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Entry to hive: front or back?


Does the bee entry to the hive have to be at the same end of the hive as the access to the flow system? Or can bees enter at one end, and honey be extracted from the other?


Hi Mette,

The Flow hive is set up so that the bees enter and exit from the base of the front of the hive.

The harvesting is undertaken at the back of the hive.


You can do it however you like. I harvest mine from the front as my hives are back to back…


If you have a HF hive, the base tilts it slightly toward the back - implying the intent was to harvest from the back. But if Mr Bush says it doesn’t matter I believe it.


It does matter which way it tips. I tip mine towards the front during harvest. I just tip it up and put a 2x4 flatways under the back…


whilst that’s true - you definitely want it to harvest at the back if you can (obviously).


Yes to keep out of the bees flight path this is true but with a solid bottom board the hive should be angled forward so front extraction would make sense. Perhaps a side placement for the receivers may work without the need to tilt backwards?


Hi Mette,

Are you building a hive to accommodate Flow Frames, or do you have Flow Hive?

I am confused by your wording, so I am attaching some photos and our manual for you to look at.

In a Flow Hive the bees should enter in one side - through the entrance / front.
And the honey exists on the other side / rear - this is so the honey can flow out, with the least amount of bees flying in the way.

Michael has used a sealed system with the curved tubes and bucket with holes in it, so the bees won’t be able to get in.

If you are harvesting without a cover etc, it is better to not have the exit on the same side as the entrance…
If you have a Flow Hive - this has a tilt built into the hive - this is designed to allow the honey to flow out more easily and quickly. You need to make sure the tilt is facing towards the rear / exit/honey tubes.

As Michael mentioned it doesn’t matter for him, because he has a Flow Super on top of his own brood boxes. He just props up the hive with a tilt when he is harvesting.

Let me know if you need more clarification :slight_smile:

Here is our harvesting guide with a video:


Hey guys,
I have set my super facing the same way as the entrance. i.e the wrong way round. Do you reckon it would be OK to hervest from the front and as suggested, tilt the hive forwards just while harvesting?
Aslo, if I do this, would you recommend temporarily sealing the entrance?
Also, I have just bought a smoker so would I use this???
Any advice much appreciated.


I’m having feelings of deja vu, I’m sure I read this question a few minutes ago. The answer would be yes to all of the questions. My question is: why not turn the super around to the right way?


what Jeff said: turn the box around- that shouldn’t be a problem assuming you have room at the back to work. Secondly- no need to smoke the bees when you are extracting honey. Also sealing the entrance during the middle of the day won’t really work to keep bees away as many foragers will be returning - trying to get back in- and end up flying all around confused.


I don’t actually have much room to work behind. We are in a hot part of Australia and the hive is against a shrub that provides summer shade…


Hi Sammy, I’m wondering if you could perhaps turn the hive 90 degrees and put the extracting part of the Flow super at the opposite end to the bee entrance/exit?


If you can’t turn the top box around, why not turn the bottom box around. It wont bother the bees one iota if the entrance faces a shrub.


Hi all and thanks for your suggestions. In regard to turning the hive, one,
the hive is sort of in a corner, so the back would still be inaccessible,
and two, Iwas lead to beelieve that in winter, early morning sun in
important. I know I said a hot part of Australia, but it does get below
freezing at night in winter…


Also, I wouldn’t like to face the entrance into the shrub, as I find
watching the bees come and go such a pleasurable observation.


Honestly you wont have to worry about that Sammy. I would still face the entrance into the corner. Your bees will be fine. There are lots of other issues to worry about without worrying about whether the entrance gets the morning sun or not. The bees are always out before sunrise (weather permitting), regardless of which way the entrance faces. You’ll see in my video here that all of my nuc boxes face the wall, away from the morning sun. Why? because it’s more convenient for me.

Every hive except the one I’m showing in the video.