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Complete flow kit brood frame question


The site says that the brood box comes with standard frames with wax foundation. What does that mean exactly?

Do they already have wax combs? If so what size are the cells? I’m assuming the frames are deep to match the super frame size?

Sorry for the newbie questions.



The wax foundation is thin sheets with the markings of cells (slightly raised) the workers will draw them out when they settle in the hive.

Flow™ frames use a 5.8mm cell width standard worker size, the drone cells and queen cells are made in the hive when it’s up and going.

The Flow Frames are deep Langstroth Frames:



Thanks, that helps a lot!


There seems to be some evidence that foundation cell size is part of the varroa/pest problem and the 5.8mm measurement seems to be a bit on the large size. The wax foundation will have to go if they are delivered that way.

Is there an option for foundationless with a beveled top bar (or similar) to serve as a guide?

If not, can that please be set up as an option?


@SowthEfrikan they proved this is not true about smaller cells - in fact the opposite is true - here is the result excerpt and the full article–
"Five different foundations with
widths of 4.7, 4.8, 5.0, 5.1, and 5.4
mm were used. Six sheets of each
foundation type were drawn out in
honey supers I’m assuming to avoid
brood being reared in the comb. Then
50 x 80 mm rectangular sections
were cut out from each foundation
type and randomly inserted into the
center of newly drawn deep frames
that measured 5.4 mm. The sections
were held together in the deep frames
with melted wax.
A total of ten nucleus colonies
each were set up with two of the
above mosaic frames, a frame of
worker brood infested with Varroa, a
frame of honey, adult bees infested
with Varroa and a mated sister
queen. Colonies were monitored to
insure queens were laying well in
each of the foundation sections.
For each of the foundation types
between 234 and 440 evenly drawn
cells were uncapped and the internal
width of each cell measured for
a grand total of 1636. Number of
adult female Varroa mites and female
Varroa deutonymphs were recorded
along with the age of the pupae (determined
by eye color).
Mite infestation ranged from 28%
to 47%. The 4.8mm foundation size
had a signifi cantly higher infestation
(46.6%) of mites than the others
with the 5.4mm coming in with the
lowest infestation of 27.7%. In this
The trouble with experiments is that they have a knack for
demolishing good ideas. Aristotle was full of good ideas. In
fact, his ideas about the natural world were so reasonable that
they held unquestioned authority for over a millenium until the
so-called enlightenment of the seventeenth and eighteenth
centuries engendered investigative methods that mitigate
against bias and presupposition. From this point on, arm-chair
science was doomed, and many a brilliant idea has since
been ship-wrecked by the unforgiving objectivity of the
scientifi c method.
particular mite choice study the mites
preferred the smaller cells than the
larger ones. They too concluded that
small cell does not reduce infestation
by Varroa and therefore offers no
solution to the mite issues in New
Zealand. "



Thanks, Valli.

However, I really would prefer foundationless, no matter the cell size. A foundationless frame with a guide, such as a beveled top bar, would be ideal for people who let the bees build their own comb (like me).

Flow team, please look into it as an option. I think you will find a strong demand. Thanks!!!


The brood chamber frames are just standard frames so you can use them with or without foundation. There are a million tricks for making comb guides using standard frames just do a quick youtube or google search. Esp if they are wedge top frames. Just turn the wedge on end and tack in place… instant comb guide with no work. https://youtu.be/38SPvuWvVkc

Or insert a 1" strip of foundation to get them started. http://www.beverlybees.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/DSC_0260.jpg


Yes, thanks, I’d still prefer getting it with foundationless with guides in place. One less thing to mess with.


Even though I’m not experienced I do like the idea of letting the bees build their own comb any size they want. They know better than I do what the “right” size is :smile:

I will probably order a hive now while it’s season for the bees in my area then either transfer to the Flow when it ships or stack all of them if needed. While I agree the Flow guys may want to sell a foundationless version for those that want that option the frames are pretty cheap. This site has them with a nice wedge comb guide and it’s only $21 for 10 frames.


Seconded. It’d be great to have as an option. I myself was looking at removing any foundation that came with the frames.

This would make harvesting wax from the hive much easier, as no foundation to worry about.


Foundationless frames can be had relatively cheap. I bought a pack of 10 for $21 and free shipping.


It’s kind of unnecessary, there are a million ways to make a foundationless frame without using a wedge comb guide. A standard frame that accepts foundation is 100% compatible with any system a user wants to adopt. A foundationless frame is only compatible with the small percentage of people who do foundationless. For a start up company going with standard frames makes a lot of sense.

I personally plan to go foundationless, or with a starter strip of foundation but also plan to use standard frames to do so. There is another thread that I posted links to two videos/pictures on how to do this easily and free.


I didn’t receive any wax foundation with my brood box… should I have?


@BeeBee - no, you shouldn’t. Flow decided to change the frames to foundation less some time ago. You can use foundation if you want to, but you don’t have to, and you don’t need to either.


Anyone got any idea why the brood box has enough room spare to put the frames in loosely? Is there supposed to be a specifc gap between them? A long term beek couldn’t understand why the extra room and suggested I cut a piece of panel board to pack out the space…good idea or bad?


Langstroth frames are built to allow the correct Bee space.

Langstroth did all the calculations for us over 100 years ago and some people try to reinvent the wheel but if you use the recommended number of Frames per box then all should be well and the bees will be fine

:honeybee: :bee: :honeybee: :bee: :honeybee: :bee: :honeybee:


I’m in the “trying to re-invent the wheel” group. Honey Flow could’ve used that same excuse, but they didn’t and they came up with a cool product :slight_smile:


So on a recommendation from my local bee keepeers I have purchased a second Brood box and frames.

I now have 8 Foundationless frames:

and 8 Foundation frames:

I was wanting to do foundationless, but worried about the bees going cross comb so I was thinking perhaps I could use a combination of both in the first brood box and eventually the second.

Does any one have any recommendations on how to best do this? This video highlights that I definately shouldn’t put a foundationless frame between two foundation frames.

So am I best to put 4 foundation frames in the middle and foundationless on outside perhaps?

Also do you think I should space them out evenly or as per the Bee Space Video, push them all together in the center?

Bee Space video: (originally posted by Valli…great video post, thanks Valli!)

How do you start a Hive from a Package with Foundationless Frames?

They are, Valli is right.
The frames are called Hoffman frames and they have that shoulder that spaces the frames the correct distance apart while leaving space further down the side bar for the bees to get about and not glue the frames together

I start my foundation-less boxes by alternating foundation and starter strip. The following year you can work out those frames that were built on foundation and replace with starter strip one. Keep the frames, spare brood frames are invaluable.


Excellent thanks for Dee your reply! my concerns was 10 mins into the video he discusses that doing this can cause the bees to squeeze two combs in between the middle of the frames as they think it is a wall and try to maximise space. Have you ever had this happen before?