Honeyflow.com | FAQ's | Community |

Flow Hive Critique


#1

Let me state that I love the Flow Hive and have been enjoying mine for 2 years now. With that in mind, I’d like offer a design change and critique.

My biggest issue is the roof. It leaks. Even after trying to seal it with tung oil, and even exterior paint, somehow it still ended up leaking. So I have had to switch everything over to standard roofs.

My other critique is not being able to buy the bottom board separately. I have so many hives now, and I’d like all of them to be angled so that I can drain the flow frames easily, but I always end up have to wedge something under the front sides and use a crowbar to lift the front. This is very inconvenient. I would like to buy 5 of these to put on all my hives so that I can drain them easily.

That’s all! Maybe others have design change ideas that can be useful for future editions.


#2

Home Depot or Ace Hardware have rolls of aluminum flashing like this:

I know you shouldn’t have to, but it is easy enough to cut a single length of this, then bend it over the A-frame under the shingles. If you screw the roof back on top, sealing the screws with a blob of caulking (or cold tar sealant on top of the metal, if you are feeling excessive!) you can hardly see the flashing. Can you tell we have had roof leaks on our house for the last 20 years? :blush:


#3

Hi Card,

The leaky roof is an easy fix … I’d heard comments early in the process of wetness n leaking roofs. I know even a house roof needed a certain pitch/angle of incline to not leak. (This pitch stops backward upward movement called wicking). So I made a change in assembly plan.

I made a quick trip to the hardware store where I bought a tube of clear silicone caulking. I added a small straight seam of caulk to both side panel over laps n a double seam of clear sealant to the wooden cap piece. I have three such roofs on my hives in my apiaries. Our State of Washington has just passed thru the wettest recorded 1st October thru end of April couple days off of over 47.0" of Rain (some driven by winds up to 50 plus mph. All three dry as a bone under the lid . I had understood before hand that the roof comes prone to some weeping n leakage but since I knew that I came armed to not allowed that to happen to my hives n bees. Easy job !

Now to your second point. I’m guessing your request for buying extra SBBoards might someday become possible n available… I realize you want it NOW … They are presently providing plastic super plugs n keys are now available I understand. Saw a note on the forum on that this last month or so… I believe Dawn wrote a note on that.

So for now you are like me. We both will still be using a level bar to add a proper shim ! I did go to another outside provider to buy several more SBBoards. I just added a long shim to the entrance end of my screened boards to get that pitch. Trust me it worked n I didn’t have to wait on Flows unknown product time table. I’m sure extra parts n pieces will come sooner or later but that takes time … You n I are operating in the NOW n PRESENT so for now it’s being inventive I guess.

Cheers around the Globe,
Gerald


#4

Hi Cardiologist,
Yes - a design change is warranted on the roof in my opinion too. I used a really excellent silicone adhesive (had some spare after using for a stainless steel backsplash in the kitchen) which was $20 Aus. a tube. It fixed it of course but yes - not ideal to have to. I must be one of the few people to have ever laid an Australian hardwood shingled roof and remember how the shingles had to have a big overlap to be watertight. The few millimetres that the flow roof has as an overlap between the wood where it comes together wouldn’t have been contemplated on a house roof here using shingles. The overlap might be something flow could look at if they ever do change the design. They may well be already. That could be done whilst keeping the aesthetics that are obviously great in my opinion. There is the issue of the roof blowing off too which mine did - I’m going to experiment with that too to see if there is a solution that does not involve straps, buckles, wires or bricks.
I’m trying to figure out how you got separate roofs but not the bottom boards? I guess being able to buy flow frames to modify the Langstroth box would call for bottom boards to be a purchasable separate item in any case.


#5

yes- the roofs leak- and over time the gaps get bigger. Especially on the Cedar hive- the shingles on the hoop pine are tighter in my experience- and a lot heavier. I fixed all three of my flow roofs with alloy flashing and inner insulation. Very easy job. I also hot wax dipped them :wink: I like the flow style hive roof and inner cover design- but the wood will not last long without being painted or dipped. I notice now in all the flow marketing they display hives with painted roofs.

As to it blowing off- the easiest solution would be those hook and eye latches- very cheap.

as the bottom- just put wedges under the front and leave them there? I have the pitched base- but I have put small wedges under my hives to slightly increase the angle- as my honey this year was very thick and slow to run out.


#6

I’ve changed the wording on my post to say “overlap” rather than “overhang” in case that was confusing.

Because I used a silicone adhesive, rather than just silicone, the pieces of the roof are all glued together (to resist natural warping of the timber) and watertight at the same time.

Yes the hook and eye is a good idea but I find I have different boxes under my flow roof at different times. Sometimes it is the flow super below the roof; sometimes that super has another box on top of it and sometimes I have another super altogether under the flow roof as I have removed the flow super - eg for winter. I don’t want to put eyelets on every box that I might have under the flow roof…anyhow, I’ll work on it. At the moment I have taken the bricks off the roof - the bees have well propolised the inner cover and inner cover hole cover so they won’t themselves get blown off and allow water on the bees etc. if the roof does become airborne again.


#7

I just put standard covers on my hives. The roof looks nice, but not worth putting all that effort into a roof to make it not leak. I think if you are spending that much on a hive, they should at least make it functional. But either way, I am sure they’ll address it. Just use a flat cover that has the plastic on top. They are really cheap.


#8

seriously- the effort is absolutely minimal. It took me all of 25 minutes per roof. I also think the roof design has some practical advantages- it has room for a feeder, has room for insulation, and with the inner cover there is no issue with comb in the roof like you get with the type of migratory (?) covers beekeepers use here in SA.