Does anyone know where to get wood starter strips from?

I have run out of my flow starter strips- I’ve had real success with them- and need more. Anyone know where to get them in Australia?

I get mine from the hardware or paint store…paint stirring sticks.


Yes make then it’s easy. Does the frame come with a wedge? If it does you can turn it on it’s edge

I just rang a local beekeeping supplier and asked about wooden starter strips, this was his reply, “You mean like on that flow hive crap?” :wink: Short story is NO- he doesn’t have them. Longer story: he said I would run into trouble come harvest time… i replied: no need for spinning with flow frame…

@Dee - I also asked him if his frames came with the wedge- he said they haven’t come like that in 25 years… ?

Surely there is some source for them in Australia? I liked the flow ones as they are a 100% perfect fit. I also need some because I am making some modified flow supers and need them for the sides where they keep the flow frames from touching the two outer walls of the box… they are perfect for that job as well…

@sara Does the Flow team have any plans to offer them for sale? If not- can you please point me to where I can get them?

If you are willing to experiment… Here in California, normal paint stirring sticks are actually too thick. But what does work is ice-lolly sticks or “craft sticks”. Craft sticks can be purchased from art and craft shops, and ice lolly sticks may even be available in a local supermarket. Depends on what the Ozzies normally use to make those frozen fruit juice treats! :smile:

Another possibility is wood shims from your local hardware store - they come in a variety of thicknesses, and you may find a non-tapered shim which works well. They are very cheap, too. :blush:

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thanks Dawn, I will check at the hardware. In Australia a huge chain called Bunnings has swallowed all the smaller hardware stores- and despite being huge places- they no longer stock a whole range of things you used to be able to find at a local hardware store…

I am surprised I cannot buy the made for purpose item? I found a US beekeeping place that sells them for 75 cents each! Eeek! I was thinking they should be around the 10 cent mark or less? At 75 cents they are not that much cheaper than foundation- and more expensive than using a starter strip of foundation…

I am hoping Flow will stock them- now that they encouraged me to start using them by including them in their package…

I used some in a recent split we made- and the bees have drawn out superb comb- they seem to me to be a very easy option for natural comb.

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Hi Jack, you’ll be able to get them from Burnett Beekeeping Supplies. I heard that they recently cut 40k of them:) All you need is a piece of pine & a 6" power saw. I could knock some up for you in no time.
PS. if you can find a flow user that wants to go with foundation, you might be able to talk him/her into parting with their starter strips.

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Flow is not currently offering parts like this. I would get a paint stirrer and sand it down or look in the trim department for some little filler that would do the job. Know someone with a little table saw? Rip a pine board for strips. Shouldn’t be too hard to gin something up.
Good luck!

Just spoke to Burnett- they have them- and they are 20 cents a pop- which is doable. I ordered a few hundred. Problem solved! I am also getting the Burnett catalogue emailed to me- they seem like a good supplier. Once again- thanks Jeff.

Glad you found a supplier Semaphore.
That’s the thing about the suppliers over here they are so set in their ways that they can’t see the oportunity to provide to a niche market for us backyard bee keepers instead it’s all about the commercial guys.
Maybe I’m in the wrong business…

I extract foundationless frames all the time. But no, you don’t need to extract with the flow frames.

Well done Jack, you’re welcome. Wow 20 cents each, I might order some myself, they make great garden markers:) Just kidding. They are a good supplier & really nice genuine people to deal with. That’s where I take my wax to convert to foundation.

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Do you pre-wax the strips to encourage bees to start building on them?

I have heard conflicting advice on this - some say yes, they take to it faster, others say that it compromises the bond between the comb and the guide… so maybe just prewax a little spot and let them do the rest? :man_shrugging:t4:

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I’ve never bothered to use wax on my new starter strips. The bees take to them fine. Obviously when you recycle or reuse there is wax.

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Thanks, I’m helping a new flow hive owners who are going foundationless, whereas I’ve also used wax sheets… any tips on how I should checkerboard 10f box with 5f nuc? Will this work:


N foundationless frame
X nuc frames

it will work- sort of. Checker-boarded like that gives every foundationless a good chance to be made evenly. However could well have a lot more drone comb than foundation frames. In spring such frames can be ugly and bumpy with large patches of drone brood… Wouldn’t neccesraily want to checkerboard so much if the colony is at all weak or it’s going to cold. But if the nuc population is high (every frame covered in bees/and lots of capped brood) and it is warm spring weather it will all work better.