I am a brand new beekeeper and was wondering how the Flow Hive Supers will hold up in freezing temperatures in New York, US.
Cleaning/ winter care of flow frames
Do I need another super
Wintering flow frames
Over wintering the flow box
Storing the Flow Hive after extracting the honey
Getting ready for winter
@Nrose By the time winter comes around the supers should be packed away.
Super’s only go on the hive during the Nectar Flows from Mid Spring to end of Summer or there about. depending on what you local weather is like.
Read through the Basic Bee Keeping area http://forum.honeyflow.com/c/beekeeping-basics for more detailed Bee Husbandry and what you need to be doing.
First thing you need to understand is the bee life cycle and the difference between Queen, Worker and Drones
-there is lost to learn.
Local bee club will be more up-to-date with your local vicinity and any special needs tch
Thank you for the reply. Much appreciated . I have a lot to learn. I am attending a local bee club meeting this Saturday. The journey begins !!
If you are in an area that has cold winters (below 50 for an extended period) You should have 2-3 brood boxes (the boxes below your Flow super) for the bees to live in. Once these are full of bees and wax comb, add your Flow super while maintaining the 2-3 boxes below. I’m comparing 2 boxes vs 3 for the last three years and 3 is by far the better choice. I’m in New Jersey USA.
@Nrose Have a good time with your group - Ask loads of questions, try to get a mentor or a couple of phone numbers or contact details, and see if there is a course going
I myself am on a course as of 10 days time - You can never learn too much
Well that brings up another question, how do you take care of the flow frames when you remove them at the end of summer and store the over the winter? Should you wash them out and dry them out before putting them away?
We are assuming the honey will be “robbed” and then taken from the hives and stored.
@Cedar perhaps you can tell us what you do in winter - or is it warm enough where you are to leave them on?
You had them trialled in colder climes how did they store the Frames?
Cold will do no harm. Freezing will kill the wax moths. I pull them off for the winter because I don’t want the bees to cluster on it over winter and then the queen can’t lay in it come late winter or spring. I put them back on when the flow starts.
How did you store them Michael?
Plastic bags and in a sealed container?
Valli’s notes n advice are well put. If a beekeeper lives in cold climate where cold weather n climate are part of your year the Flow-hive or upper honey super must be removed. I live in Washington State same as your latitude but your region is often much chillier than us so removal is a MUST.
I am including a pix of friends winter setup. Note it has two boxes we use up in the northern latitudes. Bottom is the boord chamber (where baby bees are born usually) n the upper honey super you’ll also need where the colonies winter supply of food/honey is stored. Your new flow-hive sit on top of two hive boxes. As Valli noted … Jump on the Internet n/or grab some books on beekeeping. There are many great n not so great beekeeping videos as well.
Head for the information highway … There’s lots to be learned. Many beekeeping clubs possible near you will be Reving up there yearly meetings n training session.
Gerald of Washington State.
P.S. @ Valli: you have them lots of great leads. Way to go.
No. Just stacked up under my barn (no doors). They stay frozen all winter. I will have them on the hives by the end of May and the wax moths won’t get a foothold until July.
Enjoying getting back into beekeeping,
You can get 7 Flow Frames or 6 Flow Frames with a Lang possibly 2 in A 10 Fame Langstroth.
I put my Flow in my 10’s when the first arrived as my boxes took longer - they were changing the SBB
There was a video on here Dex put up where he modifies a 10 for the Flow frames
I’m not sure who this is addressed to. Right now I have five I think that I’m using (not really keeping track).
Thankz Michael … I was wondering if some people were using multiple Flow-Hives. If I jump to this type of honey retrieval system
I would need to invest into 3 or 4 flow hive super with …7 frames to use above my 10 frame langstroths … Again … Thanks Michael.
Or harvest more often…
That is my thought.
I will have 2 hives with a single Flow super on each. I have traditional supers available to go above the Flow super, to give flexibility with storage, evaporation and capping in the Flow super, possibility of generating some comb honey (sells at twice the price of extracted, where I live).
I can’t see that I would need more than one Flow super per hive, with the setup above. More or less as soon as the Flow frames are capped, I will be harvesting. Plus the Flow frames are pretty expensive, so I will be limited in how many I can have.
@Gerald_Nickel Altogether I have 12 Frames which I intend to spread over 3 or 4 hives. You could just make the central Frame or 2 Flow frames with normal ones around it…
Sensible and economic use
How are you going to arrange the peripheral frames?
Same here. You need a decent early flow for that where I live.
Thin foundation or starter strips alternated above the excluder in the strongest colonies.
You need the weather though. Last year I didn’t bother but 2013 was marvellous. I made and sold lots. My customers particularly like the odd pollen cell dotted about
Totally agree on the weather - drought in California is a killer for this plan, but we have a good start on some rain this year. So far…
I use a rotary fabric cutter to cut starter strips from thin foundation sheets. Then I use thin wax starter strips in wedged medium Langstroth frames for comb honey, and I only give them about 0.5 to 1cm (the maximum if I am clumsy) at the top to start from - the less the better, as natural comb is a lot more palatable than the thicker foundation (even thin commercial foundation is thicker than my bees make). I also alternate strips with full thin foundation frames. Bee comb creativity is beautiful, but not easy to sell!