Flow hives vs copies

Hi I’ve been given a flow hive copy by my family a year ago. I thought it was “ok” but this year I thought I buy an original flow hive to add to my bees and take advantage of their discounts.

The original flow frames are definitely superior than the copies but the wooden boxes are not. How can that be? Are these really made in Australia? I bought them from their honeyflow australian website.

Some sides of the boxes vary by as much as 1/8". Tongue and grooves are a very poor fit too and the boxes do not fit neatly on top of each other, or the baseboard.

I’ve put some weights on top to try to rectify this but where the sizes of the wood sides are shorter, it still leaves a significant opening.

I assembled the boxes using framing guides and fitted together using PVA glue and are spot on square.

Very disappointed with the quality of the flow boxes I have to admit, especially considering their prices (A brood box is as much as Au$75 plus postage!).

If you have your order number, you can e-mail it to [info at honey flow dot com] - convert to usual e-mail format. Tell them your concerns and send photos if you have any. Otherwise, perhaps our good Flow representative friend @Freebee2 can advise you. She is very helpful. :blush:

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Thanks @Dawn_SD!
@Arthy we would love to find out what has gone wrong and to try to fix it for you. Please could you contact us via info@honeyflow.com so we can assist you? (Please also let us know your order number, if you have it - thanks).


what timber is your hive made from? I have purchased multiple hoop pine hives and they have been perfect: laser cut for a very exact fit. No warps, splits, knots, defects or issues. The very first cedar hives we got had a few minor inconsistencies here and there but are still going strong.

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Hi arthy, I also bought the sale hybrid super and discovered they were from older stock before the laser cutting that you mentioned @Semaphore

The newer stock is laser cut. I.e. the $75 brood box you mention

Thanks for the replies. The boxes are cedar, roof araucaria.

Yes I know these were older stock, which I assumed 3 years old or so and I didn’t mind. Woodworking has been around a few centuries and making a box is not rocket science. These are advertised as “Australian Made” so I expect a well made box at those prices.

For example the holes on one side of two of the roof shingles don’t even align with the frame. I had to drill another two holes that align, and end up with a leaky roof, which I have to fill and hope it won’t leak. Really? A hundred dollar roof !

Everything is already put together with screws and wood glue, and painted - so can’t really replace them now. Good news is I might have found someone willing to buy the hive now. Feel a bit guilty flogging it to a new beekeeper though. If he takes it tomorrow I’ll be buying another copy as I read the newer ones are even better.

In ten years I never bought timber hives this bad. I made a few nucs out of pallet timber and are heaps better.

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Hi @Arthy I trust you have now contacted our customer support team about this and that they are attending to your query?


Hi Arthy,

I would like to address your interest in the counterfeit Flow Hives. Please understand that Flow owns the registered patents for all ‘tappable’ hives in the world and any other copycat is a direct infringement of Flow’s IP rights and are highly illegal. Those who unknowingly purchase fake Flow will often be granted a full refund when they report the purchase to their bank or the website platform the transaction was made on.

Please do not underestimate the risks involved with purchasing these illegal items. The cheap plastic Frames are potentially toxic and may impact the health of your bees. No-one knows if these fakes are safe for food production either as they are manufactured completely outside of all compliance testing, certification and international regulations.

Furthermore, counterfeit products have no warranty and no customer or beekeeping support. They simply exist on the back of Flow’s hard work and passion for quality and commitment to the environment and our pollinators.

Please email me at info@honeyflow.com if you would like to further discuss this element of your enquiry.



@Bianca and @Freebee2

Do you mean you bought them from the “Flow Hive” website or from the honeyflow website selling the Chinese junk?
I’m wondering if in fact your complaint is about a ‘copy’ of a Flow Hive and not the genuine product.
I now have four Flow Hive Supers on Langstroth brood boxes and base boards with the Australian migratory lids and have not had any issues or heard of problems with anything bought from Flow.

Everything fitted together as I expected and the only reason I didn’t buy the complete hive from Flow is that as a pensioner I couldn’t afford the price for a brood box.

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I went along to my local association meeting the other night looking forward to a presentation on the flow hive. More than half the time was focussed on misinformation mainly from user error and running it down. The presenter owned a classic model flow super. By the end he proudly announced how he had convinced a mentoree of his to sell his flow super and use a langstroth instead and had the flow super there for sale. To add insult, he also talked about his Chinese model and modifications he had made to that and people could come and talk to him about that also.
I was very disappointed and hearing comments around me from others saying how they are so glad they hadn’t bought one.
Basically it was a disgruntled customer having a public whinge. I might yet message the committee about my disappointment of the presentation.


It takes all types and seems he is a very good example of a particular type that I won’t expand on.
I would certainly do a well worded letter about how you felt the evening went for you, nothing said - nothing gained.

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I bought a few 2nd grade (on special) cedar deeps from flow once, being aware there may be some minor faults.
There were some faults, but nothing I or the bees couldn’t fix. The boxes are just fine and I saved some money. And I got my cedar boxes.
Not sure, but maybe flow sells minor fault hives ‘on special’?
Better than throwing them on the bonfire. That wouldn’t be environmentally friendly at all.

Their flow frames have always been 100%.
I would never ever buy copies, but do buy Australian made deeps elsewhere once in a while. Also trialing different bottom boards and lids.
Once I bought a beetle buster bottom board. Had to replace it with a flow screened bottom after 2 weeks, as it bred beetles. Funny that.

I stick to what proved itself in my apiaries.

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Well at least he made the purchase & tried it for himself before running it down. People have been criticized for running the flow hive down without having owned one.

Can you expand on the user errors he made?

A bloke who owns 3 flow hives told me on the phone last night that he now prefers langstroth honey supers & is expanding his apiary with them.

True he did at least own one. It was irritating in so many ways, but to then go on and say he had a Chinese one, why would he run flow down but go out and buy one of those which in his own words said cost him $400 to get here and working anyway?
Apparently flow owners won’t just sit and watch the bees go in and out and doing pollen counts like he does (cos all the commercial beeks do that for every hive :roll_eyes:) and also, apparently a full langstroth weighs less than a full flow hive of equal size (35kg for a 6 frame… I wish…) so therefore flow owners won’t do inspections once the flow is on. Noone told him the super had to be on an angle. No mention of the fact that the proper stands are made that way or that it only needs to be propped when harvesting if you don’t have the original stand. No mention of any improvements to flow2 which mitigated his arguments about hives angled the wrong way and water running into hives. He talked a lot about having to boil frames to remove wax and honey set so hard, like concrete that apparently even the bees couldn’t get out or use :roll_eyes: funnily enough no mention of actual issues like flooding lol
But to stand up bagging the flow like he was a supposed expert and then suggest seeing his illegal Chinese hive setup was the last straw. (Years ago he tried to be a professional for 2 years with 100-200 hives and made a loss and lost a bunch of hives due to the weather and things working against him. Took beekeeping up again when he bought the flow in the first round, but admittedly didn’t setup for a year.) Anyway, guess I needed to vent a bit :laughing:


Do you own a hive yet? your profile says 0 hives.

No traditional hives come with built-in spirit levels. Leveling a hive is something we need to do while setting them up. I keep a small spirit level in the glovebox of my truck. It comes in handy at times.

Honey will set hard in the comb. The bees can cope with that. They use water to aid in re-liquifying it. However it wont flow out of flow frames. Neither will jellybush honey.

Was anyone at the meeting present to counter any of his gripes?

Anyway if you don’t own a flow hive & you intend on buying one, at least you’re not going in with your eyes closed.

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I have a flow 2. For 8months now. No one countered what he said or questioned his statements. I wanted to but seeing as it was only my second meeting didn’t want to stir the pot and get a reputation lol


Hello there helen,

… hmmm I should have gone to the bee society meeting this month… Let me guess: was it that tall fellow Andrew?

He is incorrigible. He told me his flow hive never worked- even though he requeened 6 TIMES! (I mean who does that???) I kept telling him that we run 6 flow hives and ALL of them have been productive (without requeening one of them) and worked- and that I was happy to try to help him to see what the issue was with his hive. He refused any offer of help and seemed overjoyed at his constant failure.There is NO helping some people… He also runs all double brood hives- and hardly ever gets any honey at all. I have been trying to suggest to him to just try a single brood hive- as we have done very well with them- but again- he won’t even try one- even though he has over 30 hives apparently. He is a very keen beekeeper and very keen on his own theories but does not listen to anyone else.

I will have to do a talk at the society to try and balance the picture.There has been so much missinfromation bandied about there. When Stu Anderson talked to the society via skype Andrew jumped up to proudly announce his constant failures. Stu tried to talk him through it- but again Andrew wouldn’t listen. Afterwards I got up and said how much honey I had harvested that week- and how much success we have had with our flow hives. There are quite a few people there who actually have them- but often they are too embarassed or shy to talk much about it. It’s a shame- as those that have the most to say against them generally have ZERO experience with them. 90% of their arguments are non-starters.

Also a flow hive has a screened bottom so the tilt thing is a non issue as far as water goes- and if you use a solid bottom - you can either drill a few small holes to let the water out- or you can tilt when you harvest. no big deal.


It was Trevor G. It would be good to get a better perspective considering how many newbees have flows, it really wasn’t very helpful. This is why it took 8 months of membership before I went to a meeting as I wasn’t prepared to face animosity or ridicule lol Now I am more confident with what I am doing. Apart from this I have enjoyed both meetings and learned plenty too.

wow- I could have sworn that would be Andrew. No matter- I will consider offering to give a talk at the society and explain the How the Other Half Lives. I have found people say negative things about flow flippantly- I counter them- no one says anything. Then afterwards people with flows come up and thank me, and we share tips and experience.


One couple I spoke with that mentioned they had a flow2 in the beginners class went to him with a problem after the meeting. So if someone puts themselves forward as an expert on flow, with opinions like his,they won’t be getting best advice on using one. I felt for the poor guy selling his flow super on his advice. At a loss. Btw the couple told me he had no advice for them.This couple live at Unley and have hive beetle btw. Catching a fair amount by their account.