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Flow in Joliet Illinois


Finished with tung oil.

Now just waiting for my flow frames…



Looks very well done. Great job of finish n oiling your Flow-Hive … Do you have your bees ordered yet ! Does it come with the brood (lower box) hive frames ? If so your on your way as soon as weather improves n bees get there. Are you in the Snowy Mess (storm) I see on TV News ? Kind of looks like it

I live out near Seattle in the foothills SE of the city about 25 crow miles. I am restarting into beekeeping again after 55 years away. I’m very excited to rejoin this fabulous hobby.

Happy Beekeeping,


Thanks I was worried at first using tung oil for I have never used it. I am a hobbyist woodworker and wasn’t sure on tung oil. after using it I love it, started to use it on other projects now. I did thin it down with citrus solvent.

Funny you ask about ordering bees, I put my order in this morning with a local beekeeper from our beekeeper club that I just joined. Bees are scheduled for second week in April. Those Flow Hives better show up soon!

I ordered the complete flow hive, so to answer your question, Yes it did come with the brood box and 8 wood frames for the brood box. Though if I am not mistaken, It did not come with any foundation for the frames or wire for support. So, being a new bee I’m not sure what if anything I need to do. The books i’m reading suggests that there should be some form of beeswax or plastic foundation on the frames. I don’t know…

I am not in the snow storm, I sneaked through I guess nice and sunny today, cold, but sunny.

Glad to hear your coming back, I’m a true newbie.



Hi Joe,

Your books are probably just giving one point of view. You may use foundation if you wish, but the frames which came with your hive are designed to be used without. This is a concept of the “Natural Beekeeping” movement, which has been gaining momentum over the last decade or so and most books haven’t kept up. Michael Bush is one of the major forces in this type of beekeeping, and you can read what he thinks here.

One other thought, you may want a second brood box below your Flow frames - many beekeepers in the US use “double deeps” for brood. If your local beekeepers club confirms that they use double deeps, you can order a matching box from BeeThinking on this page.

Good luck!



I can envisage problems getting these brood frames drawn and I see lots of people have asked advice. Do Flow provide some sort of comb guide?
Is wired brood foundation commonplace where you are by the way?
Perhaps Flow should include Michael’s book in with the instructions :wink:



Great idea on the book! I think I have read the whole of Michael’s web site - he can be very persuasive. :slightly_smiling:

  1. Flow do provide a comb guide - it is like an ice cream stick, and it is glued into the groove of the lower surface of the top bar of the frame.
  2. Most keepers in my area do use wired foundation for brood, although Hilary (Girl Next Door Honey) is one of the “natural” method followers, and she has no problem with foundationless brood frames.

This year, I will keep detailed records on how my hives do with foundation, wood comb guides, and wax strip guides. Of course, I only have a few hives (not hundreds), but I will get some idea.



Oh wow, thanks I will read on. I like it the idea of all natural.


I believe they do come with a comb guide here is a pick. You tell me, but would this be a comb guide?



Joey. Nothing wrong with being a Newby ! After 55 yrs away I’m more than rusty n more has changed pest n disease wise.

It’s been fun going out to a friends bee yard n reaquinting myself with the sounds, smells n more just observing certain hives there. Brings back a lot of memories of my dad n I working our small orchard apiary.

I have a beekeeping 101 class this weekend n took another this winter on varroa mites n treatments. Trying to play catch up. Once I get the three Nuc’s n hive them. It will be like being on my high school track in the starting blocks. Then phone rings (supplier calling bees arrived) the gun goes off n the 100 yd sprint is on !! No looking back. Just rushing down the beekeeping path with 3 hives😋.

my buddies hives I check on here in this pic.

Take care. I maybe 70 yrs old but still work part time n take care of my wife who has M.D. So I take care of the house n cook too.

Have a great rest of the week now,


Hi Joe,

That is definitely a valid comb guide.

There are lots of designs. Some are like craft sticks - like you show. Some people just take the wedge from a wedged top bar and turn it through 90 degrees, then nail it in place in that position. Others fix a wax strip about 1/2 inch wide to the top bar. Beethinking make a frame with a triangular ridge along the top bar - I will be trying some of those this year in my medium supers.



One other thing Joe, when you don’t use foundation, bees can get very creative with comb. You MUST check weekly until they have filled most of each frame, otherwise you may get some comb that is not fixable, and not amenable to inspection either. They love to build curving or diagonal comb sometimes. If you catch it when it is fresh, it is very soft, and you may be able to bend it back in line with the frame, rather than discarding it.

Having said that about foundationless frames, they can also get creative even when you use foundation, it just doesn’t tend to happen quite as often :smile:



Right, I see.
I use starter strips but always alternate foundation when starting a box from scratch.
That way the bees have a guide ALL the way down


Hi Joey,
I am in Romeoville. Just got my flow. Did you get your flow frames yet? I’m stilling waiting on mine. Did you join the Will County Bee Group? I’m going to the meeting on 2/17/16.



Hows it going? I received the boxes but have not received my Flow Frames yet. I’m getting a little worried actually. I had a December delivery date, I know they said they had manufacturing problems. Glad to see someone else in the area. Yes, I am a member of the Willbees and yes I will be there Wed night. Hope to see you there, I will be wearing an orange and white beanie if you like to hunt me down, I’ll most likely be looking at the book selection.


Things are going well. I’m excited about the meeting tonight. I am a little worried about the reaction to those of us who are getting into beekeeping via the Flow Hive. There has been a lot of judgement on the web from “traditional” beekeepers. I know another member of the WillBees, and I heard the president ordered a Flow Hive. What has your experience been like with the group and the fact you have a Flow Hive?


Rick your right, they didn’t seem to have a passive reaction. They think the flow hive is going to bring the wrong kind of beekeeper. I quickly learned to not mention that I have a flow hive, which didn’t matter anyway cause I’m they’re to learn about the bees. You’re also right the pres did purchase one, he’s only doing so for the group as a test to let everyone know how it goes. So maybe we can enlighten them if it goes well. I was sad to see the lack of support for the flow hive,but I do see there concern. We will just have to prove them wrong.


Were you at the meeting last night? I spoke to the president about it. He thinks it is going to be a total failure.


Well, I know nothing, but I think his opinion is going to be some tasty humble pie! :smile:


Dawn. I think your correct ! I believe it’s different strokes for different folks. Like the ham operators beekeeping needs more folks to stay alive n healthy. Whether it is Flow-Hives or something else the hobby n total future of our bees are at stake ! If it takes in part the Flow to help so let it be.

I am returning to beekeeping not because of the Flow. I was drawn back in from youthful
good memories. In doing research to catch up with beekeeping severarl of my none beekeeping friend asked, have seen the hive you just open a tap n honey comes out. I had NOT. Quickly I got to the Internet. Wow ! This is different n neat ! But I’d already invested time, money n materials … Reading more articles, people were waiting n I found the first of the “negative”,

To make my story shorter … I am more curious n opened minded. I finally worked myself thru Flow-hives site n with several visits found there is a larger Flow that will fit on my newer 10 frame double stacked new built hive setups.
This first season I really don’t need a honey super (normally) but I do have medium super ready if I am wrong. I plan adding at least one 7 frame Flow-Super for Spring/Summer 2017. It will be interesting in 2017 to see how the Flow-Frame-Super works in our unique cooler summer (we are lucky to have more than last half of July n all August up in the upper 70’s n 80’s dgs F) … I looking forward to move ahead n learn !

What do you think about my challenge n choice Dawn ? I am looking forward to April n my special new Nuc’s.



You will do fine, Gerald. Just let us know how it goes. My husband is older than you, and he doesn’t like to lift 8-Frame deeps, let alone 10-Frames. He can, but we both pay for days afterwards…

Keeping on smiling! :smile: