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When bees start to use the flow frames


So I did my weekly inspection of my hives and I was shocked at how packed my strong hive was. I put the flow frames on top of the double deep brood boxes last weekend when the second brood box was maybe 70% full. They were bringing honey in fast so I wanted to stay ahead. I can barely lift the second box now. I am really curious how heavy it is.

All three hives are bringing in lots of honey right now in south central Pennsylvania.

Anyway, I looked at the flow frames and only saw a little red propolis at the bottom of the plastic comb. So my questions is, do they use propolis or beeswax to seal the flow frames before putting honey in?


Both… :wink: Unfortunately they don’t read the SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) manual.



I’m in just about your same boat - especially the part of barely being able to lift the second deep off the hive! (You were right, Dawn…).

My flow frames have been on top of two full deeps for about 3 weeks, and I see a fair amount of propolis sealing cracks around the frames, and between the boxes, but mostly wax to close the cells. They’ve deposited nectar in about 1/5 of the center two frames, but not anywhere else that I can tell. Time will tell if the propolis will cause problems getting the flow mechanism to work or not…fingers are crossed for NOT!




My second brood box has to be 70lbs or so. I am hoping that they really go to work in the flow frames since they are running low on space in the brood boxes. No signs of swarming (fingers crossed), hopefully it is late in the season to swarm. Amazing how much honey they are bringing in right now despite it being quite dry around here which is why they have to start filling the frames or they will be honey bound in the brood boxes.



I went to the hive tonight to wipe some beeswax on the flow frames but I saw they are making some faster progress sealing up the flow frames. They are using a mixer of propolis and wax. Seems they are starting to use more wax than propolis so I am taking that as a good sign. Also seems to be more and more bees working in them.

We also finally got some rain so the nectar from my pastures should keep flowing.



Looks like you may want to take the key and ensure the frames are closed by placing the key in the top slot, sliding it all the way left, rotate, center, rotate, and then right, rotate on each frame. The bottoms of the cells don’t look perfectly aligned.

(Though that may just be parallax from the camera lens)


I think it is the lense. I saw that too in my pics but when I look in they are lined up.



Soon they’ll seal those alignment cracks ! Here’s a pick of mine today …

. Before I used my flow frames I rolled melted beeswax on each frame… Then I generously sprayed the 6 frames until dripping sugar water. The bees jumped to the ocassion. It’s only been little over one week but they are moving some nectar into my inner four frames now. I almost just added a single shallow super but said what the “Heck”. Glad I did. I will probably still feed the honey back to them but my flow super will smell used n better to them next Honey season.

Got to boogie now … Enjoy !



Mine are now 20% sealed and have just a tiny amount of nectar in a few. I smeared some more wax on the least used frame as a test to see if they start using it faster. I might spray some sugar water on all of them next weekend and see if that speeds them up. They are definately using them, just a little slow.



what’s the rush?..


He has an article to write about the Flow frames… :smile:


Have you all been doing inspections of your Flow frames strictly through the observation windows or have you been pulling out frames?


It is interesting to watch them seal the flow frames. This one is the outer one at the observation window. They are sealing from the nonharvest end of frames (front end) towards the back on all frames. Also working more on the outer frames more so than the middle. Interesting.

My “hurry😉” is I know the 2 brood boxes are very full and I don’t want the queen to be honey bound. My fields are starting to bloom again and honey is coming in. They need a place to put it.


Maybe soon Dawn ! Still watch n checking out my results (good/fair/bad) in that cool new Flow-hive honey super ! Watching with a strong LED flashlight/torch :sunglasses: thru those neat windows !

Every day’s a learning day !
Jerry :honeybee::two_hearts:



I’m posting a pix of my Flow-Hive with a extra emergency shallow super over it. The super has some used waxed comb on several of those shallow frames.

if your that close with a packed hive … It’s TIME to do something even if it’s not perfect. Do the best you can with what you HAVE !

Good luck !