I am new in the Flow community. And after having my Flow hive in the garage for 8 years now, I finally want to start this spring. I live in the UK. And traditional beekeepers here keep telling me, that the Flow supers don’t work in the UK. The honey isn’t runny enough, they say. What are your experiences?
Hello and welcome to the Flow forum!
There are plenty of beekeepers in the UK with Flow hives who are absolutely successful with them. I haven’t seen them active on this forum recently, but @Paras uses a Flow hive, and @HappyHibee works for Landrover/Jaguar UK and runs their Flow hives very successfully at various locations in the UK:
Traditional beekeepers are often prejudiced against Flow hives, so I suggest you just say that you are using a Langstroth hive. Follow the local recommendations for Langstroth, and then come here to ask us any questions when it is time to put the super on the hive.
You might also consider trying out this group:
I am based in UK, I have 8 FlowHive and harvested 220kgs last year from them, the bees could have given me another larger amount of honey but I left it for them to winter on.
Do join the FlowHive UK Facebook group, you will certainly find alot of us there.
I do teach beginners & people have the opportunity to buy a Nucleus colony from me after the course. Once you get over the fear of being stung and learn about the bees you will enjoy the skill. Relating the Flowhive Super, I have had no issues for the last 7-8yrs each year have successful harvested a good amount of honey from the hives.
Send me a private message if you need any assistance and I will share you my contact details for you to contact me. I checked your post code and you are about an hour away.
I would recommend you join your local beekeeping club to get information about the nectar flows and issues in the area. Also the training around.
I hope that helps you
Many many thanks, this is very reassuring and actually exactly what I am and will be doing. I will definitely give it a try and if it doesn’t work, I will switch to a Langstroth - my Beekeepers Association is actually supporting me very well. But still - they are having their doubts. Fair enough
But very good to know that there is a good chance my supers will work
I will get in touch with you - thanks,
Sometimes seeing is believing, if you are willing to drive down to me, happy to show you my apiary and answer your questions.
The Flow hive is a Langstroth, just it has a modified super. So all you would need to do is buy some Langstroth supers, if you wanted to go pure Langstroth. You will likely need double brood, or brood and a half, so you may already need to buy some more boxes to achieve that. Ask your local bee club whether they recommend double brood or brood and a half in Langstroth hives.
Do take up @Paras on his kind offer. He has a lot of experience now, and he is actively teaching other beekeepers. You will pick up a lot of good advice from him, which may save you from some unnecessary mistakes!
Perhaps the reference of honey not runny enough is to floral sources such canola(rapeseed) and heather. These produce thixotropic honey that will likely set in the frame causing quite a problem for Flow frames. Traditional frames can be “loosened” prior to extraction, but I don’t know of an equivalent process for Flow.
So long as your nectar comes from the many “runny” nectar sources, Flow will perform beautifully. Your local bee club will know what’s best. If you do have a thixotropic nectar flow, you could wait until it’s over before swapping out a traditional super for the Flow super. Crush and strain the traditional frames.
Yes, this is what my association says. Its lots of rapeseed and similar less runny nectar in this area.
My flow hive isn’t as deep as a normal Langstroth. The frames are the same though. I wouldn’t know how to add my flow super to a normal Langstroth brood box or super. There would be a gap. How did you adapt it? Many many thanks - all your answers are already really helpful
Question do you have a National FlowHive super or Langstroth?
Next question do you have original Flowhive or Chinese copy?
Do you have 8/10 frame Langstroth brood box?
Is your FlowHive super 6 frames (8 frame brood box) or 7 frames (10 frame brood box)?
The Flowhive super are deep boxes same size of the deep brood box
Rapeseed if harvested before capped it will run out, we have had UK FlowHive beekeepers successfully harvested from their flowHive super. If the bees have choice between nectar I have noticed that my colonies bring less of the Rapeseed.
Good questions, @Paras. I forgot that Flow now produce a National-sized Flow hive. However, @Jana says that it is 8 years old, so I assumed that it would be the 6 frame (8 brood frames) Langstroth type of Flow hive in WRC wood, as this was the Classic that they produced first.
Great point about OSR honey too. Rapid harvesting is key, even with traditional hives!
The National was only produced for a year or two but there was not much demand at the time, there was no business case to continue producing a product that was not in demand.
There are only a hand full of people who want them. I do actually prefer the Langstroth hive better to the National hives.
There was a season where my bees foraged nectar that took about 9hrs to drain from one frame, it was 14% water content the lowest we have harvested. Very thick but it still flowed out from the hive. I harvest in honey buckets to save time and to avoid robbing.
Yes OSR as @Dawn_SD mentioned has the same impact on traditional hives, what beekeepers do is use a warmer to get the honey liquid again and harvest. I had a beekeeper I was mentoring who had crystal honey because he did not harvest the honey on time. I told him place the super next to his house radiator and he was able to harvest next day as it flowed out.
Where there is a issue or problem there will always be a solution.
Your were absolutely right I am on a 8 frame Langstroth Flow hive! In the meantime I met with Paras - he was super helpful and answered all my questions!