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Brood box missing frames


Hi, I am totally new to beekeeping. I have been reading up on it for several months, getting ready to start this spring.

I just bought a Flow Hive from a lady who decided she didn’t want to be a beekeeper. She never used the hive, so it’s in great shape. However, she didn’t have any frames for the brood box. The only things she had are a couple of thin, solid wood panels that hang down, like the brood frames would. Does anyone know what these are for? Does anyone know where I can get the right brood frames for that box? Thanks



Hi Mark
I reckon you’ll need to post a few photos for this one.


Follower boards?


IF it is a genuine Flow it’s a normal langstroth hive so any beekeeping supplier will be able to supply the frames for the brood box.


I dare say she may have been trying to save money and hoped the bees would just move into the brood box.
It may sound odd but…….

I’ve just bumped into an old workmates son, who tells me his father had also bought a flow hive system.

To save money he made many mistakes the first being he bought a Chinese set-up.

After assembling it all he placed the empty brood box with the ‘Flowhive’ super on top outside.
He didn’t put anything inside the brood except some honey to entice the bees inside.
After a month he found it riddled with all sorts of insects.

I suggested to learn a bit first.


They do sound like ‘follower boards’ and my bet is that you purchased a fake flow hive. Genuine Flow hives do not come with follower boards but I have seen some poor quality fake flow hives that do. I think they had to use them as the dimensions of their hives were not correct.

Follower boards are used to restrict the size of the brood chamber as the bees build out the frames. You can move the board along as you add more frames.

If you post a picture of your hive we can tell you if it’s genuine. If it isn’t: I would suggest you call that lady and look into getting your money back. Otherwise you are taking a big gamble using something that may not work. The wooden hive itself may be fine- but the plastic fake flow frames may not work properly. Also I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the dimensions of the wooden hive are not correct langstroth standard dimensions. This could all be a big pain for you to find out down the track.


Hi Mark,

I’d have to say, I think you’ve been Snookered ! I have two Authenic Flow-Hives (one 8 frame n one wider 10 frame setup. Nope ! No follower boards n the kit comes with either 8 or 10 foundationless brood frames period.

I’d carefully look :eyes: over the Honey Super. I’m guessing it’s not actually a Flow-Super but a Chinese look alike that has major problems n many issues if they work at all.

As several others have mentioned … post a few as good a quality pix’s as possible of the brood box, SSB ( screened bottom board ), upper inner cover n roof. Then some of the actual plastic honey frames n the super box.

All is not lost. Heck ! Bees live in trees, walls, caves n etc. You might not have what you thought you had but don’t give up the ship. Alt plans can be cast n come up with beekeeping success. Only two of my bee colonies live in the actual Flow-hives. The rest are in normal 8 or 10 frame wide Langstroth style hives n do well.

Stand in touch n get your bees ordered, read some basic beekeeping books, Flow has some great videos n find a local bee club n a mentor if possible. Stack the beekeeping deck of cards in your favor !

Cheers n good luck, :four_leaf_clover:

. This is a type of winter set up I use here in Western Washington state. Every one has some pet (individual ideas) depending on local conditions n needs. . Here’s a couple Flow-supers before I store them away in large black plastic bags to protect from insect, animal n environmental damage. :ok_hand:


Hi Dan, here are some pics


Sorry to say, that does not look like a genuine Flow Hive. The queen excluder is different.
Also, Flow does not supply those type of wooden brood frames.

You are however welcome to email Flow customer support with the original order number or the email address that was used when she first purchased the “Flow Hive” so that we can see if we have an order in our system.


That is not like any Flow hive I have seen. You may still be able to use the boxes. I like the deep frames from Mann Lake - the finish is nice. You have to buy nails and glue separately. These are the ones (FR-921) I use in brood boxes. You can use them with or without foundation:


Thanks for the replies everyone. I have no reason to suspect that the seller knew any better than I did that this is a fake Flow Hive. Heck, it didn’t even occur to me that there might be fakes out there… (you may commence laughing :slight_smile:) I’ll give her the same benefit of the doubt, unless and until I learn otherwise.

I’ll call her and see if she’ll give me my money back. If not, I guess I’m poorer in dollars, but richer in wisdom. I looked again at the Craig’s List add she posted, and she called it an “Auto Flow Bee Hive” - not a “Flow Hive”, so technically I don’t feel that I can claim she misrepresented it. In a combination of ignorance and enthusiasm, I just ass-u-me’d it was what I had been looking for.

I draw some consolation from the fact that I didn’t pay anywhere near what a real flow hive costs, so maybe I actually got my money’s worth - haha…

I will do some more research to find out whether the plastic in these flow supers is food grade or not. If not, I guess I can just buy and assemble the frames I need, and make it into a standard Langstroth hive. All is not lost! Thanks again, for your help.


Thanks, Faroe. I did that already, and found that this was not on order in your system… :frowning:


Thanks for the tip, Dawn! Newbie question: Is there a difference between brood frames, and frames used as honey supers?


They can be the same, or you may choose to make them different. I like my brood frames to have wired foundation, and I use deep boxes for brood. I also use 2 deeps for brood below the honey supers, because we have long nectar dearths in SoCal.

For honey supers, I either use the Flow super (which has plastic Flow frames) or medium 8-frame Langstroth boxes. The reason for choosing medium depth is weight. I am a girlie, and a full deep of honey is above my lifting ability. You could pull the frames out one at a time, but I prefer to take the whole super off at once.

In the medium box, you will have to use medium frames, but you have a choice of foundation, or no foundation. If you are going to extract the honey in a spinner, you will probably choose wired foundation, so that the comb withstands the force of spinning. If you want comb honey, you may go foundationless, or use a super thin, non-wired foundation. If you are going to crush and strain, you could do either. The frames I listed can take wired, non-wired or glued in craft sticks for a foundationless option, which is why I like them. :wink:

Please ask away if you have more questions. The only thing we can’t advise you on is the non-Flow plastic frames. Everything else will be the same. I am glad that you have decided to go ahead anyway. :blush:


Hi Mark…Thanks Mark for posting the photos.

I suspected as much from your first post - the only thing I wondered might be a possibility back then, was if the seller had (for whatever reason)- purchased follower boards in addition to a real Flow hive - the genuine product not coming with them as far as I know.

It is amazing what people are up to out there…

Anyhow, I hope it goes well for you.


I came across your post and the photo’s, use the queen excluder in the photo as kindling for lighting a fire, it is made of slithers of bamboo and is just junk, it will not keep the queen where you want her. It is typical of the Chinese look alike ‘flow hive’.
I use a metal queen excluder, the ones made of plastic become brittle with age and are a false economy.
Hope you are sorting your problems and you will always get good help from this forum.