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When should I add the super


#1

Hi,
I am new to beekeeping , I got my flow hive a while ago, and got my bees approx 3 weeks ago.
when I got the bees it was in a small 5 combs hive.
I let the bees stay in that small hive for 1 week and then moved the combs into the flow hive’s brood box with 3 empty frames.
I took a look a week after and saw that the bees started building a bomb on one of the empty frames as can be seen here:

My Quesiotn is when should I add the honey-flow super ?
Should I wait for the bees to finish building the combs in all 3 empty frams ?
or Can I just add it now and they will keep building the combs in the brood box and start collecting honey into the flow frame at the same time?

Thanks,
Eyal from Israel


Flow hive super
#2

Wait till the brood box is really full and built out. If you add the honey super too early they will just ignore it and it will become a haven for pests.

Cheers
Rob.


#3

thanks,
I will.

does it sound reasonable to open the hive once a week to monitor their advancement?
or is it too often?


#4

Ok to check weekly.
If you put when to add a super into search there are lots of posts on the matter.
Most opinion is that you need your bees on two brood boxes first. 80% covered in brood then add the super


#5

Really? Wow, that’s a lot of bees :slight_smile:
If so, why does the kit come with a single brood box?
am I supposed to buy a second one ?

I will go do the search you suggested and so some more reading about this.


#6

Bee, Comment about 2 rude boxes really depends where you’re located. Where the flow frames were developed, extreme tropical climate even during winter the bees are able to forage. If you have winter, where the bees may need to be fed, then to brood boxes are probably a good thing

Studies have shown, that a hive with one brood box may have 20,000 bees, where a hive with 2 brood boxes would have uppers of 60,000 bees.

More bees, more honey produced/faster.

In addition to the benefit of 2 brood boxes, when you remove the honey super i.e. the 3rd box after harvesting in fall, the bees will have some stored honey enough to help them survive through winter. A 4th box or a replacement to the honey super in late spring or early fall may be of benefit as well so you do not have to feed the bees during winter.


#7

Thank you for mentioning that you are in Israel. From this, we know that you will have nectar dearths (reduced nectar flow) and a winter season (even if it isn’t harsh). With that in mind, I would strongly recommend that you get a second brood box to put under the first before you add the Flow super. Any 8-frame Langstroth deep box would be fine, but if you want a matching box, you can order one from the Flow web site. Your colony is much more likely to survive the winter and periods when nectar is scarce if you have 2 boxes.

The general rule for adding space to a hive is to wait until the existing frames all have lots of drawn comb on them, and the comb is about 80% full of brood, honey or pollen. You want most of the comb to be covered with bees, because when you add a box, the colony now has a lot more space to keep warm and defend from robbers and pests. The need to have enough bees to do this.

So I would do the following in your situation:

  1. Leave the hive at one box for now, and inspect weekly to assess how much comb has been drawn and filled by the bees.
  2. Order (or buy locally) as second deep brood box.
  3. When the comb is fully drawn and 80% full, add the second brood box.
  4. When the second brood box is also fully drawn comb and 80% full, consider adding the Flow super if you are still expecting nectar flow this year. I live in California, USA, with a very similar climate to yours. I am not expecting to harvest my Flow hive this year - for the bees to succeed, it is better for them to build up their own stores first in at least 2 brood boxes. Next year, they should have a fantastic start in the spring, and maybe we will get some honey if we have enough rain! :smile:

Hope that helps.


Are my bees about to swarm?
#8

The kit comes with one brood box because it was developed in subtropical Australia where there is nectar flow (and rain) all year round. There is no need for winter stores for the bees. You have to remember that the Flow hive is just a different way of harvesting honey, all other aspects of beekeeping should be done the way your local beekeepers do things in traditional hives.

I strongly recommend that you buy (or make) and use a second brood box.


#9

Thank you very much.
I have just asked someone here and he told me that usually people here don’t use two broodboxes, but i think they feed in the winter.

I will probably go with an additional broodbox.
Are there any considerations against a double brood box?
Also, you wrote that a secone one should be added below the first, can you explain why? Its it to make the empty space closer to the hive’s entrance?


#10

I think you are wise to use a second box rather than feed in winter. Nothing is as good as stored honey for feeding bees! Here in California, commercial beekeepers only use one box, although it is 10 frames, not 8 like the Flow hive. They often lose bees over winter, and they do have to feed them with sugar syrup. As a hobby beekeeper, I prefer to keep things as close to they way bees prefer them in wild colonies as I can. So I use 2 brood boxes, and only feed if I really have to.


#11

Thank you again.
Your answers are very helpful. I should have figured out the temperature issue myself.
What would be the signs that feeding is required?


#12

You look in the brood box.
One whole frame (or it’s equivalent spread amongst all the frames…bees put an arc of honey above the brood) should be sufficient to last the bees, till your next weekly inspection, even if they cannot get out to forage.


#13

Actually it isn’t all that obvious to most people. I would say that the vast majority of beekeepers who use Langstroth hives would add new brood boxes on top, not below. Warre-style hive beekeepers add them below, which gives more evidence that it is safe for the bees to do this.

Lot of empty cells in the brood box above the capped brood and around the edges of the frames. Many empty cells on the outermost brood frames (these are usually mostly honey and pollen, with very few larvae).


#14

Thanks.
First time I hear about Warre-style hives, so I went and saw a short video about it. an interesting approach…
I also know of the bio-dynamic approach to beekeeping.
Are there additional ones that I should be aware of ?


#15


#16

This is all they have done in the last 3 weeks. They started, then stopped and nothing for weeks. Does this look right? Why did they stop? I only see about a dozen bees walking around upper. Frustrated in Wisconsin.


#17

How strong are they underneath and how much honey is there?


#18

They have built comb everywhere. Seem very strong. If I were to full a frame out, it would destroy two full frames, if that makes sense. All welded together. :confused:


#19

OK, so I presume you are looking from the top. My hives frequently weld the top bars (of the upper brood box) together with “bridge comb” so that you can’t see down inside the hive. If I need to do a full inspection, I have to lift those frames out. You can then either choose to leave them as they are when you put them back, or clean them up and steal a little honey and wax (that is where my tablespoon of honey came from this year).

So if you don’t know what is going on below that bridge comb, and you don’t know why they aren’t filling a super, you must break the comb and look. Unless you don’t care about harvesting, in which case you wouldn’t have a Flow hive! :blush:


#20

They are attached deeper then just the top. I felt I set them back a week checking on them a few weeks ago. Both frames and a part of the third fell out. What a mess.