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Winterizing in Flow2

Hi all!
I’ve taken off my supers for winter and am gradually locking it down for extreme cold. I worry about the dead space in the flow 2 stand tray and wonder if I need to put some insulation in it so the bees won’t have to work so hard to stay warm. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Additionally, this season the bees trapped a few hive beetles in the flow super and propolized about 3 inches solid of the rear of a frame. WOW it took some doing to unlock and remove all that propolis so the frame would work properly. Will the bees smell the propolis like they do honey and refill the cells with propolis? It was a hella mess!

Martha C Wolkonsky
Friendly novice beekeeper from Nashville Tennessee

Would there be less dead space if you put the tray in upside down? :wink:


As @Dawn_SD says turning the tray upside down is a help.
As for the propolis in the flow cells remove all you can and the bees will more likely find another use for it as there is no need to add to it if the SHB are no longer there, hopefully your bees will think the same way. :grinning:

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I’ll check that out but it my not slide in all the way. Great idea! I may also try some Styrofoam peanuts from some shipping I received.

Not sure what the opening is like on that model, but last year I added a length of 2”x2” foam insulation strip left over from AC unit install, just kind of wedged it in in the space at the back between the hive stand and the underside of the coreflute. Just for an extra wind & cold barrier.


Great idea. I’m searching through my garage for stuff.

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Hey! Your idea works! It cuts down the air space leaving about a 1/4 inch space under the bottom steel board. Whoop!


First time development for me in the winterizing process and I hope some of my cold weather peeps share with me. My flow hive clue of 2, me and @2dollarbill Here in Middle Tennessee USA are working on this.

I am in my 4th year of winterizing bees. The first three years the bees made it through the winter on 2 brood boxes packed with their honey and fondant in a vivaldi inner cover after a varroa treatment series. I went into this year with the same set up as all the hives wintered over successfully.

This year has posed a different set of circumstances. At this time we are experiencing freezing nights and days in the high 40’s to low 50’s F and the bees are coming out to take up external sugar syrup. The girls are also consuming all the fondant in the inner cover which they never really did prior to this winter. They also went into winter with brood boxes full of honey.

This has caused me to fear their consumption level is high and I don’t want them to starve. We are only 2 weeks into winter weather.

I’m open for suggestions as I’m a worried bee momma. I want well fed girls and they love this fondant I bought off of Amazon that has lemon grass in it. They went through about 1.5 lbs in each hive in 3 days.


Hey Martha, you’ve done a great job in spite of the odds! I guess your bees this year are eating more fondant because of the early cold snap - helps them stay warm. Sounds like you’ll need to keep the fondant coming. Do you have any insulation on the outside or under the roof?

I’ve got the vivaldi board inner covers with burlap on top to wick the moisture, solid bottom boards on 2 hives as they are the flow 1 version. Flow 2 is in the winter position on the stand. But no external wraps. The hives upon last inspection were loaded with honey and very little brood activity. They are flying out of the hive during the day and taking syrup from a chicken water feeder. Internally they are taking up the fondant rapidly. I guess I can see what I can come up with to wrap them. I guess if you call burlap insulation then I would say yes.

I went to home depot and bought some insulation bubble wrap with foil on it to try to wrap them. I’ll see how that goes. Thanks!