With Love from France, Community Cruseilles, Haute Savoie

Hello, I have just received my first package of Apis Melifera Melifera (European Black Bees) and installed them in my Flow hive 10 days ago. The workers are drawing out comb as fast as they can in my 8 frame Langstroth brood box and at day seven, I managed to not smoke myself into a coughing fit, pull my hair back into a poney tail so I could see while leaning over my brood box while I had my bee suit on and generally not tip anything over, bump the hive nor squash too many bees! I am a real beginner but am enjoying the adventure.

I am so impressed with my queen as she is laying in anything she can. For the first time I am actually looking at all the flowers around and the blossoming trees and wondering if any of my bees are in them!

I am just wandering if anyone in my area which pre alps in France is using the flow frames and when they add them etc.

Alison Neri


Alison, it is the most wonderful journey, you expressed this adventure so well.
Welcome from Australia :australia:

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If you need a second brood box, which you probably do to enable your bees to survive your winters, you should add that before adding any other boxes. Add boxes one at a time, or you will cause problems for the bees.

As to when you should add another box, it doesn’t matter if that box is a brood box, the Flow super or even a traditional super. The rules are the same and very consistent. Add a box when all of the below are true:

  1. All frames have fully drawn comb, and
  2. That drawn comb is 80% full of brood, honey or pollen, and
  3. Every frame is well-covered with bees

When all of those are true, you have enough bees to defend, use and heat the new space. If you add a box too early, they won’t use it, and they may have problems with wax moths, chilled/chalk brood and other pests.

Hope that helps. :wink:


Dear Dawn,
Thank you very much for the advice. I will indeed flollow your three points and check my bees to see how they are drawing out their foundations frames. I really hope that I have made the right decision to go foundationless, I am a little concerned about wax moth here as many bee keepers have had a problem with them and I was just thinking to myself there could be a very good reason to use plastic frames! BUt I will see how I go with the Michael Bush advice and try out foundationless. I am continuously amazed a what a huge community full of many different experiences is involved in beekeeping. I am nervous about Varroa, Nosema, EFB, AFB SHB and all the other things that can go wrong. I will be truly satisfied if my bees are alive in one years time. I am already attached to my queen, her name is Joy.


Yes hard to believe any of those nasties could live in such a beautiful part of France. Wife and I spent a few days in Annecy Summer 2016.

Just remember a strong healthy hive your best defence.

You don’t need to worry about SHB, yet. I think it is only the US and Australia who suffer with this pest at the moment. You may have to worry about Asian hornets though (frelons asiatiques qui mangent des abeilles), although I understand that they don’t like altitude and cooler climates. If you have problems with them, there are several french beekeepers on this forum who have found ways of dealing with hornets. They tend to hang out in the Coin Francais thread and generally write in French, although a lot of them will kindly write English too. :blush: