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Convert Flow Hive to horizontal


Hi all

Today, 1st of April 2018, I converted my Flow Hive from one box on top of the other, to two boxes side by side, in order to avoid heavy lifting and gross disturbance of the bees, during the monthly maintenance I do on my brood box in the nectar flow months.

You can see details here: https://www.academia.edu/36301624/20180401_Flow_Hive_Convert.pdf

best wishes


Had a look at the photo’s and you have a great idea but I have a couple of questions. How have you secured the brood box and the flow hive together? ie Many bolts, and if so do you feel the bees will work the comb near the bolts and nuts, thinking of it may be a bit squeezy? The only draw back I can think of it will now be a nearly impossible job to attempt a relocation but for a stationary hive you might be onto something good with some lateral thinking.


Hi Peter

I used screws that were just short of the width of two sides. Since pine is so soft, it was easy to screw them to just below the surface.

Yes, I thought of that, as I have the idea of moving in about four years.

I would just get two pieces of hardwood the length of the two boxes, which is 720mm and secure them to the bottom of both hives. To me, that will make it easier to move than a top heavy two boxes.

best wishes


Seems you have a good idea there and have covered any arguments against it I cam think of. Lateral thinking and you have come up with a lateral bee hive. I like that.
I have just tripped over 70 years and not endowed with height so I have actually been waiting to hear from you as to how the bees have accepted the change. That could well catch on with people like me and don’t have ambitions of chasing nectar flow.
A fairly simple idea but has merit and I look forward to you updating the forum.


I would like to see your adaption but have resisted joining another service so that I can.

there are a couple of long langstroths that have been built by forum members to take flow frames. Most have been out in the wild for a honey season and the owners maybe able to provide an update.



Hi Adam

I understand that, if you say ‘no’ to joining Academia, you will still be allowed access to the file.

I hope so.

best wishes


Hey Adam, I joined Academia, looked at the pics then deleted Academia from my computer with no hassles. Know what you object to about cluttering up a computer with stuff you won’t use again.


I have been thinking when you come to move the ‘hybrid’ using the beams under the hives put a bolted upright on the ends of each beam then bolt a horizontal off each of the uprights to a lower than shoulder height. As the Chinese or Japanese do to move a noble person in comfort with a guy at either end. Hope you follow my gist.


yes, I do and that might be good, once I get it out of the enclosed space it’s in.

I have to lift it over a low (~1m high) fence first.


Where are you at? I’m at Coolum Beach Qld, the fence is about shoulder height for me but if reasonably close when the time comes count me in for a hand. I was genetically cheated on my height LOL…


I’m in Logan Shire, south of Brisbane.

I’d only move it and move myself, if I find a property/community into which I fit.

Living here with my brother, who let’s me do what I like (as it ‘improves the value of his property’ vs my ‘improves the livability of my home’), but doesn’t do things with me, as we have different interests, is not ideal to me and not what ‘brothers/family’ are about.


Do you know about Chen Resnic (spelling may be wrong) out in the Nambour area? May be worth looking into.


This post is now totally off topic.

Please continue this off topic discussion by personal messaging.


An update to the convert is: the bees have settled down. I don’t know if you could see from the picture/s, but I chose to have only one entry. I put the entrance under the honey super box, but that is no good, because, when the bees need to re-queen the hive, due to her old age and poor production of eggs, the new queen could not get out to mate. So I have to swap the bottom boards around, so the entry is under the brood box, as in the normal vertical setup.

Obviously wasn’t thinking straight when I did it the other day.

Since only the boxes are connected. it shouldn’t be too difficult.


We can all have those moments. At least you thought of it now and not a panic station at the critical time. Keep us updates, I think you idea really good as it lowers the flow hive to a more satisfactory height for shorter folks.
I am busy doing frames with foundation and wiring a few more frames. I pick up 2 nuc’s from @JeffH on Sunday and bust with getting things done, mowing the hive area so the bees will have a week to settle before I check them.


Ok- I had a look at your photos- I have also made a horizontal flow hive. All I can say at this point is ‘it may work’. But I have to say it may not work as well as in the normal configuration. Some of the issues you may encounter:

  1. however you have the hole that connects the boxes and the QX- may have created some additional bee space- the bees may now build comb there and partially block the QX. You will have to keep an eye on that

  2. the bees may not fill the flow frame evenly- focusing more on the one nearest the brood- to the exclusion of those on the other side. I only have 4 flow frames in my hive- and this reduces this issue. I think if I had six the bees would rarely visit/work the outermost frames.

I have only had bees in my horizontal hive for a year now- and have not produced as much honey as I might have with a normal set up. The bees are filling the flow frames but taking a long, long time to cap them. It will take me one more season to fully test the concept. My hive was set back when it had to requeen itself. I have had some small issues with the QX getting partially blocked by brace and honey comb. You have to really think about the bee space issues involved- and try and minimise any unwanted areas from the design. I can see you may have an issue with the connection between the two boxes- I imagine there is an inch and a half void there…

The big advantage so far has been ease of inspections. Another advantage is that when you harvest there is no risk of honey going into the brood box.

This is my hive:


Hello @Semaphore, would the longer time before the bees cap the frames be put down to a lower amount of heat from the bees going into the ‘super’ as they are not under it(the super) so loosing the air flow and convection as in a normal hive so there would be less evaporation of water from the honey or have you other thoughts.
I also agree the bees will fill the closer frames first then work across to eventually fill any available frame they have available.
An interesting point you raise about maybe the building of comb against the QX, I guess time will tell if that is an issue.


Hi Semaphore

Thanks for your input.

Re the first point. Yes, I did have in mind a whole new box, like your beautiful one and a metal QX put in place with some wood around the edges, like a grove to slide it into. There is the width of a side panel (~20mm ~0.8inch) on either side of the QX and I’ll keep an eye on it for burr comb, thanks.

Re the second point. I don’t mind if the bees prefer filling the frames closer to the brood first.

Re the third point. I put my bees in towards the end of Summer and they didn’t fill the frames till well into the next Spring.

I hadn’t put 2 and 2 together to come up with ‘Another advantage is that when you harvest there is no risk of honey going into the brood box.’ thanks.

best wishes


The issue with a vertical QX is the bee space- any additional space and the bees will fill it. They actually turned my QX into a frame of capped honey- though they only blocked 70% of it and seemed to leave a section clear as a thoroughfare.

I’m not sure if the slow capping is down to reduced airflow- or that the bees prefer to move up than across. I plan to open up that hive soon to see what’s going on. I have a feeling there will be a great deal of honey in the brood area. I’ll post some photos when I do


Yes, I already understood that point. Maybe ‘burr comb’ has a different meaning to you than me, but I understand you are saying they treated the QX as foundation and built honey comb on either side.

I tried to address the point of extra space by saying ‘a grove to slip the QX into’, which would only need to be 5mm high and would not need to go the length of the box, just in the corners. It could even touch frames on either side near the corners.