Week 8: Washboarding and Nectar in the outer frame
Week 8: Washboarding and Nectar in the outer frame
I'm brand new here, and a new beekeeper. I bought one complete flow hive and a langsroth 10 frame hive this spring. I was able to buy two 5 frame nucs of italians from Apis hives here in Colorado back in May. I made some mistakes this season but both my hives are healthy and doing well. I pulled my flow frames from the hive a few weeks ago preparing for fall. I don't want the plastic parts out in the cold all winter and I don't think these supers are made for wintering of bees. When I pulled the frames there was capped honey in all 6 frames, a small amount in the center of each. I was able to crack them all fairly easily and harvest the small amount of honey (about 3 pints). I added a medium box for new food storage hoping to have the bees collect more stores for the winter. I think it was a mistake to add the flow super the first year. We still have many blooming plants and flowers here but I think I will need to feed this winter.
I have been using Micheal Bush's informative videos for most of my learning experience and I see he posts here a lot so thank you. I am attempting to go all natural without treatment. My beekeeper friends think that is the wrong way to go but we will see. I don't like poison so I try not to eat it or feed it to anyone or anything I care about.
FYI the flow hive was shipped in good condition, I did have to do some light sanding to get the pieces to fit. I really like the way it is built, seems to be built to withstand some abuse. Since the boxes and frames came from a different place than the flow frames, I received two bee hats. lol
Last edited by Bee9; 09-01-2016 at 09:28 PM.
Thank you for posting about your progress. Good luck with your bees!
Here is a quick summary of how our Flow Hive has worked out in its first year.
We installed a package of New Zealand bees March 6, 2016 and the hive has strong right from the start.
We were able to install flow frames by the end of April and the bees were adding nectar to Flow Flame by second week of May.
The hive was building up so much that we pulled the Queen and a bunch of bees off in third week of May to stop possible swarming.
Unfortunately I left too many Queen cells and it did swarm a couple times. Caught & hived both so not to big of deal for us.
The hive's new Queen mated successfully and has been strong all summer.
Most of our hives are taken up into the mountains for Fireweed but down here after the blackberry finishes there is not a lot around but the hive still filled all the Flow Frames.
Last weekend we finally drained the frames and got a good 3 gallons of honey.
Here is a few things that always seem to come up on the forums.
Swarming: We can't say the swarm more than regular hive but you need to practice swarm control just like any other hive.
Propolis: Ya ours bees like to glue things down a lot and it did make removing the flow frames out a little bit of work but still managable. It would be nice if the flow frames had a good spot to hook hive tool on at the forward end.
Harvesting: We attached hose to drain tube and ran it into a jar. Honey flowed out quickly but we did notice that a bit of honey did run off the face of the frames thru brood box and out screened bottom. The bees had that stopped quickly. We had no bees trying to get at honey in bottles during harvesting but we did put a layer of plastic wrap over top of jar.
Honey: The harvested honey was clean with no further need of screening.
The Flow Frames worked like we thought they would and we would recommend them for anyone that likes the easy way of harvesting but you still need to inspect & manage the hive just like regular hive
Last edited by Saltairbees; 09-13-2016 at 10:55 PM. Reason: added pictures
I bought a used landstroth and flowhive that wax moths had taken over. My question is with the frames. In spring, when I put a colony in the hive, will the bees clean up the flowhive frames or should I take the time to pick all the cocoons out of the cells? Not sure if wax moths will actually lay in cells or if these are brood cells. Also, If I clean the regular langstroth plastic frame foundation will that be ok or should I put new foundation in each of the frames?
I would clean it urself
I have a feeling there will be a lot of these used flow hives up for sale in the future lol
Friend tells me take time to stop and smell the roses I say "I do then I take 10 steps quicker to make up for lost time"
If the wax is destroyed, scrape off the plastic foundation and let the bees re-draw them. If it's just a minor infestation, you could freeze the frames and let the bees clean the cells out and repair the wax.
The wax can be melted and strained to clean it out, but if it's too bad, it wouldn't be a crime to throw it away.
Flowhive; you're on your own. I know nothing.
The wax was pretty much destroyed. I will scrape it all down, clean as best as I can and let everything freeze over the winter.
If you go to the Flow site there are instructions on how to disassemble and reassemble the FF which is recommended if the frames get contaminated.
Is there another thread that actually talks about the utilization of flow hives? I have a pasture out in the middle of nowhere that I am hoping to put a (some) flow hives in and get a few gallons of local honey a year by disturbing them maybe twice a year. My old delapidated barn currently has a 5-6 year old hive in the floor so I know the bees have proper habitat. Do I have realistic expectations?
I have a six flow frame box that I put on a two deep brood hive in mid to late June of this year. The colony started from a 5 frame NUC in mid May. I ended up harvesting a little over 2.5 gallons from the hive in August. I coated the frames with beeswax that I had collected from the hive while doing inspections. This is similar to what others have done with normal frames with plastic cells. This definitely helped. Bees were up on the frames almost immediately. Within a week they had begun to close up the cells and add nectar. Harvesting was easy. I put on the tube at the bottom of the frame for the honey to flow out of. Placed a jar below the bottom of the tube and wrapped saran wrap around it to keep the bees out of the jar. Took about 20 minutes or so to empty a full frame. The only other advice I would give is to not open all of the cells at once. It fills the bottom channel up so fast when you do that it can leak honey out of the bottom of the frame back into the hive. There are definitely a lot of naysayers out there but the frames work well. All this frame has done is made the harvesting process a lot easier. Will you have problems if you don't take of these like you would normal honey super frames, absolutely. Your going to spend money on an extractor and other equipment to extract the honey if you do it the traditional way. These are perfect for the beekeeper that doesn't have a lot of hives or a mentor/club that has an extractor to use.
Windclimber. You still need to take care of your hives and do inspections on them periodically. The flow hive website has plenty of videos on how they work. Quite a few videos on Youtube as well. I would recommend getting a few books and reading up on what you have to do to keep bees. Do you have a club in the area? If so ask someone if you can come by and have them show you what you have to do to take care of bees. Its not a lot of work to take care of a hive or two but you can't just leave them alone for most of the year and expect results.
Here's some first-hand stuff from yours truly
Here, go check out my youtube channel if you want to see what the last year has been like for me with mine.
Hey, was hoping to see some reports of your Flow Hive for the 2016 Spring...how did it do? I bought one for me and one for my son last year...have great expectations for this spring, 2017. Miller
This is 6 of 8 Quarts I pulled from my Flow Spring of 2016. 6 frames, 6 different color kinds of honey.
Maybe 11 pint jars?
I imagine most have now had a season of use - "extracted" their honey, and storing them for winter.
What is the verdict?
Would those who have used them recommend them?
I ask so that can I have a reply to those asking me about these hives.