Honeyflow.com | FAQ's |

Would this work?

Hi brains trust.
I did a short swarm control course today and learnt a lot. Often when rotating and moving frames from the brood box in a traditional hive you put them in the super until the brood all emerges.
With the flow Hive this isn’t as easy.

I was wondering if you could take a full flow frame out of the super… Harvest it externally…put your removed brood frame into the flow super until all the brood is out…then swap the flow frame back into the flow suoer?

I realise there would be too big a gap with a standard frame in the flow super, but it wouldn’t be for long.

Just a thought, any reason this is a bad idea?


I am glad you enjoyed the course. Learning new things and ideas is one of my greatest pleasures in life.

Now you could do that, absolutely, but you could also make things a bit simpler for yourself. :blush: Using your idea, I would do it slightly differently:

  1. Harvest the full Flow frame on the hive (after inspecting it to make sure it was capped). Then take it off the hive the next day or two later. It is quite tricky harvesting just one frame off the hive (I have done it), and it is much easier harvesting it in place. The day or two waiting after harvest gives the bees a chance to clean it up and remove the cappings.
  2. If there is any drone brood in the frame you are moving up, you will need an upper entrance. The drones can’t get down through the queen excluder, and will die trying to do so. I have an inner cover with a 2cm wide notch cut in it that is perfect for this. Make sure the roof doesn’t cover the exit. :wink:

I think otherwise it is a great idea. As you say, the brood frame will only be there a maximum of 3 weeks, and less than that if you choose one with all capped brood (no eggs or larvae). You could even make a thin “dummy” or “follower” board to fill the gap from a piece of plywood if you were worried about crazy comb. :sunglasses:

1 Like

Hi Ron, what you suggest is my recommendation. Added to that, I’d move the flow frames towards the brood frame/s in the middle, leaving gaps on both sides, instead of in the middle. This worked well for @Bean19, Anita.

Thanks guys,
Sounds like a plan.
Should I shake off the brood frame that’s going upstairs completely so the queen definately doesn’t go up with it, or,
Partially shake it off so some nursery bees remain and the queen is easier to spot if she’s there?

Our queen is unmarked and we saw her when the nuc went in 10 months ago, but we haven’t seen her since.


Also, thought I’d run by you what I decided to do after my swarm prevention course. The more opinions the better.

We have a strong hive, one brood box and one flow super. We really want to keep our queen because the hive has a great temperament and she lays like a legend. She’s only 1 year old.

Going to take the 2 outside (hopefully honey) frames and one other (brood) from the super and put in 3 fresh frames with foundation.
We’ll put the brood frame upstairs until they’re all hatched.


It sounds like a good plan Ron. I would shake enough bees off so that I’m confident the queen is not on there. Be aware that she could also be on the honey frames, or under the QX. If you do shake all the bees off before placing it above the QX, don’t worry the nurse bees will quickly return to it. Don’t do any checkerboarding of frames in the brood at this time of year. Keep the brood together & place the brood frame you are putting above the QX directly above brood.

Consider starting another colony as we move further into spring.

1 Like

That’s basically what I did my first season and it worked. I’ve got a post somewhere on here commenting on it. Main thing to be aware of is bee space. They’ll build out extra comb where spacing isn’t correct quite quickly, as I discovered.

Thanks for the replies.
Alan, you said you did that your first season and it worked… What did you do the second season? What do you do now?

I bought a hybrid Super to make cycling the frames easier (leaving the hybrid on over winter and installing the full flow super during the season). I crushed and strained cycled frames out of the hybrid two seasons ago, taking brood frames into the hybrid. Last season I stored frames from the hybrid instead of crush and strain. Haven’t decided what I’ll do this year but last season I bought a second hybrid so I’m thinking I’ll run two hybrids, no full flow, and get a couple of dedicated honeycomb frames this year.

Hi Ron, Jeff and Dawn , I indeed have had great success with Jeff’s advice and support. I also agree with Dawn in regards to harvesting the honey from the frames whilst still in the super . I recently had conversation by email with Flow team member about some sediment flecks in my honey, which was deemed to be possibly wax from between the slits in the hexagons of the flow frames. Advice was to leave frames open for a couple of days after harvest of honey to allow the bee’s to clean it up , then close them again.
Just thought I’d pass on this top too.


Hi Ron. Just wanted to say I’ve put broodframes up into the flow super a few times, which really got the bees going on the flow frames.
Having a few hives, there are plenty of other swarm control measures.

Hi Ron, in reality lifting brood frames from the brood box to the honey super is a good way to expand the colony into the honey super. It is an initial swarm prevention measure to some degree. However, once the colony has expanded fully into the honey super, you will need to think about swarm prevention by taking a split away. That might be in the next lesson. cheers

So giving them 3 new frames in the brood box isn’t enough “extra space” to keep them happy?

Yes it is Ron, while the colony is still building & expanding into the honey super. I use my honey super & hive lid as a guide as to whether a colony needs swarm prevention measures. When I see the honey frames fully covered in bee & starting to occupy the roof space, it’s time for me to take swarm prevention measures.

When I look down over the honey frames after removing the mat, & I see the outside honey frames are lightly covered in bees, I’ll give them another week. It is amazing the difference just one week makes during a spring buildup. The population growth outstrips the mortality rate.

I use 1 brood box & one honey super on each hive. That works well for me. It there is too many bees for that configuration, I keep splitting.

I’m not a fan of the hole in the crown board because bees can build up into the roof before they fully occupy the honey super. By using a hive mat with gaps around the sides, the bees fill the honey frames before moving into the roof. This is especially helpful if we’re using “bees in the roof” as a guide for swarm prevention measures, as I do.

1 Like