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Al from Venice Beach CA, living in Boston, MA


I’m Al and I moved from the beautiful Venice Beach, CA, area to Malden, MA, six miles north of downtown Boston.

I’ve been interested in beekeeping for quite some time and am really excited to have found this product and community. The hybrid Flow looks like something I would enjoy, combining the flow frames and the ability to create comb, as well.

My main concern is the safety of my bees during the winter months in New England. I can’t bring the hive inside, so what do I do? I don’t want to bring the bees here only to have them die. I think that’s cruel and not what I’m trying to do. I want bees to thrive, not die.

Any help or ideas are welcome. It’s getting exciting to order my hybrid flow, assemble it, and order bees!

Thank you,

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You didn’t mention your bee allergy in this thread. Is it an allergy where you need an epi-pen? Or is it just pain with swelling?

Hi All,
I do have an epi pen, although I haven’t been stung by a bee in 40 years. A few years ago I was working on a movie and stepped on a Hornets’ nest; I was stung over 32 times. It was hard to breathe, but I basically ate and snorted a ton of Benadryl and was okay after that. Just sore, dizzy and swollen.
I think after that, I should be able to take a sting or two from some rogue bees. Also, I’m looking at some neighbors doing maintenance on the hive until I’m comfortable around them.
Didn’t mean to scare anyone. Anaphylaxis shock is something I don’t want to experience again.
Thanks everyone, I appreciate your help and concern.

Note: my epi pen was in my car at the time. Did a lot of good there. :smile:

Yeah well if you’re keen on keeping bees in the New England area, Vino Farm would be good to follow. He’s got a flow hive, plus he’s over wintered bees few a few seasons now.

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Thanks @JeffH.
I saw some of his videos a few weeks ago, but didn’t realize he was here in Mass.
If I would have been this interested in beekeeping when we had a home in Venice Beach, it would have been great. Star Jasmine, lavender, beoganvillias, all kinds of cool trees and plants. Would make for interesting honey.
Thanks again, @JeffH!

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You’re most welcome Al. Jim is a character. All his videos are entertaining.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do, cheers

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Oh Al!

I was just about to respond to your query about beekeeping in cold climates when I noticed that you have a bee allergy. I am so sorry to hear it.

If you have a life-threatening allergy to bees, we firmly recommend that you do not become a beekeeper. Harvesting a Flow Hive does disturb the bees less. However, all beekeepers should expect to be stung sooner or later.

As an indication of the seriousness with which we regard the risks, we will not supply to customers with a known serious allergy. If you still decide to keep bees, please be aware that you are acting against our strongest advice and taking a very serious risk.

It’s lovely that you have so much for concern for the safety of the bees, and if it weren’t for the allergy I’m sure you would be a wonderful beekeeper, but please remember that your own safety is important too!



Thank you for the concern about an allergy, but after discussing it with beekeeping friends, family, and doctors, I don’t think it will be a problem. As I mentioned in a prior email/post, I was stung relentlessly (over 30 times) by stepping on a hornets’ nest and I was fine after some Benadryl.

Believe me, I wouldn’t jeopardize my life to be a beekeeper! I’m not ignorant and think the Flow Hive will prevent me from being stung, I get it. My message was not taken in the spirit in which I intended and I am sorry for causing any confusion.

Like I said earlier, I haven’t been stung by a bee in over 40 years and the epi pen was a precaution as I worked on movies and TV shows in remote locations where medical aid isn’t always available.

I shouldn’t have been so lax in my post as I did not intend to worry people. I am fine, healthy, okay, and I am going to make a great beekeeper.

Don’t worry about me; I’ve survived a Gulf War, being abused by a Catholic priest, an alcoholic father, and I am fine. A bee sting or two can’t take me out, nor will they stop me from becoming a caring steward of bees.

Lastly, I paid for the Flow Hive beekeeping videos, but don’t have access to the rest of them. Are they being made as it goes on, or can I have access I paid for? I would actually like to cancel my yearly subscription and use that money to care for the bees. Let me know what is going on with the videos and my account, please.

Thank you for being concerned for me, but I will be all right. Have a great day!


Thank you, sir. I truly appreciate the help and your kind words.

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Welcome to the forum:

Remember, cold doesn’t kill bees, or any insect that I know" That’s how they all reappear each Spring.
Now being cold and wet and full of diseases is a different story.


Hey Al! Welcome to the East Coast and the Flow forum :cherry_blossom:

It wasn’t lost on me that your allergy event was not from honey bees but from loads of hornets :dizzy_face: yikes - glad you made it through!! But as you can see, the responses you’ve had are an indication of how much kindness and consideration there is here.

About bees surviving your winters in MA, look no further than the fact that venerable Tom Seeley himself has lived, studied and kept bees in upstate NY and Maine all his life:


So don’t worry - even though we don’t live in the lush tropical paradise depicted in the Flow vids (or the one you recently moved from :cry::palm_tree::hibiscus:) there’s lots to love about the East Coast and just a different rhythm to beekeeping here.

…just please, don’t become a Pats fan :nauseated_face:


As my wife says, “Nevah!” 49ers and Rams fan here.

And I do appreciate the fact that so many concerned people took the time to write and voice their thoughts on beekeeping for me. It seems like the beekeeping community is a bunch of friendly, honorable people to associate with.

Thank all who responded; I appreciate it greatly. I don’t want to do anything to hurt the bees (or myself in the process), so please don’t get upset if I ask a bunch of questions.

I’m trying to learn as much as I can to be a good steward of the bees and I hope people understand that.

Thanks again,


Awesome, and the Niners played a great game on Sunday even tho they didn’t win.

About your questions, please ask away - I can attest to the benefit you’ll get from doing so. I would probably have given up awhile ago without the support and smart guidance I’ve received here. There’ve been some minor scuffles here, but the general atmosphere of kindness and humor far outweighs those infrequent moments.

Cheers & keep us posted on your progress!

Thank you for your response Al - have sent you a private message :slight_smile:

the lush tropical paradise depicted in the Flow vids

Yes we are so lucky to live in these parts! I promise we don’t take it for granted…

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I suspect that @Freebee2 can answer that for you. :thinking:

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Thanks @Dawn_SD! Yes I have responded to Al’s query :slight_smile: