The Flow Hive for honey bees, Love it? Hate it? or Undecided? Price? Review of Quality Control

The Flow Hive for honey bees, Love it? Hate it? or Undecided? Price? Review of Quality Control

sound of bees buzzing
Ok so now I have all of the flowhive pieces
and there are several videos already that show how to put it together…
I’m going to put this one together and then
will tell you what my observations are problems fitting
I want you to notice these joints are not aligned.
Right from the factory, they don’t fit. I don’t give them a very good grade.
They just don’t line up! If you line up these then come to the next
end look at the cuts, not a quality box joint! They just don’t match!
I am following the assembly guide and it’s not fitting.
Amazing! I have to take it out to the wood shop…
There are supposed to be five knob screws, there were only four.
I marked off the joints to be shaved down. Here it is after I’ve corrected the joints.
They were 3/32 of an inch off. Ok so now you see we have the box assembled.
Some problems with missing hardware and misfit joints.
Some screws were not long enough. Some were missing.
Shaved the box joints to proper fit. And now we’re ready to put in the frames.
Lookin at the frame cells. I was really impressed that they are so uneven.
Not like actual drawn out wax comb. They are in compartments that can be separated.
Interesting design… the plastic it is made from
actually feels soft… a little waxy even… But it is just plastic.
And of course all of the wax frame components which are made of plastic are strung together
and made tight with stainless steel chord. There are adjustment screws at the end of
the frame. So you can push the frame snug against the
accessible side. The way the box went together, it was tight
enough without needing adjustment. This is the seven frame system.
Right out of the box, it’s tight enough. No movement that would allow bees through
the end. Adjust screws here if your frames are loose.
Make sure there is no “bee space”. As you can see, they really are flexible.
Easy to remove. Nothing like any frames I have used before…
For the rest of the video I will put this super on a Langstroth hive
body. A 10 frame Langstroth hive deep.
Bottom board and a standard 10 frame deep brood box.
Many people complain about plastics in the Flow Hive.
I have been using Piergo plastic frames for over 11 years with no problems.
The Flow Hive box is a little smaller in exterior measurements than the traditional frame.
Then I’ll put an inner cover on it. A little burr comb on it, but that’s no problem.
The cover is a little larger also. Standard telescoping lid.
The telescoping top isn’t going to allow the Flow Hive to open. It sets too far down.
The cover tilts because it’s resting on the knobs.
This is just my first impressions. I haven’t had this in the bee yard yet.
It’s February, it’s 10 deg. F outside. and it’s snowing.
So all I’m doing is getting ready for spring. Hopefully it will be a great spring for the
honey bees. As I’ve mentioned, the telescoping top. Is
incompatible. You may have to put a shallow super on top
of the Flow Hive. For now, we’ll remove the top.
You may have to do something to raise the cover so it is out of the way.
It may not be the best to have the Flow Hive as the top box.
So, we’ll remove the end observation piece. Here is the metal strip that give the box
rigidity. The top bar allows access for the actuating
key. Let’s try that out.
As I have already demonstrated, I am not impressed with the woodworking accuracy/quality.
I do think the internal frames are well designed, consistent and of good quality. Just as advertised.
So, you may already have seen the way the acuating keys work.
I wish there was a way to purchase just one key on the website.
I would like to have two keys to use at the same time.
Right now, you can’t purchase a key by itself. When you decide to work a frame, remove the
bottom pull plug. I always wondered…
Watching other videos… When opening the access cover.
Wouldn’t the bees just use propolis to seal it all up?
But now that I see how it’s made… There is no space for the bees to come through…
The worker bees can access the cells, but are blocked from coming through…
So they couldn’t propolize the joints and access panels.
The other thing that occurs to me. If you had a honey bee cottage, or sugar shack.
Where the back of the bee hive was projecting inside the shed.
Pretty popular in Germany in fact… You would be able to work the hives from inside
the shack and extract honey without any bees getting inside the work space.
You couldn’t pull frames that way, but you could have a method of extracting honey without
the bees getting in. All of the frames could be open and draining…
Inside the work shed… And not even have to brush bees off of the
honey frames. I don’t think this is going to be a fantastic
industrial practice. But the way they are put together, I am very
interested in the possibilities. Looking forward to our first nectar flow.
If you’ll notice… they way this tube goes into the bottom…
the little tongue at the bottom, goes underneath the frame material.
There is no blocking of the honey from flowing out.
Pretty interesting… Any honey that drains down and goes through
the pieces… is just reclaimed by the honey bees.
There are gaps that the honey will seep through. The plug has no threads… you just push it
in. Very simple.
The top tab will only fit when the frames are in the closed position.
So you can’t forget and leave the cells
in the open position. As you can see… the materials are recyclable
and the flow hive company has many statements, saying that all of the plastics are food safe
and stable. If they get dirty, you can wash them out with
warm water. IF these were inside a honey bee shed…
You “could” if all the cells were full and properly capped with wax… (I would NOTextract
honey unless the cells were capped)… Bees cap cells when the honey is properly
dehydrated. You could have all of the tubes in and let
the honey drain out into a trough and into a large collection bucket.
This method is going to take a long time to collect honey.
I would do it on a HOTday, obviously honey flows quicker when it’s warm/hot.
I like the idea that I don’t have to pull the entire frame.
And don’t have to cut the caps and wax off of them.
I can just extract from one or two frames. And then just close it up without all the
fuss. Let’s not pretend that this is going to be
quicker than traditional centrifuge extraction processes… that would pull more honey in
less time. BUT you’re also going to be scraping the frames
and doing a lot of secondary work. Plus you have to take the frames to the extracting
room. Now I’m just going to give you a close look
at how the mechanism operates. I’m putting the actuator key in
turning it and the cells open for draining. That is the open position for the cells.
IF you had crystalized honey in the cells I would put it in this position
remove the entire frame and soak it in hot water and rinse it off.
After draining the honey. put the key in the top slot.
And turn it until the cells return to the closed position.
you will see the gaps around the cells.. the honey bees will fill those gaps with propolis
and wax before re-filling with nectar that will dehydrate down to proper honey.
Traditional extraction removes lots of drawn comb and wax caps.
Some people even cut out sections of comb to make “chunk honey”.
The bees then have to use a lot of their resources to restore that missing wax.
That is much reduced with this process. The bees can go to work filling the cells
much quicker. In a nectar flow, you can draw honey off and
four days later, the cells may be full again. You have to decide how much to leave for the
bees and not extract too much! Especially in the fall.. you must be careful
to leave enough for the bees to get through winter where you live.
Normally you don’t remove the frame to extract honey…
Notice the cells are angled to the center… that helps the nectar/honey flow to the middle
and down. Seems like a very interesting design and I’m
impressed. I’m not here to tell you that this is a GREATway
to manage bees and I’m not saying it’s NOT. I’m just sharing what I”m learning as always….
If there is something new in bee keeping… I like to buy it and learn about it, then
sharing what learn with others. My next video with the Flow Hive will show
how well my honey bees accept and work the frames.
You’ll see how it works and what I think of it in the bee yard.
You have to think about the cost of the Flow Hive.
When it first came out on Indigogo… launching their campaign. I bought one for over $500.00
Flow Hive set a Indigogo
record for the most sales in 24 hours.. going over a MILLION in contributions…
At the campaign close, they had received over 12 MILLION DOLLARS in contributions….
So obviously this design has a huge following and many are interested in learning more.
In 2016 when spring weather hits the United States.
A lot of bee keepers will be using these frames. Even though some people are on YouTube…
Telling Everyone that will listen… that “the only people who will be interested
in this system, will be new keepers or people who are ignorant about honey bees” well…
I’m not personally ignorant about honey bees and I also don’t want to be uninformed aobu
this system… so, I got one. Let’s talk the talk now…
when it comes to starting out with honey bees the flow hive.. is EXPENSIVE
as I already said I paid over $500.00
let me tell you… when you get into starting up with bees
you could go to a company like you could purchase a beginner kit
that kit includes bottom board
two deep supers two medium supers
an inner cover an outer cover
a bee outfit a smoker
a veil everything you need. including a book on how
to keep bees and that’s for $354.50
So.. if you’re looking for a bargain. I’ve see posts on YouTube about how much it
costs to start and how much will they earn from the honey!
IF YOU are looking exclusively at cost and what you are going to earn…
from the honey sales… my advice to you is
don’t even begin with honey bees IF you’re not in it to learn about bees
and improve the environment and improve pollination
and help improve honey bee health. and you think the Flow Hive is a method for
making quick money and cashing in on bees… I say RUN!
This thing is expensive! It’s a new technology
and it is novel and I find it interesting… not being for
or against it. I’m not here to blast it or launch a promotion
campaign. If you do not already understand honey bees
and the complex colony activities and behaviors, then stop everything, go to school, or learn
from an experienced keeper. IF you are actually afraid of bees or being
stung? Quit NOW… you will be stung!
Every bee keeper eventually gets stung by honey bees.
So if you don’t have a heart felt interest in bees FIRST… then don’t take the financial
leap and try to profit from them. For the
cost of a three frame Flow Hive system…
YOU could own an entire setup from a place like
I’m not just here to endorse betterbee.. there are many sites like Dadant etc…
but you could have the entire deal/setup including frames… for $354.50… I would really think
it over. If you plan to get into it for the money.
I bought it… and am interested in it.
Only so I can know about it and inform others from direct experience with the system…
Thanks for watching and I hope you continue to learn about honey bees and chickens…

28 thoughts on “The Flow Hive for honey bees, Love it? Hate it? or Undecided? Price? Review of Quality Control”

  1. At 12:07 my commentary begins… I know that bee keepers are normally very patient people, thank you for keeping an open mind on all things related to bees and bee keeping… and Thank YOU for viewing.

  2. Гарний обзор чудо – вулика, у на про таке можна тільки помріяти🐝🍯👍

  3. For me its down to price, I can get 10 frame boxes for $17.00 each frames for $30.00 (10 frames) bottom for $20.00 inner cover for $15.00 tops for $26.00 Again down to price Nukes here are $250.00 Flow hives I saw here were a lot more in price. I do enjoy you opion on many things, I am 60 and disabled so I must get the best bang for my dollar. Every spare cent goes into bee supplies. I must shop wise as I am growing to 30 hives. Next spring at 7 hives, so I can split these 7 as needed and grow this way only buying boxes and frames as I need them.

  4. If thats how they do business why bother? Great idea but the end product is like a politicians promise. 💩

  5. I think the hives look wonderful, but the price is Outrageous, I know they want to make alot of money for their coool idea, but they are not helping the bee keepers, new or old or the bees on our planet by charging close to $900 for just one hive setup. OMG. If that was the price for say 3 of the hives, I would have them right now, and so many others would too.

  6. Just touching on your hive price comparisons that you omitted. With the flow hive, you don't need any extraction or bottling equipment. With the standard hive kit, you have to add extractor, capping knife, cappings collector, strainers, buckets to collect both cappings & honey. Then you have to figure out what to do with the cappings? Then you have to decanter your honey. Furthermore, a lot more bees die during honey harvesting…

    But I strongly agree with your final statement about making money from the flow hive as a novice. Having strong colonies takes effort, just the same as keeping healthy fish in your fishtank.

    I concur that beekeeping (to me) is all about my interaction with my bees, not about the honey or the money… When you get into a practice of sitting with your bees, opening at least once a week (weather permitting), they will remain strong, friendly and they will get to know You! That is truly special.

  7. Is there an effect to the nature of bees this kind of build?
    Cause I saw the documentary of Honey Land, when she take a harvest, she left half of the amount so the bees won't leave or attack other bees.

  8. these are way to expensive for a bunch of injection molded plastic hive. I mean it looks great but holy shit how much is enough?

  9. I had a traumatic experience with bees, well wasps, when I was very little and I am a bit phobic now due to that. I know honey bees are very good for us and the earth and I really want to get over what I fear, so I was thinking of trying to become a beekeeper to help over come this. just one maybe two small hives. and use the flow hives to help me. please let me know your thought. Thank you.

  10. lets take a little step for the big change just subscribe my channel for more bee related stuff

  11. Fred, I agree with your comment regarding a starter kit being a better bargain, however you did not take into account the harvesting of honey. For a beekeeper, Flow Hive is easy to harvest honey compared to in home systems or renting or buying equipment. I agree with all of you other sentiments and am an avid beekeeper who uses the Flow Hive system.

  12. thank you very much for posting this video! Please keep us updated too. How often does the flow hive have to be cleaned out in comparison to a normal setup?

  13. nice video, except when bees make there own wax and cap honey from timber frames taste 1000 times better than plastic, would you drink a beer out of plastic bottle.

  14. I keep seeing people complaining about the cost of a Flow hive. 1st if you’ve seen Fred’s other videos (all great BTW) you can watch him get a full gallon of honey from just two frames on his second Flow fall harvest. I don’t use a gallon of honey in a whole year for my family of 4, so any extra gets sold, and local prices range are around $5-7 for a half-pint jar of local honey. You do the math- this will pay for itself in no time at all. Also as Fred notes, you can have a Flow super and NOT a full Flow hive system, which should make this more affordable. I am considering not adding steer this year and replacing their feed pasture with bee feed – hobby-level cows cost money. Hobby bees can MAKE you money with very little effort using this method.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *