year and i’m about to have a population explosion. thinking i may even be able to add the flowhive next week as my extra deep is full of brood/pollen/honey.


Hello, I am new to the Seattle area. I am very keep to start keeping bees and would like to hear feedback on the Flow Hive in our climate.



Jerry @Gerald_Nickel has a Flow hive in your state, so perhaps he will chime in. Not a good time of year to show you inside (too cold), but I am sure he would chat with you about it. :blush:



Have you raised bees or have experience yet. I’d try to get reading, get hold of a local bee club n gets some classes under your belt.

For many local Washingtonians the last couple years have been rough with small harvest. Mine included ! It wouldn’t matter whether using a Flow-hive super or standard honey super my results were same same … Very Poor this 2018 season.

Flow-five is a great Honey retrieval system with having to own a extractor n other equipment n tools but only if there is a strong push n harvest … mine started to add honey to both types of super (I have both Flow n conventional) but with our long dry hot summer ( little or no flowers ) my colonies pulled all the resources back downstairs. Thus very little harvest at all.

I’ve got a buddy over in Gig Harbour that did get a fair harvest (he owns 3 Flow-hives) … During our summers location not type of equipment is determining if n how much honey. All my ten colonies were able to store up 60 to 80 lbs each for winter survival…

Where are you located ? Country, City or Burbs ?!

Keep in touch,



Hi Gerald,

I am so happy you contacted me. I am 10000% newbie. I have taken a couple classes and been doing a lot of reading, but haven’t made the commitment to start. I live on Fox Island, right next to Gig Harbor.

One question I have - Is it possible to really keep your hives down to only 1 or 2? It seems people’s haves tend to multiple rapidly. This is one of the main reasons I have been reluctant to get started. I really don’t want to be a slave to many haves. I am have always been fascinated by bees and their role in the environment. I think I can manage 2, but not keen on turning my yard into a true apiary. My primary goal is not in harvesting honey for myself. I am much more interested in just having healthy bees and learning from them.



You can always sell the extras. They go quite fast in most parts of the US. :blush:



The answer is “YES” ! One colony would probably prove disappointing … Having 1 to 3 colonies is BEST. 2 to 3 gives you the flexibility n resources to share in house brood back n forth when the other is having a problem.

How big of area do you have for your Apiary ? Does there tend to be a lot of flowers out on the Island all summer ? I
keep a floral blooming calendar :calendar: each summer of my observed local blooms. It’s interesting how fast :dash: you will become aware when n where things are blooming. From Oosoberry (first nectar/pollen) each Sprjng around our region. The large wild blackberries are our one large nectar crop in Mid June/Early July. The season ends with the English Ivy bloom in later September…

Now I will say … one or ten or twenty colony … needed to be worked/inspected every couple weeks or all chaos can n sooner or later will happen … Staying ahead of issues is best (putting out little/big problems) is a pain. After a year or so it becomes easier because you know somewhat to to expect n stay in the Beekeeping groove.

I’ve lost hives/colonies to varroa mites, pesticides, yellow jackets, n “ I don’t have a clue “ over the years. It’s a learning curve like any new hobby/experience in our lives but so worth it Sue.

I buy my Replacement Bees now for Spring replacement winter die-outs right now. (Get your order in) so you get earliest delivery. I keep those 5 frame Nuc Boxes for extra temporary hives/colony room for splits, swarms n whatever !

Not sure if that much help … if you want to talk I can give you my phone number in the private text area here. I’ve chatted n helped quite a few new beekeeper want ya bees make a wise decision.




You are amazing. I would love to connect with you via text (I don’t see how to PM you via the blog)
I would love to pick your brain re equipment and sourcing for your bees.



Click on the little circle picture at the top left of Jerry’s message above. A box will appear with a black rectangle saying “Message” in it. Click on that and you can send a private message to Jerry. :blush: