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Brood frame foundation


The frames came without foundations. I see in some places on the flowhive website that the hive comes with, “a standard wax foundation”. Am I missing something?

If I wasn’t supposed to receive a foundation, and I would like to buy elsewhere and install one, I see that there are several styles. What style of foundation do I need for the standard frames that come with a flowhive?

thx, tom.c


Standard wax foundation for a Langstroth Deep will do it. You can always cut to size but they are generally a standard size (deep)


There are several threads on this forum covering this, but basically Flow decided to go foundationless. They intend that you glue the comb guide into the top bar of the frame, and bees build their own comb. You can use foundation if you want to, but it isn’t needed.



No Wax is supplied it would be an international nightmare as some products will not be allowed in certain countries.

  • You can go Wax/Foundation free using the strips of wood that came on your frames

  • You can use small Wax Starter strips

  • You can use Full Wax foundation

  • Or you can use Plastic Foundation


I just went with the wood starter strips which came with the frames and the bees had no problems with it.

After one week


There. See what a mess the bees make without foundation! :wink:


Beautiful!!! Natures Architects / Engineers at their finest!!


That makes lots of since that shipping would be a problem. I hadn’t thought of that. Thanks!

Beeing an engineer :), I would like to experiment with the methods you mentioned (without, starters, wax, plastic).

Would I have to remove the starter strip that comes with the frame and use the snap-in foundations? I note that there’s three holes on the side pieces. Are these used for something foundation-ish?



There should be 4 holes each side - they are used for horizontal wiring, if you want to do that.[quote=“tcumming, post:8, topic:5286”]
Would I have to remove the starter strip that comes with the frame and use the snap-in foundations?

I suggest you buy some extra frames to try other methods. The Flow wood frames are great for foundationless if you use the frame guides, or for plastic (wax-coated) foundation if you don’t. You can horizontally wire them yourself if you want to, and Louise has a video showing you how to do that and put in unwired all wax foundation, but it is quite a process.

However, if you want to try traditional wired foundation, you might do better with “wedge” top bars and split bottom bars, available from Mann Lake and other major suppliers. The wedged frames just hold the foundation better. They are pretty cheap at $1 to $1.40 per frame, depending on quantity. I use wedge top bars for wax foundation starter strips too - just cut a 1/2 wide strip from unwired foundation, and trap it using the wedge to the top bar, very easy.



Even after 9 months some of my Plastic frames are not full drawn - My girls are not keen on either the yellow or black plastic - I hope they take to the Flow Frames when the season really takes off


Hi have to say that I have the best success using wax foundation. I checked a Flow brood frame with a wooden starter strip this morning. I put it in the middle of the brood of a reasonably strong hive nearly 2 weeks ago. I fully expected it to be nearly full. It was only about a quarter full, admittedly it was worker comb. Had I used wax foundation, it would have been fully drawn & laid up with young brood.

I tried to persuade these Flow customers into using wax foundation, but they want to go with starter strips. So starter strips it will be.


Wow! This is really great feedback.

But the answer is, there appears to be no clear answer except the flowhive comes with a simple starter strip.

I suspect that there’s no clear answer to what foundation to use is b/c bees are fickle, and some like it one way, and some like it another. I.e., my wanting to experiment is likely the real, right answer !!!

Another thing I learned is that the basic frames are cheap, and just buy a bunch to keep on hand so I can try different things.

I’ve already found the various youtube videos how to install the foundations, and getting a nuc started. I’ve also been going to the local bee club when the open their hives every other week just to get an education from them.

Thanks for all of your excellent comments!!!



Hi Tom I find that bees can be fickle when it comes to any other foundation except wax foundation. Sometimes you can buy regular foundation (15 to the kilo) or heavy foundation (12 to the kilo) I go for the heavy foundation.

Really, it is a no brainer.


Hiya Jeff, do you use wax foundation in your native bee hives?


Hi Greg, no they make their own. I split my 3 hives a month ago & made a video of it. I need to do an update now & put it at the end of the video before uploading it to You Tube. Two of them have new queens, I’m still waiting for evidence of the third one. If that doesn’t happen, I’ll give it some young brood out of the strongest mother hive.


Could I trouble you to post a link of that here? I am fascinated by the variety of things you do, and I would love to see it. I couldn’t find it easily on youtube… :blush:


Hi Dawn & thanks. I still need to finish that video, which I’ll do today. I have the video in moviemaker ready to go but had second thoughts about it, I wanted to show what the bees do inside after a split. The way I split mine is different to the way other people do them. After much thought, I think my way is better.


Yes please, Jeff…


Thank you Dee, I better get going & get to my bees, I’m robbing again. bye


Hi @skeggley, @Dee & @Dawn_SD, I got the video finished & uploaded. I hit the jackpot with the thumbnail photo YouTube selected for me. cheers.