When to put the super flow box on to the brood box, Mansfield , VIC, Australia

Hi, I am new to bee keeping. I have my nuc colony working hard in the brood box. There are plenty of new brood. I have an 8 frame box, the nuc came with 4 frames and they have filled two more frames with predominantly brood. There is one frame left empty and the last space is taken by a ‘frame feeder’ that has been full of 1/1 sugar syrup. I have also been supplementing their feed with pollen due to a lack of flowers. My question is: when do I know that they are ready for the super box? We are heading into autumn so the weather will be getting cooler soon (they are near Mansfield in Victoria, Australia) so should I hold off with the super box until spring?

Hi Gaby,
Are you located in the country or in an urban environment? Is there much flowering in your area at the moment? If the feeder has been in for a few weeks then its time to remove and replace with an empty frame. Depending on the floral activity and nectar sources where you are, your bees should be self sufficient by now. A lot of gums are flowering through NSW and Victoria at this time of the year. Wait until 7 of 8 frames are covered with bees and then put a super on top. What are you planning? Flow super or standard super? There is still 2-3 months before wind down for winter but it should be planned for nonetheless. Consider leaving the super on as the winter stores.

Thank you so much for the help. My bees are in the country, fairly high up so it will get cooler quicker than in the city. I was thinking of putting on a ‘normal’ super, but do you think I should put the flow super on? The idea of the normal super was to keep honey for them for winter, the flow super will do that though won’t it?

If your “normal” super is a medium, rather than a deep box, I would be tempted to go with that. It has less airspace for the bees to keep warm in colder weather, and that might be an advantage.

My super is a deep box super. I will look into a shallower one, that makes sense, thank you.

Your flow super will also work as winter stores, just make sure you prevent condensation dripping on the flow frames as they may get mouldy over winter. A hive mat will do the trick.

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Thank you, that would make life easier, (and cheaper). I’ll put the flow super on with a queen excluder.