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When to add the flow super Vancouver island in Canada?

I’m on Vancouver island in Canada and our spring has been miserable at best so far. The bees are doing find and I will need to add another box for them very soon. Now here is my question. Honey flow will be starting shortly so should I add the flowframes as the additional space or should I give them anohter medium to expand to and then add the flow frame to the top of that a little later?
The box i would be adding will have mostly new frames (no foundation) and the flow frames have never been used before so it will take them some time to build this out.

Any suggestions?

How many brood boxes do they have right now? If just one, I would give them at least one more medium before adding the Flow super.


Hi Sabine, I am unfamiliar with your climate but I can make some common sense suggestions, if your temperature is still cold at night then don’t add a new box unless the first box is full i.e. fully drawn comb and bees across every frame. I would also suggest using at least half foundation (alternating) so your bees will make straight comb. Plenty of posts in this forum of cross-comb which will set your hive back to fix it. Starter strips using foundation sheets is another option. Personally I stay away from different box sizes as you cannot move your frames up or down as needed. So, if your brood is medium stay with medium supers or second brood. Likewise if your brood is deep stay with a deep box for your second brood. If then adding additional supers above this then use what ever you like, but I stick with the same sizes so I can cycle out brood frames through the honey supers every couple of years. The comb is removed and the frames will go back into the brood box with new foundation. Hope this makes sense.


Currently I have 1 deep (full) and 1 medium (80% full) and I would be adding either another medium or the flow box

Then I guess it depends on your local beekeepers’ practices. If they run on double deeps, I would add another medium before adding the Flow super.

I would be tempted to add the flow super myself… a deep and a half seems like a fair amount of brood space to me. But then where I am located we can get away with a single deep brood box…


Your right ! Our Pacific NW weather has been long, cold, wet n crappy ! I’m live in the Cascade Foothills about 20 or so ms SE of Seattle. :cloud::partly_sunny::snowflake::umbrella::partly_sunny::dash::sweat_drops: :exclamation:

Let me say this ! I’ve add mine but … I have a very strong strong double deep under it ! And our large leaf maples are in full bloom at the beginning when I added it last week.

But let me ask you this please … Have you rubbed or rolled a hardy amount if bee wax to each of your frames yet ? I was able to add mine 1st of August 2016 so my bees sealed the crack n seams in most of the frame-cells. It was too late for any nectar storage but my girls did prep the frames for this season after I uses a 2" paint roller to add a good coat of beeswax to my frame. ( Oh ! When you DO ADD the Super spray/drown/soak with 1:1 sugar syrup ) it really helps !!!

Do you have a really strong nectar flow now or soon. Your bees often will NOT GO into the Flow–Super without that added push ( so I’m giving you a heads up on that ). Us far northerners have to do n think a bit more. As Dawn noted, a deep n medium might not be enough push to get them to rise up I waited for my double deep to be exploding n they are up there n working but still No Nectar that I see yet.

Not sure what your "Big Main Nectar Flow is in the Island or in your region there . Our biggest Push n Flow will be the huge Wild Blackberry bloom about first of July onward for about one full month.

I’d personally add that additional medium n get it drawn out … The more pressure/bees without a swarming the better chance of success n harvest. I’d get the Flow-Super prepped n ready n also let you colony get better revved up !!

As Dawn noted … Check with local Beekeepers, Assiciations n a good local mentor. I’m close but my advice still isn’t totally Vancouver Island/next door knowledge ! :wink::+1:

I’d start making a plant n flower blooming calendar. This info n approximate dates are very helpful at encouraging your colony to build work force/numbers of workers up to meet the foraging demand of a good nectar flow … I have a hive monitor on my Flow-hive to see if I could use the hives temps n flower chart to cordinate work force n blooms. It’s still in the learning stages but seems to be at least helpful !! It’s a huge learning curve.

Norma … I hope I haven’t messed you up. Just giving you food for thot more locally !

If you go ahead n it doesn’t work add that to your learned info !! We learn from our triumphs n screw-ups both !



Ooooh Sabine,

How did your hive do thru this winter ? I had two pretty stuffed deep 8 frame boxes n my colony almost ran out of stores. Here they recommend at least doubte deeps or triple mediums. If you worked at building up one more medium … You’d be well in the safe zone for winter stores. I had to start feeding mine at end of January … I’m thinking I might be better with one medium added here … Or check n watch my bees ready to feed later each winter. I’ve seen die-out from a colony running out of stores. Not a pretty site.

Question: how’s your battle been with varroa mites so far. Just curious how yours are ?

Ta Ta,


Thanks for the great info everyone, i will get my flows ready and prepped and hope they take to it. I have done nothing with the frames so far so I will get some syrup on them before I add them.
We also have Maple early and then Blackberry for mid summer and the mayor supplies.


I was guessing our flows were similar. Do add some bee wax. Too many people fail without the wax in our Northern Hemisphere local. It’s a major topic on the Forum from time to time. The syrup bring them up n if there’s a nice flow they except the plastic much better.

Good luck n enjoy neighbor,

so you just melt and brush on some wax?

Sabine, kind of. Actually I do melt but I’ve found it easier to use a small 2" paint roller. Goes on more smooth n even … I’ve got to do that to my 7 frame Flow-Super ! I’ve tried rubbing n bushing before. Roller is so much better ! And does a great job …

Ta Ta,

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actually one more question :slight_smile: can I just melt a beeswax candle to use for this? I don’t have enough wax from my own hives

That depends, but I wouldn’t use a candle. Are you absolutely certain that it is pure beeswax with no additives, such as colouring, scent etc? Did you make it yourself? Are you sure that it is disease and insecticide-free?

I didn’t have a lot of wax either, so I used burr comb. You know, the stuff that you can scrape off with a hive tool to tidy up the frames in your hive. You just take the hive tool and sort of gently schmush some of the burr in little blobs over the face of the frame. You don’t need much - one inspection of the hive with some tidying of burr comb should give you plenty. It worked very well in my hive - the bees were investigating within a few days, and started loading the frames after about a week. They cleaned up my messy blobs too. :blush:

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Looks like Dawn had you covered with positive great info. Go for it ! That should do it. Then spray it down with sugar water !

Ta Ta,

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Ok I try that then

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Battle with mites is ongoing. Did two formic acid treatments (the second using “flash method”.
Otherwise the FlowFrames went on today, over 2 deep boxes. Weather is expected to warm considerably here in Victoria, BC. Lots of flowers though. Fingers crossed for 1st year honey crop.

Hi Lesley,

Yah ! I help in a Beekeeping class or two this last Sunday … We did a few sugar shake test n found a few mites. But nothing near high enough to drive us to treat yet.

My new Nuc’s tested clean so far. I’m hoping to do a inspection either this Wednesday or Thursday on my second season Flow-hive … I’ve got the Flow-super on a pumped colony but got to keep them healthy n from swarming.

I’m looking forward to both those coming nice days heading our way. Looks like it just might get to the upper 60’s or low 70’s. I know all our Pacific NW bees will glow in the dark enjoy our first real Spring days …

Stay in touch !

So I added the flow box a week ago after painting on some wax. Checked today no activity in that box. The rest is full and busy. And there is now a lot of moisture on the windows and mold on the inner cover and the inside of the roof.
What should I do?

Sabine, the mold n steamy windows are normal with all the rain n high humidity. Your bees are giving off high amounts of condensate with their daily life. Mine were steamy earlier today but I check just now … “Nothing” !

We really do not have a big flow right now. Your bee population is gaining thus hungry mouths… I saw my monitor weight going up during the big lead maple flow but have gone to holding even … Mine were putting nectar in my Flow-super about 10% in the three middle frames)… But not gaining right now. At least my bees aren’t stealing it out at last inspect this weekend. With a very bright LED flashlight I still see a hand full of bees between center frames to about half way up.

Hope this is helpful n encouraging,

Ta Ta,

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