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When should I check my flow super


#1

My first season with my flow hive in southwest WA, so much to learn. Nuc was installed end of October, flow super was added when the frames looked 80% established. Bees took to the flow super well and lots of activity in there for nearly 2 months. No sign of honey in the windows though, still sealing the gaps with wax from what I can see on the outside frame. Should we open it up and have a look at the super frames to see if things are happening as they should (ie are we getting honey)? Or would that upset them too much and set us back? We don’t necessarily expect to harvest being our first year and will be leaving plenty of stores in for winter, but are just eager to know what’s going on in there.

Also, there has been times lately that they seem really angry and alot of bees are buzzing around the entrance loudly, should I be concerned? Is there something I need to do about this? Could it be maybe that they are too cramped and hot in there? Thoughts/advice would be appreciated.


#2

I wouldn’t worry just yet. The bees sometimes slow to get going in the Flow. I had to wait over 12 month before they put honey up there first time. When then they start they usually get on with it quick smart. The Marri has started flowering around here so should not be much longer before the honey starts in the flow


#3

Loud buzzing bees are usually drones
How often are you looking in the brood box?
You should be looking in every week if you want to stop them swarming


#4

Thanks for your optimism, no need to panic just yet then. I suppose every hive is different.


#5

Have only had a couple of looks since they’ve been established. Probably not often enough, still getting my confidence up… just not sure what I’m actually looking for yet. Will look into the swarming, thanks.


#6

If you are looking at the ends of the frames, sometimes they don’t fill those cells at all. I would open up the super and take out one of the middle frames to how how much is capped. You might be surprised. :blush: The frames can be quite hard to lift out, so we take off the wood cover for the Flow key access, use J-hook hive tool to lift the other end, and at the same time lift with two fingers in the recess of the Flow key plastic cover. That way you can lift the frame straight up a bit more easily.

Any signs of fighting? If bees are “wrestling” with each other and there are dead bees on the ground, you may have robbing going on.

If you inspect the Flow frames as suggested above, you will soon know whether they are cramped. :wink: