Bottom board question

Greeting all,

I’m in Southern California and have a question. The foam bottom board that came with the flowhive, do we leave it in all year or do we remove it? Removing it would leave the hive open, except for the screened base. Need some guidelines.


G’day Will, this is a question that will get a variety of answers. My answer is: I’d place it in the top slot & leave it there all season. I’d go one better & fill in the area above the screen so that you finish up with a flat floor, flush with the entrance. You’d need to put drain holes at the rear of the hive to allow rain water to escape.

Hello thee Jeff,

why is that? I take it you are against screened bottoms? Is that a universal thing- or particular to your climate? I ask because I am thinking of designing a horizontal langstroth hive and was wondering about whether to have a sealed bottom or screened. It would be much easier to make a sealed hive… but I was thinking the screen and removable/cleanable bottom board was a good thing.

I put my board on the lowest level for summer ventilation. Check weekly for signs of mites, had one today. I think that’s what it’s for.

I too am looking at building a horizontal lang hive. I will design mine with the screened bottom to help in the aid of fighting off the hive bettle. I think that I will have three slide out boards from the rear rather than one large one from the end. Bettle traps can go on this bottom board. Having the slide out bottom boards is easy to control the traps as you would not need to remove all the frames to get to the bottom. The screened board is also good for ventilation.

Three boards you say?

I just found a plan like that for a bespoke hive in the USA- but now I can’t find the link…

I have another question about the Flow Hive bottom-board: we had ours in the lower slot for autumn- and put it into the upper slot for winter. If you remove the board and look at the screen you can see millions of bee legs poking down and through. The fit in the upper slot is very tight: we were worried when we slid the board in that we might have chopped off thousands of bee feet? eek!

Hey Guys,

Just what is this horizontal Langstroth hive ? Kind of fuzzes my brain trying to imagine the concept ! Clue me in … The what n Why ? Thanks !


It is similar to a top bar hive. It is a single level hive of standard Langstroth frames, which expands horizontally. So instead of stacking boxes of 8 or 10 frames, you just add another outer frame when the existing frames are full. The hive might have 20 to 40 frames in it, depending on how it is built. Those frames will all be on the same level.

The advantage is that you don’t have to lift boxes, you just lift frames. Also, because the frames are all the same height, they are good for disabled beekeepers in wheelchairs, because you don’t need a helper to lift off the top boxes. The disadvantage is that it is hard to use a queen excluder - the queen gets to lay wherever she pleases. Also, when it comes to harvesting, you can’t clear the bees with a bee escape, unless you design one yourself.

Overall, they are a great idea, but they have some plusses and minuses. I think variety in beekeeping is great, and I am happy that people try different things. If they didn’t, we wouldn’t have Flow Frames! :smile:

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Hi Gerald

Attached is the YouTube link to the horizontal langstroth hive that I want to copy from one of your countrymen. I will make a few modifications such as the bottom board and entrances.


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Do a search on this site about the screened base. There is information about the smaller bees being able to fit thru the screen. It happened on both of my hives so for now I am leaving the foam board in the top position.

I put the foam board down on the second notch and the next day there were an unusually high number of bees at the back of the hive. I used a flashlight to look in the back and actually saw some of the bees wriggling thru the screen and leaving the hive that way. That’s when I did my search on the forum and found out about the two issues with the screens. I’ll make repairs on mine when I have a little more time but until then my foam board has to stay in the top position tight against the screen.

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Hey everyone,

Neat n interesting … Cool idea … For now I’ll have to pass on hives that GO horizontal. I have limited ground space at my location but this is still a cool idea… As with all a list of Pluses n Minuses ! But thus is all in life ! LOL :smiley:… I appreciate the info’s n vid links.

As always … This forum is not perfect but Close n Great place to learn n bat stuff around ! Mixing up another pail 5 gallons of bee beverage this morning …, big black berries flow should hit mid-week so just maybe they want need much more n still keep building plenty of combs.

Ta Ta everyone,

Hey Garald

You snooze, you loose. Good luck with the verticals and good luck to your back. :grin:

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Hi Michelle, I like a solid floor because I believe the bees only need an entrance. With a proper entrance they are able circulate air throughout the hive. All they have in the wild is entrances, if the entrance is too big, the bees will block some off with propolis. I’m not a fan of tiny entrances either.

You’ll see the odd photo in books & on videos how bees circulate air throughout the hive. One example is tissue paper on one side of the entrance being sucked in at the same time tissue paper on the other side being blown out. This is why I like an entrance with a bit of width about it. So that the air coming in doesn’t clash with the air being blown out.

I have a friend who made a long Lang hive. He made a beautiful job of it. However he wasn’t impressed, admittedly he didn’t trial it very long. He believed bees in his normal Lang hive performed better.

Another thing about a long Lang hive is: it’s heavy & cumbersome to move around compared to normal Lang hives that can be separated.

If I was going to build a long Lang hive, I’d have one wide entrance & no screen bottom board.

Having said all that, I believe people use SBB’s as a form of mite control. Something we don’t have in Australia yet.

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