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Flow hive and climate


What was the reason they gave you for it not working in your climate?

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I would guess Minnesota and University of Minnesota?


MN = Minnesota
U of M = University of Minnesota (I’m guessing)


Hi @Isaiah_Huntosh, The flow frames should work in pretty much any climate that bees are happy in. The only thing the flow hive changes is the extraction process. As far as I am aware there are two things that may cause issues when extracting honey from the flow frames:

  • if you are in an area with plants that are prone to crystallization (Canola is one plant that can cause this)
  • if you have mainly thixotropic honey (Jelly Bush or Manuka honey). This is still not extensively tested, so I look forward to hearing about peoples experiences.


I’m in Wyoming and I think our winters are more harsh than Minnesota’s. I have one set coming to try it out, but the commercial beekeeper I work with says that the honey flow here is thicker and not necessarily as hydrated as warmer climates and it might hinder the flow and and might not flow as well as proposed by Flow Hive. However, back to your comment is that even though U of M says it won’t work doesn’t mean it won’t. They are scientist and not beekeepers. Just saying is all.


We have had some flow hives tested in Canada and they worked fine. More info on our FAQ’s:
Once everyone starts using them I look forward to hearing your reports.


A little update on my last extraction which I did on September 4th. The honey was much thicker than when I extracted in August, even though the temperatures are warmer now. Not sure why this is but it was thick and I had a hard time getting it spun out of frames. And as it dripped out of flow gate into pail it was still pretty thick. I believe this last batch was pretty much wild sunflower honey and possibly some clover mixed in. With this being the case I might use my flow frames in spring flow and summer flow but for the fall flow pull them out and not use them as I think the honey this time might have been to thick to drip well into troughs.


The thicker honeys still seem to flow out of the frames. We have had about 50% jelly bush honey (similar to Manuka honey) in the flow frames and it has come out fine (just a bit slower).


I don’t even know what jelly bush is. must be some odd Ozzy plant eh? :smile:


Hi Tony. I too am in Wyoming, Casper area. I have one on order also to try next spring. I was curious where you were located and will be curious how well it works for you and if you have any concerns about it. I am newbie to this but am reading everything I can about it.


I have just bought 3 varieties of “Mānuka” Leptospermum scoparium trees and a variety of seeds of several differing varieties of scoparium as well as some Leptospermum polygalifolium (Jelly Bush). I intend to have various “Tea Tree” flowering myrtle family Myrtaceae for my bees


I’m over in Lusk, east of you about 100 miles. Message me with your contact info. Another guy on here gave me info for boxes and other bee related materials for about half of what you’d pay at Murdochs. I’d be happy to share. I am headed his way Friday to pick up a bunch of bee boxes, plas am picking up a set for a guy who I know lives in Custer.

Do you have beehives now? Or are you wating till spring when you get your flowhive? do you have your own land or place to put your hive? Glad to meet you.


Message sent. I’m waiting till spring when I receive my flow hive. I will be ordering my bees in February. I have already gotten permission from a rancher to place the hive somewhere around his alfalfa circles hopefully in some trees to protect it when winter comes. I plan on placing it on on or two pallets, possibly strapping it to them so the antelope, deer and wind won’t upset it. I am also going to purchase a second brood box and top feeder for it.


Thats great! Are you only going with the one frame? Are you getting a complete set from them? Do you want to do more than one box and try both ways? I was talking to a friend of mine that had bought extra boxes. Had I known, I wouldn’t have already placed my order in Etna, but if you want to try the old fashioned way as well I can get you new boxes pretty much at cost. I’ll be through Casper Friday and probably sometime monday on my way back. Not sure when. Early on friday though, I’ve got a little stop to make there for a honey delivery but need to get back o road as etna is about a 500 mile trip and the weather isn’t looking so good for the Teton’s.


I purchased the complete flow hive unit. I will get a second brood box from either Bee Thinking (theirs are cedar) and I don’t think too expensive, or Mann Lake. I want to get it 80% filled before I put on the flow frames and so they will have a place to winter. I do need to check on complete frames, might be easier for them to get it going faster than just the top bars. I’ll probably just do the one hive to see if I’m cut out for beekeeping at first. Still need to be tested for allergies, been stung by wasps and bumble bees with no problem, but think it would be wise though. I drive a truck and leave town around 6 every morning and not back until 7 some evenings. I do get to Lusk every couple of weeks though, so I might try to look you up. :smile:


I have experimented with leptospermum in Wales.I bought varieties described as hardy. I live in a sheltered valley that stays warm in winter. Of six plants I had I lost four the first winter when temperatures dropped never below 10 degrees. Then the penultimate one died. The survivor is in a pot and lives against a south facing wall in the summer. In winter it is fleeced and moved to the back of the house which is dark but very sheltered. It always flowered after a fashion but this year burst into massive blossom that lasted a good month. It bloomed the same time as the late dandelion and the clover and the bees ignored it. They did like the native Myrtle though.


I live in MN and we typically use 2 brood boxes to encourage a strong hive and prevent swarming. I do not see any Flow Hives with 2 brood boxes. I would like to know if anyone uses two brood boxes, why or why not?



In that case, you haven’t spent too much time on this forum. :smile: I would say that 80% or more of US beekeepers with Flow hives use 2 brood boxes. In MN, you may even want to use 3 brood boxes, as the Flow hive is 8-frames, and most beekeepers in MN will be using 10-frame boxes.



Dawn, I see this a lot on the forum. I understand bees will swarm if the queen has no place to lay but I always considered that swarming was genetically programmed (carniolan v black bee for example) and that adding extra space when it wasn’t actually needed would have no preventative effect.
Do many beekeepers in USA change their queens EVERY year, because that would almost certainly do it?
Just wondering.