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Bees arriving before my flow hive

Hi, I’m completely new to bee keeping and was wondering if it’s possible to install bees into a temporary home until my Flow hive 2 arrives. I got the call today that my order of bees I placed months ago will be arriving this week and my Flow hive looks to be a couple more weeks away. Any help is much appreciated on the best way to go about this and what extra equipment I would need.


Absolutely it is, and it is a very good idea. My advice will depend on what type of installation you are doing. Have you ordered a package or a nucleus? If a nucleus, how many frames will they provide? A standard nucleus is 5 frames, but some providers only give you 4 frames.

If it is a package or a 4 frame nucleus, you can manage with a nucleus box. Your fastest option would be to buy one locally, and a brief Google search brought up this:

Starting from the bottom of the hive moving up, the minimum you will need is a bottom board, a Langstroth (5 frame) deep box, an inner cover and a roof. Probably around $40 total if unassembled. You just need some nails or screws, and in your situation, I wouldn’t paint it at this point, as you are going to move them in a couple of weeks.

If you have 5 frames in a nucleus, you should probably buy an 8-frame Langstroth hive. Minimum would be a bottom board, an 8-frame deep box, an inner cover and a roof.

If you can’t find what you need locally, Mann Lake deliver very fast and their quality is good:


Thank you for the helpful reply Dawn. It’s 3lbs. of bees with a queen I ordered, I guess that’s a package.

So if I put them in this to start off for a couple weeks would I then just manually move them into the flow hive when it arrives? What does that process involve?

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Good question. I forgot that you will also need 5 frames (or 8 for the bigger box) plus foundation if you want to use it (I do, because they build faster and straighter).

So when they arrive, you shake or however you want to install them into the nucleus box without the frames. Then you gently put the frames in after a couple of minutes, when everyone has calmed down and doesn’t pile up on top of the frames or generally get in the way.

After your new hive arrives, I would lift the nucleus box off the chosen hive site and place it to one side (not too far away) temporarily. Then put the new bottom board onto the old nucleus site, followed by the new brood box. Then as you say, it is a manual transfer. I would lift the 5 frames out of the nucleus into the new box (gently), keeping them in the same order as they were in the nuc and put one extra empty frame on one side, and 2 on the other (assuming your Flow hive is an 8-frame hive), so that the new empty frames are against the hive wall. Reduce the entrance until the hive has strengthened, and you are all set once you put the inner cover and roof onto the hive. :blush:


@Dawn_SD has given you very good and easy to follow advise. The flow hive comes in two sizes(widths) and so the number of frames it holds, the 6 frame Flow Hive fits perfectly with the 8 frame Langstroth box which seems to be the popular size, and I use that size as it is lighter to move for inspections. I strongly recommend that you standardize your box size to your Flow Hive size and it will be useful as you increase your hive size or want to introduce another colony.
There is a lot of advantages in having a second hive and very little extra time needed.
Regards and welcome to the forum where you will get a lot of help, advise and reassurance in learning about bees.


Thanks so much for the replies guys! After re-reading a couple times and looking at the local options I’m starting to feel a little more confident I’ll be ready when they get here and have a plan. Thanks again!


Hi Patrick,

If you are waiting for a Flow Hive 2 to come - there is the option of purchasing a bottom board, brood box, and roof from Flow (or no roof) (at a special price because you are waiting for your Flow Hive 2) . You can use your voucher for this purchase also.

You can then use this second brood box for your hive, or keep it as a spare for swarms, splits, etc.

If you would like to organise this you can email customer support with your order number, and customer support can help you https://www.honeyflow.com/contact/p/3

Or Dawns idea is also a good option for a temporary home :slight_smile: