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Flow Hive Dimension Comparison


Flow hive width dimension

Bee Thinking ceder box width dimension

The lengths seem to be only 1/16th inch differance (Flow Hive being the longer) so no reason for worry there but as you can see in the pics above the widths are 1/4 inch difference. Witch brings the inside dimensions 1/4 diff also. FYI the heights are the same.

I believe the dimensions of the Bee thinking box are the dimensions that the Flow Hive are supposed to be.

So doing nothing how will this effect my colony? I know bee space does not leave a lot of room for error.

I am in Illinois United States, and two brood boxes and one super seems to be the norm, hence the purchase of the bee thinking box.

Is this a quality assurance mistake on flow hive?


8-frame boxes vary in width by manufacturer, from around 13.75-14". Our original specificatiion was 13.75", but to better-suit Flow frames, the Flow team asked us to make them 14" wide, which we did. However, we only recently switched over our own stock to the 14" wide dimension, which is why you have the two different widths – the boxes you received from us directly were still our old dimension.

I have boxes of various widths from different manufacturers mixed on my own hives and they are fine. I wouldn’t worry about it myself.



You have the definitive answer from the boss of Bee Thinking, but I have some additional thoughts. :wink:

If you look at any Langstroth 8-Frame box, you will notice that you could probably squeeze 9 frames into it. In fact, Michael Bush does exactly that, having first shaved a little off the wider part of the end bars of each frame (let’s call this part the shoulder). Most people don’t do what Michael does though, they put in 8 frames, “shoulder to shoulder”, and then position them in the middle of the hive. This means that there is a little gap between the shoulder of the edge frame and the wall, but it doesn’t cause problems - the bees just draw out the comb to create the correct bee space. If you have a box which is 1/4" bigger, that is only 1/8 inch each side of your grouping of frames - not enough to be an issue.

To give you another perspective, some people put only 9 frames into a 10 frame Langstroth super. I think @JeffH is one of these. The advantage of this is that the bees draw out the comb into longer cells, which means that there is more honey per frame (less work uncapping per weight of honey) and it is easier to uncap, because the cappings are not obstructed by the wood frame getting in the way of the knife.

So I agree that bee space is important above and below frames, and between the end bars and the wall. This is mainly to discourage bridging comb, which can make it hard to remove frames. However, when you have a little extra room next to the honeycomb face of the frame, the bees just adjust the cell length to make the space fit their needs.

In summary, I think your bees will do fine in the bigger box with the usual 8 frames. :smile:


thanks for the info and the advice.

good to hear, I won’t worry then.


This is what I do
9 frames in an 11 frame box, but not straight away. Get them drawn at 11, then 10 then move to 9 frames


I think many people do that with Langs too - start with 10, then go down to 9 when they are drawn.

We used to do something similar with our WBC supers in the UK, but we used different sized plastic end spacers. We started with the narrower white plastic spacers, then moved up to the wider yellow ones when the foundation was drawn.

Of course you don’t want to do that in the brood box, unless you want more drone brood! :blush: Having said that, if the extra space is next to the wall, the bees have the choice of using it for drones or for honey, according to the season and hive needs.


OK, looks like they have changed the colours, but this is what I had in mind in our WBC hive: