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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had some frames to clean and thought it was wise to take them out for the bees to finish off. I know this is frowned upon in some parts of the world but here we do not have the nasties to worry about. I placed them about 30m away from my hives (about 40 paces away for you imperialists).

What surprised me was the fighting to death over this food source. Is this normal? It looked exactly like a robbing frenzy at a hive entrance with dozens of bees at each other's throats and many dead. I certainly won't be doing this again - anyone else had a similar episode?
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Yes. This is why it is best to put the frames you want cleaned above the inner cover ( crown board) and inside a hive body. Bees from the same hive won't be fighting over the sudden bounty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys. I’m in spring here, so wasn’t expecting food to be so scarce it is worth fighting for. Though I should now better because spring here is not too strong.

Reason I they were not inside a super on top of a hive is because I just took them off so they won’t fill them up again. These are plastic Flow hive frames which I’m cleaning to sell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Did you like the Flow Hive?
No. Not one bit. Vastly over priced and overhyped. I have the originals not copies and bought them like many others before I had much knowledge in beekeeping.


I had a lot of manufacturing problems which they mostly replace until I gave up replacing. They also leak when harvesting, sometimes badly, and managing them is not straight forward, frames in the super are non standard, including the frame rest depth.


They also try to push that honey from their hives is somehow superior than others’ which annoys me, and I assure you it is not. Their success is purely based on clever marketing and paying high profile beekeepers on the net to endorse them.

 

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Funny HE after having a dig at me for leaving equipment out to bee cleaned up. ;p
I think the reason I mentioned leaving the gear out was that bees weren’t interested in it due to the availability of other food sources. For them to be fighting over a food source is telling you something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Yeah mate I actually took them out for the bees after you did so haha..... my dig at you last time was me being a smartass. As you know I take your advice and knowledge quite seriously. :D:D

And yes, the bees are telling me there is no nectar around.
 

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No. Not one bit. Vastly over priced and overhyped. I have the originals not copies and bought them like many others before I had much knowledge in beekeeping.


I had a lot of manufacturing problems which they mostly replace until I gave up replacing. They also leak when harvesting, sometimes badly, and managing them is not straight forward, frames in the super are non standard, including the frame rest depth.


They also try to push that honey from their hives is somehow superior than others’ which annoys me, and I assure you it is not. Their success is purely based on clever marketing and paying high profile beekeepers on the net to endorse them.

Many would agree to this. I hear this from some friends, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yeah, although my negative experience with Flow Hives leaves me highly critical, I still think it is a shame that they didn't work out for me as well as expected (and advertised). They are a very interesting technology and a lot of thought went into designing them. But they are not there yet.

The guys that invented them seem like nice blokes, their customer service is good and replace stuff readily (mainly because you are paying for replacements in advance with high prices).

They may be viable for someone who absolutely does not have space or want extracting equipment. But still, many that use them successfully end up having conventional hives alongside Flow hives to aid management. So you still need an alternative extraction method which defeats the purpose of having a Flow hive in the first place. I also found extracting on site highly inconvenient, but that's just me.
 

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Having been around bees a while when the Flow Hives came out, I immediately knew they would not change a thing in my beekeeping routine, and would likely tank out for a lot of beginners. Sad when snake oil salesmen get $8 million of crowdfunding then rip off the masses with high pricing, but caveat emptor.

The way we harvest honey is pretty efficient, and I doubt even a crush-and-strain beekeeper would gain a minute of time over his current method with a FH setup.

Take a look at www.cowenmfg.com and see the fully automated conveyor setups they make over in Parowan, Utah, USA. Now THAT'S efficient! Yes, your hives have to be in pretty good shape and very consistent from beginning to end, but a system like that does the work of 4 or 5 guys.

Beekeeping is like home brewing - read a lot, think it through, do some math, go join a club and learn from a bunch of folk who have been doing it for 40 years, then plunk down your money.

If only those 2 nice blokes had hyped the Brother Adam beehive with the narrow frames and 5.1 mm foundation, the world would be boasting about the colony strength and asking what to do with all the honey and bees. Yes, the larger hives are heavy, the management style is different, and yes there IS a learning curve, but dadgum! the big hives are kicking some booty. I just wish that the frames and foundation were more readily available.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Having been around bees a while when the Flow Hives came out, I immediately knew they would not change a thing in my beekeeping routine,
On the Flow forum there is a Canadian guy that runs a small commercial apiary using Flow hives in a complex setup. He seems to like them and says they are the future of beekeeping. He is actually quite an interesting guy but I suspect he likes them because he likes to tinker with them, and he still encounters the same issues as anyone else.

The Flow hives are targeted squarely towards backyarders though... wanting to "save the bees", with "minimum disturbance".

In all fairness, I have to credit them for getting into beekeeping. Some say the increased interest and uptake of beekeeping is a good thing, others disagree because they say there are now more unregistered hives around that may not be getting the desired maintenance and husbandry.
 

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Getting stung up real good is a common filter that weeds out the "Flash-in-the Pan" types. Those genuinely interested in beekeeping will adapt and stay with it, especially with a group of friends such as a beekeeping club. I view this as the good part of a rough introduction to the game.

Try Try TRY to get them to read First Lessons in Beekeeping by Dr. Keith Delaplane. This book can really help a beginner get past the most common trouble. There are many good beginning books, but this is the best yet.
 

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...... Vastly over priced and overhyped. .....


This is like in running - you may buy a pair of shoes for $30 on sale and get your running done.
OR you may get a pair for $300 and be so very cool.
Let me tell you, this morning run was so very hard and it did not matter what shoes I was wearing.

You still have to run your butt off to make it worth it.
It is you, NOT the shoes.


The flow hive marketing logic says - it is the shoes, NOT you.
Which is a lie.

I am sure running shoe designers disagree with me.
LOL.
 

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Back to the original post and why leaving frames out to be cleaned by bees!
It is not just the robbing frenzi that it will cause inviting bees from all corners of your neighbourhood but the possibility of AFB transfer to your hives. You may not have varroa, living in Auctralia, but there are other problems that you can invite with this action. Best to keep your frames to dry off in the hives they belong to by putting them above the crown board which as a small hole in the centre. The bees will go up to clean off the frames, not realising that they are their own frames.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
the possibility of AFB transfer to your hives.
Glad you brought that up. Fortunately in this corner of the world we do not have AFB. Touch wood. The worst pest we have here in the south west of Oz is probably wax moths. We don’t even have Covid..... but we do have a really good quarantine and bio security system in place.
 

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Beekeepers Paradise...... no varroa, no AFB, no EFB, no SHB? fantastic. Do you have anything that can harm your bees? Gaint honey eating kangaroos? Pesky possoms? ....anything? A good strong hive will look after the wax moth so that is not too much of a problem and at the end of the season after the frames have been dried off, spray them with B402 / Certan before putting them into storage for the winter!
 

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Glad you brought that up. Fortunately in this corner of the world we do not have AFB. Touch wood. The worst pest we have here in the south west of Oz is probably wax moths. We don’t even have Covid..... but we do have a really good quarantine and bio security system in place.
Honeyeater, we in Melbourne envy you for not having Covid :).

Thanks for the Flow Hive topic. I am a novice, but instinctively dislike this level of interference.

Regarding pests and diseases, do you see hive beetle? Chalk brood?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Indeed a beekeeping paradise here, not that I want to advertise it too much and attract pesky visitors :) next worst nuisance to bees after wax moths is nosy beekeepers like myself that like to inspect the hive a tad too often. Having said that I do have to keep an eye on clumsy kangaroos as they can topple hives.

@Marg, no SHB here either apart from some records in the far north east, if you notch the border it will be in the NT. Chalkbrood is not really a problem that I know of here either. Just wax moths.
 
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