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When to add the Flow Super Portland, OR

Hi, I got a Nuc at the beginning of April, and about 2 weeks ago I added a second brood box as all frames were drawn out and I wanted them to start moving upwards to a second brood. we are in a good honey flow right now and im curious when should I add the flow super?
also, will I be able to harvest any honey this year or will I be waiting until next year? I live in the Pacific North West and have not lived in a place where there’s a winter before. and never kept bees where there’s a winter either.
Excited to see how things go!

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Welcome to the forum! That’s great that your package has done so well. You should follow the same guidelines for putting the super on as you did with adding the second BB. I’d hesitate to say for sure whether you’ll reach the point of a full Flow harvest this season. Not impossible, but it doesn’t typically happen, partly because of how big the volume is for the bees to fill. They also have to spend a good deal of time - and wax! - to prepare the Fframes if they’re brand new. How does the second BB look?


Thank you! I just added the Flow hive to the two brood boxes. it looks like my second BB is full but looks like mostly of honey. All the frames were drawn out and so I quickly put on the flow super with the queen excluder in-between. So im curious, will they now just fill the flow frames now without any problem?! its that simple? Im so excited about this! if the second brood box is mostly full of drawn out frames of honey, does that mean my bees were ready to fill the flow and is that their food for winter that I will leave alone? thanks for all the help!

Hey Katie, sounds like your nectar flow has been intense! I don’t know exactly when it will happen on your area, but the party will typically be over sometime in the end of June to early July in the temperate zones we live in. Check with local beeks on what more exact timeframe your dearth happens. Your bees might be able to still get a good wax coating on the Flow frame cells before then, but unless you’re also due for a huge fall flow, I would doubt they can make a real dent in it nectar-wise, because it’s a huge volume to fill. Likeliest best-case scenario is they wax it up and you can slap it on ASAP next season! Worst case - it’s a big open door for pests, and/or the bees start propolizing the cells. Another consideration for fall nectar is that it tends to crystallize more easily, so not ideal for Flow extraction of it gets stored in there.

So yes - your bees have put away a nice amount of stored honey for their winter survival! Have you figured out your mite strategy? Let us know how they seem to be working on the Flow frames - my fingers are crossed for ya!

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Thank you for such a quick response Eva! it looks like the bees are happy and healthy! AND it looks like they are filling the flow hive well through the viewing window! when do we harvest? my intuition says when there are caps on the combs, but do I need to wait for all of the frames in the flow to be full? and if this is the case, how do we tell when they are all full?! this is an exciting time! they are steady fast at work! thank you!

You can harvest when the frame is at least 90% capped. Lift the frames out to be sure before you harvest - I usually harvest the day after I have confirmed capping, to give them a chance to settle down again. I harvest only one or two frames each day, so that the bees are not overwhelmed if there is a honey leak. Open the frame in 20-25% sections, waiting 10-20 minutes between sections, to avoid airlocks and back flooding into the hive. You do not need all frames to be full, but only harvest the ones which are full, to start with at least. Allow about 2-4 hours to complete the harvest and consider starting around noon when the honey is warm, and there are fewer bees in the hive. :blush:

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