Honeyflow.com | FAQ's | Community |

Washington State Bee Keepers


Let’s assume your bees didn’t die out from AFB or any other rare nasty. More likely varroa or starvation - some of us had a difficult season on the West coast last year.

Having said that, if you froze the frames for at least 48 hours, and they have been wrapped since removing from the freezer, that is a golden gift for your new bees. :smile: Feel free to use the frames with the new colony. I do this all the time. I don’t use frames from unknown sites, or unknown hive deaths, but when they are mine, I am very successful with them.


Happy New Year back at you. Two of my hives seem to be holding their own in the cold temps that we are getting, one is struggling but still hanging on. Sorry to hear your girls swarmed. Mine did too but they only got as far as the raspberry bushes at the other end of my yard so I was able to collect them and got them going in a spare hive that my friend suggested that I have on hand just for that situation.

The way I went about starting off my hive was to get on craigslist and I found a person that sold nucs that was fairly close to where I live. That might not be the best way to go about it but that is what I did. What @Dawn_SD says is right…you could use your old frames with your new colony. There are clubs in the area that are starting to take orders as well as people on craigslist right now.

Looking forward to the rain to come back and the Temps to get back into 40s. We’re in the south end of Seattle and still have snow in the yard and thick ice on the street.


Hi K,

How’s early Sprjng treating you ? Did your hive(s) get thru okay ?!! I lost 2 last early Autumn to mites. Took a partial hit on a third in December ! But with treatment we might just skin thru with them. The are weak n small but flying.

I’ve got four Nucs ordered for mid-April. I’m replacing the two I lost, adding one to a newly built 8 frame setup n the fourth I’m putting in a newly built 5 frame Nuc. I’ll use that for extra brood should I need it this summer.

I hope to get at least one split or maybe two. If so … I’m hoping to overwinter them for needs Spring of 2018 so I don’t have to buy. Of course I’m not crossing that bridge or counting those chickens before it hatches.

. Here’s the first of 3 Wood Nucs I’m building n getting ready for 2017 season. The single I wintered thru (2016-17) winter I’m adding to a second 8 frame hive I just finished building n assembling. It’s cedar so I need to Tung Oil before I set outside in the weather. This was my first try n raising a Nuc n wintering over.

Let me know how your doing !
Cheers !


Hey Gerald,
Good to hear from you. Just chatted with a Beek at the Flower and Garden show that is affiliated with Green River CC. I mentioned that you had some monitors on your hives thru that college. Ended up signing up for a class that they are going to have in the next Couple of weeks up in North Bend. I am looking forward to learning more about my girls.
I lost two of my 4 hives over winter. One had been hit hard by the hornets in the fall but looked like they might make it but after our second cold spell they couldn’t pull thru. The other hive didn’t make it thru the first cold spell even though it was my strongest hive. I believe the mites did them in. After cleaning the two dead hives up a little they spent some time in my little freezer then got bagged up so I can use them when I need to split the two hives that survived.
The girls in the two surviving hives have been out and are bringing in pollen on days that get around 45 degrees. One hive found a source with bright orange pollen the other is bringing in yellow pollen. One hive gets up and out of the hive early in the day then closes up shop early in the evening. The other hive sleeps in a little but stays out a little later in the afternoon. I enjoy watching them.
I haven’t been looking at the forum for a few weeks. The other half had neck surgery and we have been busy dealing with all that goes with post op. Once we got a system down I was able to go take a brake and spend some time sitting out by the hive with a cup of coffee. Today I was able to make my yearly trek to the flower and garden show…and guess what, they had a Flow Hive displayed in one of the display gardens! Many people were looking it over.
Great to hear from you, I enjoy all the pictures you submit with your posts. Now that the other half has stabilized from his operation I will have time to get back on the forum to read all the posts that I have missed.
Take care,


Evening K,

That should be a good class up at N.Bend n worth attending. If my wife is okay I’ll be up there helping the instructor. I’m one of Danny’s helper at a lot of the field classes. There is one of those hive monitors at that site. You’ll see it up close n personal.

Been busy last two days building Nuc setups. Hoping next Spring 2018 I’ll have all my own needed Nucs if things go okay. I think I mentioned previous I had some coming thru Burbs. It’s just having to wait for those Nucs n seeing the flowering process happening without bees in the boxes. I wintered one Nuc over this last winter successful so I know it can be done.

Well, it was nice hearing from you … Take care of yourself now n see you in N. Bend.

Have a great weekend,


Built my first experimental medium nuc in January but I am not sure how to cut the handles into the sides. Not sure if I need them with a medium nuc but I am still checking out ideas on you tube and some of the ways they cut their handles into their hives. How did your handles in? Did you build a jig? Table saw, radial arm…?


Nearly March and it’s still winter here.
All six looking good and strong though I won’t be looking in till April. All cover boards are hot so they are brooding nicely. They are out at every opportunity but it looks like the willow might get hammered by the weather…again!
They will probably all need splitting this year but I’ll re-unite for the Summer flow.
New fancy queen coming in the summer…can’t wait


Morning K,

I’ve made a jig n use my small table saw. It wasn’t easy … I worked with junk work in my small woodshop ! Sometimes if in a hurry I just cut n use wood handles. Only need handles on hive ends. These Nucs I’m buding this Spring my wife bought for me from Brushy Mtn. My wood shop is full of my ponds tropical plants … Too cold out thus far to set near pond yet.

Gave thot to your yellow pollens … Mine are just bringing in cream color (hazelnut) n rust red (alder). The yellow I’m guessing is from crocus n few other early Sprjng blooming bulbs. Here’s a pix of few of my crocus.

When I worked inside Seattle city limits n nearby Lk Washington many flowers, plants n trees bloomed one to two weeks ahead of my location. It really fun to watch the different colors of pollens the bees collect n bring home foraging each day.

Got to set two more Nuc boxes outside now. I let them really dry overnight in the house. Have a nice weekend !

Happy :honeybee: Beekeeping,


Thanks for the info. I bought a table saw with my credit card points so I will be checking out the you tube videos and making up some sort of jig so I can cut the handles into the nucs I will eventually be building.I am going to do a quick check on the girls food supply today while the weather is warmer.
Take care,


@Shieas - I’m in Woodinville also, and just setting up my new hive. I would love to connect with you and maybe together we can build up our knowledge base?


Matt and Kelly here, Gig Harbor WA

Just this morning put our NUC into our box. Trying to figure this all out on the fly. Colony looks strong. Put a mason jar with some sugar syrup in the box.

We’ve had our flow hive for 2 years and have waited as patiently as possible to get our bees! I’m sure we will both be on here asking lots of questions!


My wife and I are looking for someone in our local area who can give plenty of insight into the use of the Flow Hive. I have done close to a years worth of research on the many different ways of raising bees and have attended a bee club meeting where the the flow hive was highly frowned upon due to insufficient operating temps…not sure what this means and neither did the flow team when contacted (the club failed to provide reasoning when asked). We have decided to give the flow a shot and what like to connect with anyone local with experience for advise.

We live in an area between Roy and Eatonville Wa. We do have acreage.



Hello roltide101,
Welcome to the exciting and highly-opinionated world of beekeeping.

First, good for you for doing your research and going to a bee club for information gathering. You probably know this, but the Flow hive is just a regular beehive with some fancy honey extracting frames, so evrything else you need to know about keeping bees remains the same.

We tried the Flow Light hybrid (traditional deeps plus 4 flow frames) for two seasons with little success and have decided to move to a full Flow next year. What I observed year 1 was that our Carniolan local bees primed the Flow frames and used them for nectar storage, but then moved the nectar out in the fall. No flow harvest. This year, we bought Italians and they also prepped the Flow frames and partially filled one, but the bees preferred the naturally drawn comb and avoided the flow frames. So, next year, we will not give them that option and instead have a full frame of Flow frames for honey storage.

Have you read this article by Hillary Kearney? She also has excellent beginner beekeeping online courses available, which I especially recommend if you are interested in natural beekeeping.

Hope this helps! You can visit my blog to find out more about our beekeeping adventures in Seattle.


Thanks for the info. I had seen that article before, but always good to read it again.


Neat observation
The bees would have done that whatever super you had. It just means that they didn’t produce a surplus for you.
You need to steal the honey before they do that then feed with sugar syrup if you’re mean.


@Dee haha, well, we are not mean, which does mean that some years we might not harvest any honey…especially with the local Carniolan bees, as they are known for little surplus and a small over-wintering number. But, they they also do seem a bit heartier for our climate, and the queens are beautiful too. Jet black and feisty. :honeybee::crown:

We don’t feed our bees any sugar water in the fall as we leave them plenty of honey to get through the winter. When we do have to start a new hive, we give them several full combs as a house-warming gift. We have been accused of keeping bees as “pets”, with the extra pampering, but it’s been worth it. We have suffered very few incidents of mites or diesease and have plenty of honey to share with friends and neighbors.


That’s surprising.
I have Carnica and they are great producers. They are "swarmy"so need active management. They keep you on your toes.


Interesting. Here in Puget Sound they are not known to be great producers.
and, Yes! We have had plenty of swarm practice with them:

From 2014-2016, we did not purchase any Italian bees and just went with capturing swarms of local bees (and not a surplus of a honey), but last fall our bees were wiped out by western yellowjackets, who had a ridiculously extended season, and who wrecked havoc on many Puget Sound bees. So, since we were testing out the Flow, we bought Italians this season to do a compare and contrast test.


Italians here in the UK don’t know when to stop producing bees and eating honey.


Same in California too… :blush: