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Confused about box sizes


Can someone get me the measurements for the box that comes with the flow hive?
I would like to add medium boxes to my flow hive when it gets here but the 8 frame / 10 frame thing is confusing me.


OK some more digging and I think I found what I was looking for at www.kelleybees.com. So just in case someone else is wondering (please tell me I’m not the only one :smile: )

Hive Bodies
A Langstroth hive is comprised of a stack of components, including multiple boxes. Each box is called a hive body.
Hive bodies come in three different sizes:

Standard deep: 19-13/16” x16- ¼” x 9-9/16”, usually just called “deeps”
Medium super: 19-13/16” x16-¼” x 6-5/8”, usually just called “mediums”
Shallow super: 19-13/16” x 16-¼” x 5-3/4”, often referred to as “honey supers” or “shallows”

What is Typical?
Arguably the most common type of hive is comprised of two deep bodies, with a varying number of honey supers on the top. That configuration is still probably the most common, although the number of deeps and honey supers will vary, depending upon geographic location, whether the hive is used for honey production or breeding, beekeeper preferences, time of year, etc.
While this basic configuration was mainstream for many decades, it is certainly on the decline. For many good reasons, it is becoming increasingly common to find hives comprised of just medium hive bodies.

All Mediums
A hive comprised of all medium hive bodies offers several advantages to the beekeeper, such as:

Just one size of hive body needed—greater interchangeability (the box can be a brood box as well as a honey collection box) and requiring less storage room.

Only one frame and one foundation size to ensure you have available.

A medium is lighter than a deep body—easier on everyone’s back, and easier for the not-so-muscular (or shorter) beekeeper.

8- or 10-Frame Boxes?
While 10-frame equipment has been the standard for decades, there probably isn’t a really good reason for that with 8-frame now readily available. Eight-frame is not only easier for the beekeeper, it also works for bees. As many beekeepers have been puzzled by over the years, honeybees rarely fill all 10 frames with honey or brood anyway, so why use 10-frame equipment?

Eight-frame hive body advantages include:

  • Weight—less of it, saving wear and tear on our backs

  • Many beekeepers believe it is easier to expand a nuc into an 8-frame instead of a 10-frame box; the bees seem to like the smaller box better. As your apiary expands in future years, you’ll be splitting successful hives into nuc boxes (typically five frames), and then will need to move them into larger boxes. Eight frames is an easier adjustment for them than 10.

  • Pest minimization: A healthy hive without too much room to patrol will better keep small hive beetles and other undesirable pests under control. Danny G., from Tennessee, elaborated: “Small hive beetles, where I live, seem to be a real problem. Strong hives can manage them. Weaker hives battle and sometimes, even with vegetable oil pans, etc. the battle is lost; the bees leave. One thing I am going to try is utilizing a 5-frame nuc to start 3-pound packages, as they grow move them to 8-frame and then to 10- frame hives, thus reducing the area inside the hive required for the bees to patrol as they increase in number. This requires monitoring and frame movement and a few extra boxes.”

  • You’ll need 20% less frames and foundation per box, a gain potentially offset by the need for perhaps more boxes. This point is certainly debatable, and filled with many variables, but we’ll provide a bit of explanation…A booming colony can quickly fill frames. If there are only eight in the box, they will be ready for the next box sooner. A good beekeeper, (not a bee haver) will be monitoring their expansion closely. You may need to put on the next box sooner than you would if you have 10-frame equipment; and over a significant number of hives, you may need a few more 8-frame boxes than you would 10-frame. In our opinion, this is not a significant advantage or disadvantage, but it is one we hear on occasion, so we wanted to cover it.


Looks like you have it all under control


One thing to mention here: you will need standard deeps to handle the flowframes, since they are not made currently to fit mediums. That means a beekeeper interested in flowframes is unable to completely standardize on mediums.


Thank you for mentioning the need for standard deeps as I was just about to purchase all mediums for simplicities sake.


3 medium is equivalent to 2 deeps if you want to use mediums for your brood chamber. But you will need at least one deep for the flow frames.

I’ve considered going with mediums for the brood chamber to allow me to expand the brood chamber in a slower more controlled way. In reading on this forum several people have recommended not to expand to fast so the hive can be more efficiently heated etc.


Yes that is my plan as well - all mediums except for the box with the flow frames.
if it gets to heavy for me to lift I will have to take some frames out first. its a bit of a pain but oh well :smile:


There is another option where you could put your brood box and entrance on top and honey super below, this is probably something to be considered for the more experienced beekeeper, but if you have a mentor they could help set it up. This way the brood is more easily accessible without having to lift off the honey super for inspection. Just a thought.


Hi Sabine, I use all deeps. I find that handy in managing my hives. I’m constantly shifting frames from the brood to the honey super & vise versa. I couldn’t imagine using anything else. I never lift a full box of honey, I generally take 3 or 4 frames out first. So I guess a 10 frame box with 6 frames weighs the same as a full box of ideals. I only use 9 frames in a 10 frame box. There are lots of reasons for lifting frames from the brood to the honey super. If a brood frame is full of honey except for a little bit of brood, you can put that frame in the honey box to let the brood hatch before taking the honey. If the frames get too old in the brood, you can lift them to the honey super to also let the brood hatch before filling it with honey. Sometimes I’ll put a nice new fully drawn frame from the honey box to the brood box to replace an old frame or even a frame with too much drone comb. This is all part of my strategy to keep the hives strong & healthy, also swarm control in the Spring. The Flow team say you need to check the brood twice a year. I check mine a lot more than that. Good luck with your beekeeping, bye


@adagna Adam you could always have deeps and use dummy boards - Frames that are just wood and use them on the ends.

I was going to buy Dummies but I have loads of frames and will convert some to Dummies both medium and deep - or just face them with card - cheaper than buying Dummies


Flow states the frames are designed to fit a “standard deep” Langstroth box (details here: http://www.honeyflow.com/faqs/what-are-the-dimensions-of-the-flow-frames/p/70). We have to assume they mean the standard size used in Australia. There is a large number of sizes all called Langstroth. The late Dave Cushman (UK) compiled a pretty comprehensive list, which is being updated by his friends: http://dave-cushman.net/bee/lang.html


I don’t disagree with the basics here, but I am confused by the insistence that “10-frame equipment has been the standard” when 8 frame equipment has been in constant use for the last 150 years. It may be true that 10 frame equipment was more common for the last 50, but eight frame equipment has never gone away. Eight frame hives are not new by any means. Their popularity has soared in recent years, but they never went away.


Are the actual measurements of the full flow hive posted anywhere?


Here is a link to the page with information about the Flow size and how it fits into a box;


Here is a post in a thread with info about the hive dimensions;



I can see now where the saying “there are as many different answers as there are beekeepers” comes from.


The bees will chew card. They even chew polystyrene. I use PIR insulation in any dummy that’s actually using up frame space. You get the added benefit that the insulation encourages brood right up to the side wall.