We just received our flow hive body and have put it all together. We were super happy with the instructions provided and the body was easy to assemble.
I do have one question though. The flow frame box just sits on top of the brood box. There isn’t anything attaching the two boxes together. This is my first bee hive. So I am wondering how it all stays together. Will strong wind or a “bump” make the top box fall off? Just concerned about it toppling over and making the bees super unhappy!!
So, is it ok that the boxes are not attached together?
What a fantastic question, I am sure you will get a lot of answers. Many people don’t attach the boxes together, as the weight of bees and honey keeps them pretty well seated, and after a while, the bees will propolis glue the lower box to the base. However, if you live in an area with raccoons or possums, you may at least want to put a heavy weight on the hive roof, like a large stone. Some people even “tether” their hives. I like simple solutions, so we have two types of attachments that we are trying out on our hives.
The simplest is this locking clip - one screw in each of two adjacent hive bodies, and rotate the clip to latch together:
So far so good, but this is the first season we have tried them. The other thing to consider is a decent hive stand. This serves several purposes. First, it raises the brood box to a more ergonomic height for when you are examining the frames. Second it makes it harder for skunks and rodents to raid the hive. Third it provides a nice solid flat surface for your hive to rest on. There are other threads on the forum about hive stands - they can be purpose-built, or you can just use a stack of 2 or 4 cinder blocks. Just make sure that the stand is nice and level.
I will be very interested to hear what others have to say about attachments.
Pretty much my idea - I bought 2 straps in a pack and when I realised how good they were for the price got 4 more - even have my empty Flows strapped down - we have had really high bluster winds and the straps are invaluable.
If you fossic around there are some good deals to be had.
Also I went for the 5m (16 feet approx) straps - if you strap something smaller they can be ratcheted from closer in and the excess I just rolled and tied neatly.
As long as possible… to accommodate five supers on each hive
I may be getting a flow but I couldn’t possibly afford to caparison every colony thus.
Anyway, imagine having to visit five flow hives all the time to empty them … You couldn’t just turn on the tap and walk away!
Thank you all!! This info is super helpful. It sounds like straps might be a way to go. But I also think I like the ease of a little latch. I had not thought of the raccoons!!! We do have those around and will have to watch for that! Having a way to anchor the hive down might be needed. But maybe having a stand so the hive is up off the ground might help.
Again, thanks for your awesome info. As I am just learning, I appreciate it so much!
I have read here of several like strapping or latching their hives together. I have no issue with that. I’ve never felt a need for this as the bees securely propolis/glue the hive body together themselves shortly after I check their colony.
If I intend on moving a hive a distance then I batten n ratchet slap my hives together for the journey. So I’d feel free to do either. Seems an extra unneeded process too me. I raised bees for school project for 8 years n never had one move but sure have plied on the boxes to separate them. You will always find many opinions n thots. So just take what you deem useful from any of us. Most ideas are not wrong !
Good luck n enjoy your new hobby.
Coalfield bee lover (Puget Sound foothills USA east of Seattle)…
Ha ha…if I didn’t tie down my hives…they would soon be in the next county! 70mph winds here ATM with horizontal rain…and gusts of wind up to 90mph. The Beehaus stays put though…despite dire warnings about it blowing over by some of the diehards around here!
Hi Gerald, I’m on the same page as you. I never strap my hives down. I have a brick handy to put on freshly painted boxes & lids to hold down until the bees do the propolizing. Any lid that needs to be prized off wont blow off, I reckon.
Hi HorseHill, yours n I am guessing some others do have reasons to latch n try down your hives. But as I mentioned that is NOT needed by many. A large brick is more than adequate to keep our lip on !
I live in a moderate weather zone as many n latches n tie downs are completely unnecessary here. Our region has a lot of trees n hedges. Yours is justified I am sure … My hives are also in an urban environment behind a 6’ baffling fence to greatly reduce any damaging winds. Our highest winds on my Noaa reporting weather station was only 55 mph so you have me greatly beat in the wind department.
I was just saying in my former reply we don’t all find it needful to latch or try our hives down. I do thank you for your comment. B.T.W. Approx. where do you live to get these High Gale winds. 90 mph is kicking butt bad sailing weather too …
Enjoying the exchange of ideas n thots.
Coalfield BeeLover ( 20 plus ms SE of Seaftle in the Cascade foothills ) …
I know HHH is on a hill but I’m in suburbia - the winds knocked my 2 Flow hives, stacked on top of each other and ratcheted and tied together off the tree stump they were on. so the 90mph wind can knock over 30-40 lbs of hives
The winds will have taken down trees around here - I’m in suburbia - My hives only survived because the joint weight of 4 Hives 2 Nucs and 2 lots of bees held the stand in place and the hives were ratchet strapped to the stand.
Your little brick would have been half way down my yard and the hive assunder
Yes I live on top of a hill…exposed to western Atlantic gales. But we have great views out to sea. My hive stands have paving slabs on them and the hives are strapped to the stands. If we don’t strap it down…it disappears! All my stored supers are inside a shed or else I could wave goodbye to them! Must be lovely to just have gentle breezes. Here in the UK we have been having some high storms causing flooding and damage. A few weeks ago part of our barn roof blew off and ended up across the lane in a field! Yep…our bees are tough as we see them out nearly every day despite it being winter here!
Guess I’ll stay here SE of Seattle ! Yip we loss trees, roofs, n more but my neighbors solid 6’ fence my barn n wind break seem to keep mine on the ground with my over sized brick. We all have different problems. Mine are not running after my hives. I’d diffinately do what you’re having do if I had that much wind but we’ve only seen plus 90’s twice in
my life. Love my walk in the park life out here in Western Washington.
Hi Horsehill, clue me in about where your business is … My mom’s family came from outside London. I’ve read some about meteorology stuff about west coast high Gales there. Your right ! Your butt gets kicked harder with vicious Wx coming in off the Northern Atlantic. I am lucky n glad I
live in a bit more protected zone living nearly 100 miles from the Pacific. Cheer.
All the western gales catch us…even on a summers day it is breezy…but it is lovely here…we have land for the horses and great trail riding through the woods.
How long ago did you family come to the States? I used to live in Smyrna, Atlanta. Jonquil County…the dogwoods were beautiful!