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Wintering your Flow Hive / Flow Frames


#33

Hello again, although I’m not quite ready to remove the super I’m curious as to how our northern friends stored their Flow supers over winter.
Freezing the frames then sealing in plastic seems to be the recommended procedure but wonder about other ideas.
One of my thoughts is to get a plastic storage crate that will fit a complete Flow super and fill it with nitrogen to terminate any pests then seal it with tape.
Ideas? Thoughts?
Thanks.


#34

I don’t have a flow super but I store my traditional supers extracted but wet, stacked up, strapped and left in a cool shed. Seems to me that one you’ve drained it you could just store it Ina box in the cool. Is there any need to freeze it?


#35

Thanks Dee, storing the frames wet being after harvesting the frames I presume. So if the frames aren’t fully capped when it’s time to remove the supers do you extract anyway and store the frames wet? Will the unripe honey go off over winter? I wonder if purging the box with nitrogen will halt the spoiling process due to the lack of oxygen?
I’m glad it’s ok to store the frames wet though, nice and easy. :wink:
Oh and I thought, @Dee, you finished up getting a Flow hive from someone over there…


#36

I wouldn’t bet on that. If you have ever brewed anything, you will know very well about the anaerobic ability of yeasts… :blush:


#37

last winter we drained the flow super before removing it- the honey was not ripe- quite watery. We froze it and used some to make mead- and fed the rest back to bees in spring. We left the frames near the hive for a few days for the bees to clean them up- then we washed them in a tub of warm water. Then we simply stored them in a plastic tub with a lid over winter. they looked pretty messy with all the broken wax cappings. next spring we put them back on and the bees very quickly cleaned them all up.

This winter- on at least a few hives- I plan to test leaving the flow super on. this is because in Adelaide it is not that cold in winter- no frosts- and the bees tend to keep foraging whenever the weather is good.


#38

Fair enough, so how then do you store or what do you do with uncapped honey? If I drain the frames I’d rather not have to wash them as I’d need to remove the cappings to wash thoroughly. I guess an option is to remove the qx and leave the supers on. We don’t have harsh winters here however propolising could be an issue.


Preparing for winter in Victoria Australia
#39

It’s in a box :blush:


#40

Uncapped honey goes to the bees. I put the super under the brood box and they move it up


#41

I would drain the uncapped honey and store it frozen until I needed to feed the bees. I might rinse out the honey drainage channel, but I wouldn’t actually wash the rest of the frames. I think the harvesting will get the cells clean enough not to worry. I like @Dee’s suggestions too.


#42

Hi Semaphore
I live in Melbourne an this is my 1st season with the Flow Hive. Our winters are a little colder than yours but not too cold and I noticed the bees would forage on some days too thru last winter.
I was wondering how you went leaving the Flow supers on last winter as I’m thinking I’ll do the same this coming winter ( I haven’t had my Flow hive thru a winter yet)


#43

I just posted about this in this thread:


#44

I was wondering if anyone else that lives in Melbourne Vic left their Flow Super box on during winter?


#45

Hi Chris,

There are a few posts in our winter section from Victorians, I haven’t had a chance to look through them. But you should be able to find some info if you click the link below.

https://forum.honeyflow.com/search?q=vic%20category%3A33

Here is a search for “Melbourne” - there a few in there:
https://forum.honeyflow.com/search?q=melbourne


#47

Hi,

Do you usually remove any frames from the brood box before winter?
I do that with the Dadant Blatt hive, there are 10 frames and I usually remove those frames that are not covered by bees.
6/7 frames are enough in our region.
Thank you,


#48

Do you mean that you leave empty space beside the 6 or 7 frames in the brood box?


#49

Yes, I leave some room. I mean, the frames are centered and then there is some room on the sides, between them and the hive inner wall.


#50

That’s interesting. I thought if there was lots of room left they would build crazy comb, and also that space could potentially make them cold.


#51

@Luca I agree completely with Faroe, the hive will be warmer with the right number of frames in the hive, the bees will feel more comfortable as they don’t like empty spaces and having the frames in the hive will give the bees chores to do to get the frames ready to be used.
Cheers


#52

Hi @Peter48 and @Faroe , actually they do not build comb during winter as they are clustered.
As you know we mostly use Dadant Blatt hives in Italy, the hive and the frames are bigger than Langstroth furthermore we have 10 frames each hive.
If I don’t remove at least 2 o 3 frames (external) then I will find mold on the capped honey in spring.
I live near a big lake and our winters are quite humid, without those frames there is more room for ventilation and the interior of the hive is not gonna condensate, especially the inner cover.

However I’m checking the flow hive and situation seems to be different. I didn’t have to remove any frames as it looks warm and dry to me :wink:
Thank you,


#53

We’re going into the Polar Vortex now, and the bees are making it so far. Someone asked me to share this video here, so here you go flow Friends…


Are two of my hives dead?