I’m not trying to recreate the wheel, but I was wondering if I can buy portions of the Flowhive and build/make portions of the hive myself to keep costs down. $700 is steep for me.
You can buy just the Flow frames, and buy or build a standard Langstroth hive. Flow has instructions on how to modify the Langstroth so that you can harvest from the Frames while they are in your non-Flow hive. The least you could spend to get a hybrid Flow/non-Flow system in your super is $259 which would buy you 3 Flow frames. You would then need to put 4 traditional deep frames in the same box.
I haven’t priced it out exactly, but if you went to a company like Mann Lake, you could probably put together a hive for $150 to $200. Depending on your location, you may need 2 brood boxes and one super - so 3 deep boxes. They wouldn’t be cedar, but the bees don’t care, and it would considerably cheaper than purchasing a full hive from Flow.
Awesome! That price I can handle. Any tips on where I can get info/plans on putting it all together?
If you order Langstroth hive parts from Mann Lake, Brushy Mountain or Kelley, they all come with instructions.
If you only want to pay for 3 Flow frames, make sure you order an 8-Frame Langstroth, as you can’t fit 3 properly into a 10-Frame, you would need to buy 4 Flow frames to make that work.
Once you have your hive parts, these videos show you what to do, depending on whether you have an 8 or 10-Frame Langstroth to modify:
Looks pretty easy. Probably a day of work for me, but I don’t do much woodworking. An hour or two if you are a pro!
Other place that carry boxes and equipment would Big R, Red’s, Murdoch’s, Bomgaards and some Tractor Supply stores which may or may not be local to you, but you can cash and carry and not worry about delivery times.