Thanks for asking.
I have bought the flow a year too early, i am still in the process of
splitting my hives. I went from 2 to 12 hives now and by this time next
year, i hope to have my 2 flows operational. Never mind, living on a small
island in Philippines means that I have to think ahead several years
anyway, so I am used to this. But, i tried to use the Flow for a month but
the bees refused the plastic. Luckily there are enough suggestions on the
forum for next time when I need it in earnest.
Lessons learned so far:
-1. Get the Flows via a Balikbayan Box from Australia, otherwise the
customs will cause huge problems, they do not understand beekeeping and
will involve other authorities which would result in a mess.
Considering the transport/customs issues, i would strongly suggest to
purchase the Flow Supers only and use Filipino broodboxes to limit the
import volume and thereby not raise any alarm flags for the Balikbayan
-2. Philippines uses 10 frame Langstroth as standard. Use that instead of
the suggested 8 frame flows.
-3. Paint the Flows with polyurethane paint or marine epoxy. In the salty
island environment, the oiled wood rapidly deteriorates while the painted
parts probably "lasts forever".
-4. Take your time setting up your apiari first and order the Flow Supers
when the end of splitting comes in sight.
-5. It is very easy to order the Chinese knockoff in Philippines. There are
fewer customs issues when ordering from China. It is a pity, but fact of
life living here. It could be a help if Flow offers potential Philippine
customers to ship via Balikbayan Box at customer request. Look at the
Internet for local Balikbayan shippers in Australia or wherever you send
the stuff from.
-6. I am using the Apivox Auditor to monitor the bees in the 2 planned Flow
boxes. Somehow, the bees in the standard 10 frame boxes are happier than
the 8 framers. Looks like I would need a double broodbox on the 8 framers
as opposed to a single on the 10 framers.
-7. To me, it already is clear that the Apivox Auditor and the Flowhive is
an ideal combination. Then I do not have to open the boxes for inspection
-8. Initially, i liked your plastic bottom board, but it warped. I had to
replace them with marine plywood painted in polyurethane.
Will post on the Forum when my first Flow production takes place next year.