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Wintertime preparation, Missouri, USA


Hello. When it gets late in the season and you are preparing for winter, do you take the honey flow super frames off?


Hi Chris - the whole Flow super definitely needs to come off - assuming you get to put it on in your first season - after it’s been harvested & well before winter. Where are you located, approximately? That will give a more precise indication - guided best by your local beekeepers - of when you’d start preparation for winter.


I pulled mine off once the last flow in the fall was done. The little bit of nectar/honey that was in the frames I harvested into a jar and then fed it back to the bees over the next week or two. then I put the frames in a plastic tub with a lid that sealed until the next season. Will be putting them back on in two weeks or so.


Thanks Eva and John. I live in Billings, Missouri.


Thanks cowgirl. I’m excited to see the honey flow but will use one brood box then use another and then at 80 percent, I will add the flow super. Our summers are hot, I live in the country with hay fields all around me. I think I will see honey flow by mid summer. I pick up my bees tomorrow.


Do you think I need to feed them? It is 82 degrees and has been in the high 70’s for over a week now. There are lots of stuff blooming. Dandelions and purple clover is covering the ground everywhere.???


Probably not. Check in a week, and if they are slow to draw out comb, reconsider it.


I just went out to check my bees with no gear on and I got really close to their entrance. They were flying around like crazy and bringing in loads of yellow pollen on their legs. That was really cool to watch. They didn’t bother me at all.


Another cool thing. I watched a wasp fly down and land at the entrance, he took about two steps and two bees jumped on him wrestled him around and the wasp left in a hurry.


Ok Dawn, I will check in a week.


We live in Northern Alberta and at this time have one Flow Hive and two Langstroth hives. This is our first year and our Flow Hive colony has done wonderful. We are getting ready to overwinter the hive and are looking for suggestions on steps to take around our final harvest, removing the Flow Super, placing a framefeeder on the broodbox, and wrapping the hive.
Should we drain the honey one last time, which we have found from previous draining made the bees congregate around the front of both the broodbox and the honey super, then lay the honey super on its side to let the bees move out of it and back into the broodbox, or do we remove the honey super and replace it with the foundation feeder and then lay the honey super on its side.
Or do we need to use some air to blow the bees out of the honey super.
In other words we are trying to determine the best way to move any bees out of the honey super back into the broodbox or the foundation feeder that we will put on with 2 foundations and 4 frames of honey from our other hives.
Puzzled Larry


Hi Larry, I would suggest draining the Flow super in the usual way, and, presuming the honey is not fully ripe, store the honey in the freezer and eat it throughout the year or perhaps feed it back to the bees as required. Leave the drained Flow super on the hive for a couple of days to let the bees clean up the remaining honey from them. After that, remove the Flow frames from their box one at a time and shake the bees off them and replace them in the box. The bees will go back to the brood box. Following that, store the Flow frames and box so mice, rats and wax moths can’t get at the frames.


Hi there Larry - I think @Dan2 gives good advice there. Only thing I would add is to consider replacing the peaked Flow roof cover with an insulated standard outer cover for winter. Some folks also use a moisture quilt, placed just under the outer cover to prevent condensation inside the hive, depending on your type of winter. The Flow roof can then go back on the Flow super containing the frames, if you like. My Flow gear is going into a shed, with plastic around the frames since they were partly waxed this season, with the roof on and the whole super sitting flush on a plastic tray.


Actually here’s a nice idea from @busso that I just saw:

Next year I will do as I have them now: sitting in the flow super which is completely wrapped and sealed by two layers of shade cloth and stored in shed. Air can circulated through the frames but wax moths can’t get in.

I like the shade cloth idea better than plastic, since in my area mold can be a problem.


Smart guy, that @busso bloke! :smile: I suppose in California, our desert climate has some advantages against mould. :blush:


@dawn how cold are your winters? I ask because Adelaide is called a Mediterranean climate- similar to California maybe. This year we left our flow supers on over winter- we don’t get any snow, frosts, etc- it is pretty cold- down to 4c at night- but during winter it is sunny much of the time. Our bees continued to forage right through winter- and I am happy I left the flow frames on now as they have half filled with honey over the last month of winter! The only things I have noticed was a bit of condensation in the flow super over winter- I think this can be dealt with by using a moisture quilt and fiddling with ventilation. Assuming that everything is good when I do my first spring inspections- I think I will probably always leave the flow super on from now on. Removing it the first year was a bit of a hassle especially if it wasn’t necessary…


Nah not that smart.
My first choice in solving a problem, is always the one with many layers of complexity, each layer depending on the others to work. I amaze myself, to have thought of such a wonderful solution. Then after much time and effort, the product is littered with so many side effects or problems it is abandoned.

Then I choose the simple obvious one.:sunglasses:


I presume you meant me? :blush:

According to The Weather Channel, our coldest winter lows are 9C in December, with average daytime highs of 18C. Our wettest month is February, with the enormous sum of 6cm rain on average during the month.

My bees forage all winter too, but with that kind of rainfall, we never have a spectacular extended nectar flow, and the air is pretty dry year round.


Hi Dawn: We are in Cleveland Ohio and harvested 12 quarts of honey on or about July 31, 2017. Right now the bees have some capped honey around the edges of the frames and either nectar or nothing in the remaining 80% of cells. Should we hope to get anymore capped cells in the next few weeks before the average temp gets around 50 degrees F? Or should we just drain the super and put it away now? Bob


That is what I would do. :wink: