Extend Flow Frames Vertically?

Do you think it would work to extend the flow frames vertically by combining parts from two flow frames together?

They are made from a copolyester, which I’m thinking can be melted and reformed without charging or burning. Essentially, this idea calls for cutting the collecting trough off of the bottom of one full frame and cutting the top, where you put the key in, off another and melting all the pieces together individually. That would give you twice the depth of comb cells. The height of the standard flow frames 242mm height could possibly be extended to 419mm, or about 16.5 inches. That is above the needed length for a Layens frame, but too small for a extra “double” deep Langstroth.

Obviously, this would void any warranty so try at your own risk. But, what are everyone’s thoughts?

A Flow Frame that is full of honey sags to a small degree as it is so I see your idea as a failure.
I guess you don’t like the idea of using Flow Frames as they are now, but if your hives are producing more honey at a faster rate than you can take it another option would be to put another Flow Super and the frames on the hive and that wouldn’t void the warranty.
Have you considered how you could remove the super, as you describe, to do a brood inspection. Think about the weight you would need to lift.:face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Good thought. I didn’t consider the sag of the frame due to weight.

This conversion could be used to make a flow Layens hive which is a horizontal hive with approximately 16 inch deep by about 14.25 inch long frames. I don’t currently have a Layens, but I’ve been reading about them and the frames at https://horizontalhive.com/how-to-build/layens-hive-frame-plans.shtml.

They can be anywhere from 14 to 31 frames from what I’ve seen. So doing inspections would be simple, just one frame at a time moving across. No supers needed. The hive would expand horizontally.

Good luck but even so I see a heap of problems apart from trying to solve the problem of the frames sagging with the additional strain of the weight.
Do some research into the flooding issue already experienced with a Flow Frame when extracting and then you will see the problems you will need to over come Scott.

Hi @Mendenha11.
It is interesting task, but unless you are skilled plastic welder/fabricator with suitable equipment and tonnes of free time result may be disappointing. Too many things to join together. And, besides what @Peter48 already mentioned, how long the top bracket used to move whole thing by key withstand an additional load before braking?

If it is a single build and deep frames are really required, maybe it would be easier to build Mendenha hive? :slight_smile: Something that accommodates two storeys of flow frames and Mendenha frames made to size to fill the rest?
Alternatively, to build Layens hive with Langstroth “wings”?..


I forgot that a total redesign would be needed of the top of the frame to accommodate a heavier key to open the frames… Already the Flow Frames have issue with fracturing there, so doubling the loading strain it would more than double the fracture rate. WOW, I can only hope that @Mendenha11 has thought it thru. To change a Layens hive to adapt it to be a Flow hive type is a ‘bridge too far’ in my opinion.

This is an excellent alternative. Thanks for the suggestion.

Curious to know how you proceeded - I also have been contemplating the conversion to deep hive bodies and apart from Jim at vino farms Bee barn (with flow frame supers) but I’d still have to lift the supers and at just over 5feet and getting old I find this process not particularly ergonomic, so I’m looking at permanently fixed flow frames in horizontal layout.

Hi Kelly yes it is a challenge. If you search the forum for long lang you will see a number of people including myself have made horizontal hives with flow frames. I find they work well and do solve the lifting issue considerably.

My first with flow frames, 2018.

It’s a really cool invention