Flow Hive Experience - So Far
Quick note of my experience so far with the Flow Hive.
I currently have 8 hives including the 1 Flow Hive. I expect with splits and other hives I will add by the end of the year, I will have 25 - 30 hives.
I purchased a Flow Hive Supper when the Kick Starter Campaign was in process. My intent was to use this on an experimental bases to see how it would compare to my other hives on honey production. From a cost point of view, it is too costly for commercial use but potentially could be good for a back yard setup with no more than 1 or 2 hives. I finally received it back in late February.
Back in November 2015 I purhcased 2 Nucs from a local beekeeper and put them in 8 frame deeps. One was a little stronger than the other. I added a medium supper to the stronger back in early March. Since I had just received my Flow Hive a week earlier I was too busy to put it together and setup to use on the stronger Nuc so I had to wait until late March(actually April 1st) when the other hive was strong enough to add a super. 2 days later I added a QE.
Here are my results so far.
End of Week 1 - The Flow Hive makes a pretty good SHB Hotel It was crawling in large numbers of SHB's. Bees were actively playing hide and seek with the SHB's in the Flow Hive cells. I considered pulling it off at this point, but since there were no SHB's in the lower deep, I decided to leave it on. Already had a SHB trap in the main hive along with a beetle barn. So I added another beetle trap to the flow hive and left it in place and went on vacation.
End of Week 2 - Thought for sure I would be removing the flow hive. To my surprise, it looked like the bees had gotten the SHB issue under better control. There are still SHB's, but not in such large numbers. Traps were empty and the bees had started filling the middle of the 2 inner frames. Must have been a large emergence of bees during the week. The hive population was noticeably larger from the prior week in the deep and the number of bees working in the flow hive was also much larger.
I usually only inspect a hive every other week, but in the case of the Flow Hive, I will be doing it weekly until I am confident it will work out. Other than the issue with the SHB's, I wouldn't think that there would be any difference in what to expect with the rest of the hive. However, due diligence is in order at this point.
Zone 9B - First Hive April 17, 2012